Botanical name: Crescentia cujete | Hindi: कमंडल | Marathi: कमंडल | English: Beggar Bowl Tree, Calabash
AboutThe Calabash tree, Crescentia cujete, is a tropical evergreen known for its distinctive large, spherical fruits. Reaching up to 25 feet in height, it features broad, leathery leaves and greenish-yellow flowers. The smooth, hard shell of its fruit is utilized for various purposes. The tree thrives in warm climates, showcasing a unique growth pattern with a wide canopy.
Medicinal Uses: In traditional medicine, Calabash tree parts are employed for their therapeutic properties. The fruit shell is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, used in treating wounds and skin conditions. Additionally, infusions from its leaves are utilized for digestive issues.
Culture & Tradition:The Calabash tree holds cultural significance across many regions. Its gourd-like fruits are crafted into containers, musical instruments, and decorative items. In some cultures, these vessels are considered sacred and are used in rituals, symbolizing abundance and spirituality.
- It is used as a utensil for carrying water and storing food extensively in African houses.
- In Cuba, the dried fruit is commonly used as a coffee cup by rural farmers.
Anandvan Trivia QuizQuestion 1: How do beggars, sadhus, musicians and hunters use my fruit?
Answer: The fruit of the Beggar Bowl tree get’s it’s name from the large fruit, who outer shell after drying can be used as a bowl. The large shell is known to be used in several other ways:
- As a Kamandal or bowl by beggars and Sadhus.
- In Colombia, the dried fruit is halved and then partially filled with either stones, beads, seeds, broken glass or a combination and is then used to keep the rhythm in bullerengue music. In Western and Southern Africa it is also used for musical instruments.
- Hunters use it as a mask while trying to sneak close to an animal or fish.