The West Indian Cherry or Acerola fruit (Malpighia Punicifolia L) is the richest source of Vitamin C known to man. Hundred grams of edible portion yields 1000 to 4000 mg of Vitamin C. The West Indian Cherry tree grows well in the tropical parts in India.
Apart from Vitamin C, West Indian Cherry is rich in Vitamin A, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and carbohydrates. According to the study conducted at Michigan State University, West Indian Cherry contains powerful anthocyanins and flavanoids, which can inhibit colon cancer and heart diseases. They also reduce pain associated with inflammation.
West Indian Cherry juice can be taken as a pain reliever in gout and arthritis. The anthocyanins also protects the arteries from plaque buildup. University of Texas has found out that the melatonine present in cherry and cherry products could induce sleep. According to research conducted at University of Iowa, cherries contain perillyl alcohol, another potent anti-cancer agent. Vitamin C in cherry fruit acts as a powerful anti-oxidant, which prevents cell damage that eventually leads to diseases.
The West Indian Cherry is used extensively in nutritional supplements and in canning and processing industries. The ripe fruit has sour and slightly sweet taste. Apart from West Indian Cherry, other cherries are also nutritionally and medicinally rich. The day may not be far off when the doctor says "Take ten cherries and call me in the morning".