Carissa carandas is a species of flowering shrub in the dogbane family Apocynaceae. It produces berry-sized fruits that are commonly used as a condiment in Indian pickles and spices. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that thrives well in a wide range of soils. Common names in English include Bengal currant, Christ's thorn, carandas plum and karanda.
It flourishes well in regions with high temperatures. It grows naturally in Western Ghats and in the Siwalik Hills of Himalayas in India and Nepal at elevations of 30 to 1,800 metres (98 to 5,906 ft). It also grows naturally in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In rest of India, it is grown on a limited scale in Konkan area of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. It also grows in the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests.
The plant is grown from seed sown in August and September. Vegetative propagation also is practiced in the form of budding and inarching. Cuttings may also succeed. The first monsoon shower is planting time. Plants raised from seed start bearing two years after planting. Flowering starts in March and in Northern India the fruit ripens from July to September.
Isolation of many terpenoids has been reported. In particular mixture of sesquiterpenes namely carissone  and carindone as a novel type of C31 terpenoid have been reported. Other products include pentacyclic triterpenoid carissin.
Medicine and foodEdit
Its fruit is used in the ancient Indian herbal system of medicine, Ayurvedic, to treat acidity, indigestion, fresh and infected wounds, skin diseases, urinary disorders and diabetic ulcer, as well as biliousness, stomach pain, constipation, anemia, skin conditions, anorexia and insanity. Leaf decoction is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache. The roots serve as a stomachic, an anthelmintic medicine for itches and also as insect repellents.
It was use in the Great Hedge of India (1803-1879 CE) because it is easy to grow, draught resistant and sturdy shrub that grows in a variety of soil, is also ideal for hedges as it growing rapidly, densely and needs little attention.
The roots of the plant are heavily branched, making it valuable for stabilizing eroding slopes.
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- Benefits of Carvanda, Fruitsinfo.com.
- Summer brings astringently delicious karonda, a fruit that's ripe for pickling, Economic Times, June 2012.
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