Family: Annonaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Ata, Sharifa, Luna.

English Name: Custard Apple, Sweetsop.

Description of the Plant:

A small evergreen tree with somewhat bushy habit. Leaves 5-7.5 cm long, oblong-lanceolate or elliptic. Flowers solitary, 2.5 cm long, leaf-opposed, on short extra-axillary branchlets. Petals 3, narrow-oblong. Fruits globose, 5-10 cm diam. fleshy, surface tuberculate.

Using Information:

The root is considered as a drastic purgative. The bark is astringent, used in diarrhoea. An infusion of the leaves is considered efficacious in prolapsus ani of children; and the bruised leaves with salt make a cataplasm to induce suppuration. Ripe fruit is a good tonic, cooling, maturant, laxative and anthelmintic; lessens burning sensation and sedative to the heart. The seeds are abortifacient, powerful irritant of the conjunctiva. The seeds and leaves are used as insecticide, fish poison and to kill lice of head.

Aquous and alcoholic extract of leaf is spasmogenic, spasmolytic, oxytocic and cardiorespiratory in animals. Seed extracts showed antiimplantation in rats and antifertility in albino mice (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves and tender stem contain the alkaloids, anonaine, roemerine, norcorydine, corydine, norlaureline, isocorydine, norisocorydine, glaucine xylopine and lanuginosine. They also contain friedelin, alkaloids, (-)-xylopine (+)-methoxyarmepavine and lanuginosine, an essential oil and hydrocyanic acid. Major constituent of essential oil are ß-cedrene and ß-caryophyllene. Fruit pulp contains polyphenols, vitamin C and folic acid. Peel yields oil (0.1%), containing a and ß-pinenes and limonene. Roots and roots barks contain the alkaloids, anonaine, corydine, isocorydine, glaucine, michelalbine, oxoushinsunine, reticuline and analobine; diazepine and squamolone.


The roots also contain an essential oil, major constituents of which are ß-caryophyllene, a-pinene, a-humulene and a-gurjunene. They also contain sterols, monoterpenes and diterpenes. The acetogenins, squamotacin and molvizarin have been isolated from bark. The seed oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, oleic and linoleic acids (Ghani, 2003). Roots and bark also contains ß-sitosterol, camphor, borneol and a new monoterpenoid, which is laxative in human. Roots also contain alkaloids, L (+)-reticuline and and five kaurane related diterpenoids (Asolkar et al., 1992).


Planted throughout the country.