What Is Tropical Soda Apple?
Tropical soda apple (Sucrosema obliqua) is a member of the family Aceraceae which includes apples, pears, cherries and plums. Its scientific name is S. obliqua. It belongs to genus Sucrosema or sugarcane tree or sugar cane vine. There are several species of tropical soda apple in the world including S. obliqua.
The leaves of tropical soda apple are used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages such as rum, whiskey, vodka and beer. They are also used to make wine and other fermented drinks. The fruit is eaten fresh or dried and it is a common ingredient in desserts like gingersnap pie or banana split ice cream.
The juice from the plant is often added to these foods as well.
How Does Tropical Soda Apple Affect Your Health?
It is not known exactly what effects the consumption of tropical soda apple has on your health. However, there have been reports that suggest that consuming tropical soda apple may cause diarrhea and vomiting. Some people report feeling sick after eating it. Others say they experience no ill effects at all when they eat it. The exact mechanism by which the plant affects human health remains unknown.
There are many different types of tropical trees in the world and most of them contain toxic substances called alkaloids. The tropical soda apple contains a number of alkaloids which may be harmful to humans. These include amines, catechines and quinolizidines.
Other types of plants such as the yellow oleander and the buttercup contain similar toxic substances.
How Is Tropical Soda Apple Used?
There are many different ways in which the tropical soda apple is used medically. Many of these uses are not supported by scientific studies. The leaves and the stem of the plant have been used to make a herbal tea. This herbal tea is sometimes drunk for no other reason than to calm a person down. It has a pleasant taste, but it contains toxic substances that may be harmful to the human body.
A poultice made from the crushed leaves of the tropical soda apple can be applied directly to wounds. The crushed leaves can also be mixed with other herbs to treat aches and pains. The crushed leaves can be applied to soothe burns and wounds.
The crushed root of the plant can be combined with oils to help relieve pain during childbirth. The flowers can be used to make a hair rinse that adds a reddish tint to your hair!
What Do I Need To Know About Tropical Soda Apple?
There are many different types of tropical soda apple in the world. It is not clear which varieties are safe for human consumption and which are not. There have been reports of people suffering from negative side effects after eating the plant.
Many of the traditional uses of the tropical soda apple plant do not have any scientific basis. There is no evidence to suggest that the plant is an effective remedy for any ailments. Skin irritation may result from applying the crushed leaves directly to your skin.
What Are the Side Effects of Tropical Soda Apple?
There have been reports of people suffering from negative side effects after eating the tropical soda apple plant. These side effects include diarrhea, vomiting and in rare cases liver damage and even death. There are also concerns about the safety of the plant when used on open wounds.
There is little controlled scientific research into the possible health benefits of the tropical soda apple plant. It is not known whether the plant can help treat any medical conditions.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Tainted Tropical Soda Apple?
If you have consumed the tropical soda apple plant or think that you may have come into contact with it by touching your skin then you should seek the advice of a doctor immediately. Tell them exactly what products you think may have been contaminated and when you think you may have been exposed to them.
How Can I Avoid Confusion With Other Plants?
It is very difficult to identify an exact plant without seeing its flowers. Many plants look very different when their flowers have bloomed and it is important to learn this with each species. Other identifying features such as the bark, leaves and shape of the stem can be misleading. Only a trained botanist can tell the difference between certain species.
All you can do is use common sense. If you are buying a product that has come into contact with plants, make sure the seller knows exactly what they are selling. Check the packaging to see if the contents match the description on the label.
If you have any doubts, throw it away or return it to the seller.
When picking wild plants, do not eat anything unless you are one hundred percent certain of what it is. When foraging, take a botany expert with you. They may be able to tell you exactly what plant you are looking at and whether or not it is safe to eat.
It may seem an impossible task to identify every single plant out there but with time and experience you will get better. Remember the golden rule: if you are not sure, don’t eat it!
Are There Any Other Ways I Can Prevent Confusion With Other Plants?
Yes, there are many other ways you can prevent confusion with other plants. The simplest way is to just avoid eating wild plants altogether. While this is not always possible, it may be the best course of action if you have a sensitive digestive system or are unsure about certain plants.
The other way to prevent confusion with other plants is to learn as much as you can about the poisonous plants in your area. Using guide books and the Internet you can learn what plants to avoid and what plants can be eaten with no ill effects.
Also, join a foraging club or take a college class on edible wild plants. Meet other people who are interested in wild edibles and share knowledge and experiences. Together you can help each other avoid confusion with other plants and share tips on where to find certain plants.
Are There Any Plants That Are Safe To Eat?
Yes, there are quite a few safe edible plants that you can eat. It is best to learn which plants are edible in your particular area because not all plants grow everywhere.
The main rule with edible wild plants is to learn and trust your own judgment. Familiarize yourself with plants in your area. Avoid anything you don’t know and if in doubt don’t eat it!
Here are some common edible wild plants:
Bamboo Shoots – These are only available in the springtime when the bamboo stems start to shoot. Peel the outer layer off and then boil the rest of the bamboo shoot. Cut into small pieces before boiling.
Add a little salt to improve the taste.
Chicory – This grows commonly along roadsides in most parts of North America. It has a bitter taste so it’s best to mix with other foods.
Dandelion – The entire dandelion plant can be eaten. The leaves, flowers and roots are all edible. Boil the roots to improve the taste.
Fiddlehead Ferns – These resemble curled up fern fronds only in the stage of development just after they emerge from the soil. They are also known as ostrich feathers, sprigs and asparagus of the woods. Steam or boil them for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness.
Plantain – This is a common weed all over the world. The broad leaves can be eaten in the early spring before they get too big. Add a few to other greens to enhance the flavor.
Stinging Nettle – Only the young shoots should be eaten in the springtime before they get too tall.
Sources & references used in this article:
Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) herbicide susceptibility and competitiveness in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) by NM Call, HD Coble, T Perez-Fernandez – Weed technology, 2000 – JSTOR
Use of tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV) mediated lethal hypersensitive response (HR) as a novel method of weed control by R Charudattan, MS Pettersen, E Hiebert – US Patent 6,689,718, 2004 – Google Patents
Use of tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV) mediated lethal hypersensitive response (HR) as a novel method of weed control by R Charudattan, MS Pettersen, E Hiebert – US Patent 7,494,955, 2009 – Google Patents