Atis is a small tree 3 to 5 meters
in height. Leaves are somewhat hairy when young, oblong, 8 to 15 centimeters long, with a petiole
1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves, about
2.5 centimeters long, pendulous, hairy, three-angled, light green to yellow. Fruit is
large, somewhat heart-shaped, 6 to 9 centimeters long, the outside marked with knobby
polygonal tubercles. When ripe, the fruit is light yellowish-green. Flesh is
white, sweet, soft, and juicy, with a mild and very agreeable flavor.
- Cultivated throughout
the Philippines; occasionally spontaneous.
- Introduced from tropical America by the Spaniards.
- Now pantropic.
Parts used and preparation
Leaves, fruit and
The leaves yield an alkaloid,
Anonaine, an alkaloid, is found in the bark, leaves and seeds.
Seed yields an alkaloid, neurtral resin, fixed oil.
Seed contains a yellow, non-drying oil and an irritant which kills lice.
The leaves, fruit and seeds are vermicidal and insecticidal.
The unripe fruit is astringent, used for diarrhea and dysentery and
The bark is astringent and tonic.
Roots make a drastic purgative.
Leaves are emmenagogue, febrifuge, tonic
Insecticide, antiovulatory, abortifacient.
Salted bruised leaves
used to hasten suppuration.
Bark decoction is used as tonic and to stop diarrhea.
Root has purgative action.
Leaf decoction used for rheumatic baths to alleviate pain.
For fainting and hysteria,
crush fresh leaves and place over nose.
For infected insect bites, pound and extract the juice from one unripe
fruit and apply the juice directly to the affected areas, 3 times daily.
For lice infestation of the head, atis has a herbal treatment regimen:
(1) Shampoo hair with gugo bark or any commercial shampoo daily for
one week; with "suyod" combing twice daily.
(2) For lice eggs (nits), apply hot vinegar for half an hour after shampooing;
then "suyod" (fine combing) thoroughly.
(3) Bedtime, pound 1/2 cup of atis seeds and mix with 1/4 cup of oil.
Apply mixture throroughly to the scalp and hair. Wrap the hair and head
overnight. Shampoo in the morning and follow with fine tooth combing.
Do daily for 3-5 days.
(4) Paste of the crushed seeds in water, applied to the scalp. The same
used as abortifacient applied to the os uteri.
In Northern India, young leaves used for diabetes.
In Malaysia, used for skin infections, diarrhea, dysentery and UTIs.
Eaten raw or makes a delicious
The fermented fruit used to make cider.
The blackened aborted
atis fruit is a preferred by some healers as an ingredient in the making
of the "unton," used for bales.
Anti-Inflammatory / Cyclic Peptides: Study yielded two new cyclic peptides, cyclosquamosin H and I, together with six known cyclic peptides, squamin A, squamin B, cyclosquamosin A, D E and cherimolacyclopeptide B from the seeds. Compound 7 showed an inhibitory effect on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Cytotoxicity / Anticancer: (1) Extracts of A squamosa fruit pericarp was tested for cytotoxic activity against Dalton's lymphoma cells and HeLa cells. The chloroform extract was found cytotoxic to the different cell lines tested and suggests the potential for AS fruit pericarp for the development of treatment for cancers.
• Antidiabetic: (1) Beneficial effects of Annona squamosa
extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: Study results
showed that A. squamosa extract has an antihyperglycemic effect and
alleviated liver and renal damage associated with STZ-induced diabetes
mellitus in rats. (2) Study of aqueous leaf extracts were investiaged on STZ-nicotinamide induced diabetic rats. The diabetic groups treated with aqueous leaf extract were compared with standard glibenclamide.
• Anti-Cancer / Squadiolins: Mono-tetrahydrofuran Annonaceous Acetogenins
from Annona squamosa as Cytotoxic Agents and Calcium Ion Chelators: Squadiolins A and B showerd potency against human Hep G2 and 3B hepatoma
and MCF-y breast cancer cells.
• Hepatoprotective: (1) Study on diethylnitrosamine-induced liver injury in Swiss albino mice showed hepatoprotective effect, with improvement in biochemical parameters and confirmation by histopathological studies. (2) Study showed the extracts of Annona squamosa were not able to completely revert the hepatic injury induced by isoniazid + rifampin, but it could limit the effect of the drugs on the liver. The effect compared with standard drug silymarin. (3) Administration of methanolic extracts of A. squamosa significantly prevented isoniazid-rifampicin-induced elevation in liver marker enzymes, together with increased total protein and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels.
• Antibacterial: Study screened the ethanol crude extract of the fruit of A squamosa for antimicrobial activity against some pathogenic microorganisms. It showed inhibitory activity against S aureus and S pneumoniae. Results conclude the plant extract may serve as a valuable source of compounds with therapeutic antibiotic potentials.
• Antithyroid Activity / Quercetin: Extract of the seeds of A squamosa was evaluated for it ameliorative effect in the regulation of hyperthyroidism in a mouse model. Phytochemical study revealed the presence of quercetin in the seed extract and the results of the effects of quercetin suggest an involvement of this phytochemical in the mediation of antithyroidal activity of A squamosa seed extract.
• Antigenotoxic Activity: Study showed both aqueous and ethanolic bark extracts of A squamosa showed antigenotoxic effect. The bark extract demonstrated more prominent antigenotoxic effect in DBMA induced genotoxicity in Syrian hamsters.
• Antiplasmodial Activity: Methanolic extract of Annona squamosa leaves showed high antiplasmodial activity. Preliminary studies yielded terpenoids and traces of phenolic principles with no alkaloids, tannins or flavonoids.
• Molluscicidal Activity: Study on molluscicidal activity of leaves, bark and seed of Annona squamosa against snail Lymnaea acuminata was studied. Highest activity was observed in the seed extracts. The acetogenins from the seed were more toxic than synthetic pesticides.
• Anti-Head Lice Activity: Study identified the active compounds against head lice from the hexane extract of Annona squamosa seeds. The two major compounds were oleic acid and triglyceride with one oleate ester. The triglyceride with one oleate ester and the crude hexane extract diluted with coconut oil 1:1 were found to kill all tested head lice.
• Lipoxygenase Inhibition: Study yielded from the seeds a novel lipoxygenase inhibitor fatty acid ester, (+) - annonlipoxy, which showed enzyme inhibitory activity against lipoxygenase. The crude ethanolic extract of fruit pulp and seeds of AS also exhibited lipoxygenase inhibition.
• Gestational Malformation Alleviation: Study diabetic albino rats concluded the gestational use of A. squamosa tends to alleviate the diabetes induced fetal malformations.
• Antimicrobial / Phytochemicals: Phytochemial screening yielded phenols, tannins, alkaloids, saponins, flavanoids, reducing sugars and oil. The methanol extract showed maximum antibacterial activity against E. coli. Seed extract showed maximum antifungal activity against T. rubrum.
• Antimalarial Alkaloids: Bark extract yielded N-Nitrosoxylopine, roemerolidine and duguevalline. All compounds showed moderate activity against a chloroquine-sensitive strain and a chloroquine-resistant strain of Pl falcifarum.
Small or large scale cultivation for fruit produce.