Vegetation Profile: Calabash Tree Fruit

mystery fruit

Back in May, I posted this picture and gave the following description:

I encountered this vegetation in Ho Tram and have no idea what it is. I’ve asked a couple of locals, but they were just as clueless as yours truly. One guy said it was related to gac fruit. All I know is that it’s hard, larger than a softball, heavier than it looks and definitely not a pomelo. Can anyone identify what fruit or vegetable this is?

I received a number of guesses from helpful readers, but no one hit the nail on the head. That is until Anh chimed in. “It looks like Trái Đào Tiên,” she wrote. “It belongs to the same family with Pomelo. Vietnamese use it as a medicine.” Ding ding!

After a bit of research using this pertinent new information, I discovered that the scientific name for the tree is Crescentia and that it is “a genus of six species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Florida, the Caribbean, southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. The species are small trees growing to 10 meters tall, and producing large spherical fruits up to half a meter in diameter.” I also learned that the Vietnamese use the dried Calabash fruit to cure such ailments as asthma and diarrhea.

Thank you, Anh. I’m so glad we have finally identified this mystery fruit. Woot!

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44 Responses to “Vegetation Profile: Calabash Tree Fruit”


  • not an expert, but that looks like either:
    – tra’i ba^n`
    – some sort of melon my mom once used in “canh” (soup) but I didn’t like it so I did not pay attention when she said what it was.

    How does the inside look like? It’s definitely not grapefruit is it? (cause the leaves kinda look like grapefruit leaves)

  • I know what it is. It’s name is vu sua. It’s sort of sweet.
    You eat the inside of it. It’s white inside, like milk (hence the name sua which means milk).
    It’s just a fruit you eat. You don’t use it in cooking especially.

  • Vivian – Not sure what the inside looks like, but it’s definitely not a grape fruit. Do you know anything else about the trai ban? I tried googling it but came up empty.

    Kim – This is vu sua. Thanks anyway ;-)

  • Definitely not a Vu Sua, several trees of which I had on my property in Puerto Rico years ago. My two sources (wife and neighbor) say its a “trai Bau” (sp??) and that it’s not good for anything. Still, it seems strange that anyone in Vietnam would grow something that had no use.

  • Is it a guava?

  • Definitely not guava. But keep guessing!

  • Maybe a Sal tree (Shorea robusta)?

  • It looks like Trái Đào Tiên. It belongs to the same family with Pomelo. Vietnamese use it as a medicine.

  • I know that it is not a guava…but it is a midicinal plant that can cured cough and headache….

  • Hi! Glad to come back. I guess you are in Hanoi or Sapa now. Have a good trip and keep writing! Looking forward to your new entries

  • I found this tree in the gardens while walking my dog.
    and at the base of the tree it read

    Mexican Calabash

    try this websit it tells a little more about the fruit an plant it self..

    or just google mexican calabash tree.

  • its wonder plant because of its medicinal use. It is so useful.

  • If it is what I think it is, it is called calabaso in Bocas del Toro, Panama. It is used to make dishes, cups, and bowls. The fruit is cut in half and the inside flesh is scraped out. The bowl is dried and can be used to hold water, soup, or other foods. I saw one that was 20 years old and still being used. The inside pulp has medicinal properties – used to expel parasites.

  • gerrylyne d. zuzon

    hello. my mother have this calabash tree for years.now,people ask fruits for medicinal use.can you send me details for its medicinal use?am just curious because they say it cures some ailments. thank you.

  • pls write more about this plant,ive been using this as a tea i boil the leaves and i feel very relaxed even my arthritis was cured..

  • You are correct. This is called crecentia cujete. It has many names such as totumo, guaje cirial, calabash. It has been used in my family for ailments such as whooping cough. I had only heard of it from my family. I then decided to look it up on the internet and found a lot of information and what is can be used for; including asthma, and many other respiratory ailments.

  • correction on the spelling. It is crescentia cujete l.

  • the lack of any scientific and pharmacological accounts on the medicinal value of the bark, leaves and fruits of what they call in Davao City, Philippines the loos names “Australian Tupperware”, “Miracle” tree all the more adds to the scramble for the right information except its historical and geographical origin. There must be some medicinal properties, though, because there is no poisonous imputations. As they do use it in Davao City, the cut the 3 – 5 month old fruit in two and take our the rind and cook it adding sugar to taste and makes it a jam, The leaves are boiled to prepare tea which is good for coughing and other respiratory ailments. The dhell dries up and used as plates, small basins and bowls.Sincew it belongs to thegourd family, we have tried cooking the young and tender fruit (1 – 3 months old) as we used with white squash, either as the Mexican “bacho”, sauteed with ground pork in garlic and onions colored with achuete or azuete.

  • this is a guaje cirial., and. is medical.,

  • Ya’ll must be children. I can’t believe you don’t know a Calabash Tree when you see one. Course I’m a southerner so we all know about these. You wait for the fruit to dry hard like a gourd. Then you carve it into bowls or spoons or whatever you need. Yes, it is medicinal too.

  • my friend’s aunt is on stage 4 bone cancer and she is drinking this calabash fruit and she can walk now.after hearing th is my Dad who is on stage 4 rectum cancer started taking it too. Dad sleeps soundly and has minimum complaints of pain after drinking it.

    well, i hope anyone out there has more information about this fruit. If it can cure cancer then this will surely help other cancer patients.

  • Well I prepared this herbal for many friends & patients and cured Cancer, High Blood, Shingles, Ashma ans With Respitory problem. It work well and I can’t believe the results after they took it. It make miracle.

  • I really enjoyed your website. Really good posts! Please continue posting such great cotent.

  • how will it cook..giv an idea

  • hi maam….what kind of ailments can use of miracle tree….maam is it true that the leaves of miracle tree is a medicine also?

  • atlast i hve known it just this day……we planted this tree since 2006…we hve a lot of it and produced maybe more than a hundred of fruit and continue hving its fruit…one time an old fella pass by on our house and saw it she told to my daughter that is a medecine and that many ailment can be cured ot it…..then shes gone and did come again…..until we found out that they say its true it is indeed a herbal medecine…..but for me its just a comforter as i will look it everyday it make me smile coz of its unbelievable characteristics such as the leaves as u pick it will be replace by another, its fruit if ripen and will fall after some days or months will have another……another info as they say yes it can cure ailments such as as they say, cancer, diabetis, asthma and many more….i already tasted its leaves(dried) taste like green tea taste more even better….

  • please help us where to get this kind of medicinal fruit. we need it badly for our brother who has a liver disease.

  • we are also asking anyone to please tell us on how to prepare this fruit to become medicine. thanks

  • we have that at home. my mom planted it and made it grow. it is known as “miracle fruit” because they say and my mom says that it can cure any illness… i’m not sure about that info because it sounds so ridiculous…but maybe i’m just the antagonist, because there are some people who are just passing by our house would stop by and ask if they can buy the fruit or even the leaves… my mom boils the leaves and let us drink it coz she says it’s medicine.. haha.. it smells so awful! (~_~)

    well, there were some testimonies that prove the fruit really cures.. my mom has a friend who have been undergoing dialysis and my mom gave her a juice made from the fruit…she is well now…that’s what my mom says..

    WE HAVE IT AT HOME! :) here in davao!

  • i think it is because calabash(cujte)fruit is very rich in pythochemicals which is good fighter for cancer cells that many who uses the fruit juice of this plant claimed healing from cancer and other ailments…me too is a cancer patient (stage 2c ovarian cancer) and is using the juice of this fruit..along with other herbs….

  • I thanked God for guiding me to know this fruit thru 1 of my friend whose mother had a cancer. My husband has an explainable sickness, that even the doctors advice us to go out from the hospital. we were at the ICU for 4 months under respirator w/ traecheostomy operation.Everybody would see him was no hope at all.when i started medicating him with the miracle fruit, his xray result started resolving and its amazing.

  • this is my topic to thesis and it has so many benefits that we can get from calabash(miracle fruit)my thesis is consumer awareness of medicinal benefit,nutrient value, and business potential of calabash fruit tree in davao city…

    if you are interested in this topic you can contact me. :-)

  • Marz: How can I contact you as I am doing some research on the calabash fruit and tree? I would like to write about it and would appreciate if you would kindly be able to provide me with some information on its curative properties.
    Thank you
    Bentee Banque

  • Hi, how are you doing, I would too am also doing some research on the calabash fruit and tree, is it possible for me to get intouch with you for assistance… please?

  • wow marz! im a student from xavier and my mother told me to research on calabash for my dad! i hope you can provide us with info soon

  • Hi,this miracle fruit as they call here in Davao is already included in Philippine Medicinal Plants as Calabash Tree, in Spanish Crescentia Cujete. Message for Zeth Gabuni & Jessie Mario: If you are from Davao, the fruit is available for sale in Bankerohan market at 150.00 (according to the mother of my former officemate who buy the fruit if her calabash tree runs out of matured fruits. she was a cancer patient). A resident of Durian St. in front of British Pub,Nova Tierra Vill. here in Davao is also selling the fruit grown from their yard at 100.00 a piece. I have one in my front yard which is also fruit bearing but we are consuming it for our own use.

  • @Marz and @Bentee Banque,

    Hello, I am doing research for possible topics to talk about in a big event for fruit producers here in Davao City. While searching in the internet, I stumbled upon this site and felt excited with this mystery fruit (many thanks Gastronomer :D).

    If it is possible, I’d like to know if Cujete has potential marketability? What I’ve found up to now are only information telling me that people use Cujete from their own backyard. Regarding the comment of Meldz Visitacion, this fruit is being sold to markets, which I assume are wet markets (palengke). Do you think there is a possibility that this fruit will be known in industries, the same way as bananas are very popular here in Davao City?

    Thank you :)

  • Where can I contact marz? I want to learn calabash tree?

  • Jay - Marz can be contacted at khidzkai [at] yahoo [dot] com.

  • its just a round fruit 25 in diameter and it can cured any respiratory conditions like cough etc.

  • some ailments that can cured by calabash fruit

  • we use this as a maintenance medication now.. my family are started to drink the juice of the pulp 1month ago.. my mom had a diabetes, Hypertention, Arthritis and its realy good to my moms health. even my dad he had a prostate cancer and its realy help. try this fruit guys and see the miracle effect.. try to do not cook, just squiz it with net and put it to refregearator for morthan 15 hours and the test so good.

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