GOOSEBERRY - 10lbs
Intestinal beams are also known as guts, clusters of intestines, nettles, aluminum mak (Vientian). Scientific name Phyllanthus distichus Meull, Arg. (Phyllanthus acidus Skeels, Cicca disticha L.). Belongs to the castor family Euphorbiaceae. The gut is a small, smooth-stemmed tree. The branches have light gray bark, on the top there are many scars of old leaves. Young branches smooth pale green. The leaves are soft, thin, the upper surface is light green, the lower surface is lighter, the length is 4-5cm, the width is 18-20mm, the petiole side is obtuse or slightly rounded, the blade tip is pointed. Flowers grow in cymbal with stamens on small thin branches, 6-15cm long, clustered in clusters of 4-7 flowers on round nodes, in between fallen leaves. Fruit capsule, 4 pieces, pale black when ripe, 5mm diameter with slightly co-mature calyx, peduncle about 7mm long.
Gooseberry (Phyllanthus acidus), or Otaheite gooseberry, Malay gooseberry, starberry, arbari, is an edible small yellow berry which can be found throughout Asia and also in the Caribbean region, Central and South America.
While it produces some fruit throughout the year, it is mainly harvested in January. As the fruit does not soften when ripe, it is harvested when the fruit begins to drop.
Although it tastes sour and tart when eaten fresh, the fruit can be used to make wonderful dishes such as sour soup. It is candied as well, usually stored in jars with syrup. Liberally sugared, it is also used to make fruit juice, which can be served with ice in hot summer.
The plant is also used medicinally. The peppered leaves are used to make a poultice to treat sciatica, lumbago and rheumatism (but have been observed to cause low blood pressure when combined with nitrates), while the seeds are used as a cathartic and the root, if prepared with care, as a purgative.
The syrup is used to medicate the stomach, and in India the fruit is eaten as a blood-enhancer for the liver. The gooseberry contains 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, caffeic acid, adenosine, kaempferol and hypogallic acid.