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Family Anonaceae
Atis
Annona squamosa Linn.
SUGAR APPLE

Fan li zhi

Scientific names  Common names 
Annona squamosa Linn. Ates (Tag.) 
Annona asiatica Linn. Atis (Tag.) 
Annona cinerea Dunal Yates (Tag.)
Annona forskahlii DC. Sugar apple (Engl.)
Annona glabra Forssk. Sweetsop (Engl.)
  Fan li zhi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Lin qin, Ma luo tuo, Yang bo luo.
DUTCH: Kaneelappel.
FRENCH: Annone écailleuse, Cachiman cannelle (Haiti), Pomme cannelle (Antilles).
GERMAN: Rahmapfel, Süßsack, Schuppenannone (Rehm) , Schuppen-Annone, Zimtapfel, Zuckerapfel.
HINDI: Raamaphal, Shariiphaa, Sitaphal.
ITALIAN: Mela canella, Pomo canella.
JAPANESE: Banreishi.
LAOTIAN: Khièb.
MALAY: Buah nona, Sarikaya (Prosea) (Indonesia), Seri kaya, Srikaya (Prosea) (Indonesia).
NEPALESE: Shariiphaa, Sariphal, Sitaaphal.
PORTUGUESE: Atá, Ateira, Cabeça-de-negro, Condessa, Coração-de-boi, Fruta da condessa, Fruta de condessa, Fruta do conde, Pinheira.
SANSKRIT: Gandhagatra, Shubba.
SPANISH: Ahate, Anón, Anón candonga, Anona blanca,Anona de Castilla, Chirimoya, Rinón.
THAI: Noina.

Botany
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.

Distribution
- Cultivated throughout the Philippines; occasionally spontaneous.
- Introduced from tropical America by the Spaniards.
- Now pantropic.


Constituents
- The leaves yield an alkaloid, chloroplatinate.
- Anonaine, an alkaloid, is found in the bark, leaves and seeds.
- Seed yields an alkaloid, neutral resin, fixed oil.
- Seed contains a yellow, non-drying oil and an irritant which kills lice.

Properties
- The leaves, fruit and seeds are vermicidal and insecticidal.
- The unripe fruit is astringent, used for diarrhea and dysentery and dyspepsia.
- The bark is astringent and tonic.
- Roots make a drastic purgative.
- Leaves are emmenagogue, febrifuge, tonic
- Insecticide, antiovulatory, abortifacient.

Parts used
Leaves, fruit and seeds.

Uses
Folkloric
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 thoroughly 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.
Nutrition
Eaten raw or makes a delicious ice cream.
The fermented fruit used to make cider.
Others
The blackened aborted atis fruit is a preferred by some healers as an ingredient in the making of the "unton," used for bales.

Studies
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:
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 investigated 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 showed potency against human Hep G2 and 3B hepatoma and MCF-y breast cancer cells.
Hepatoprotective / DEN-induced Hepatotoxicity:
Study on diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver injury in Swiss albino mice showed hepatoprotective effect, with improvement in biochemical parameters and confirmation by histopathological studies. (5)
Hepatoprotective: 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.
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. (6)
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. (7)
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. (8)
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. (9)
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. (10)
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.(11)
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. (12)
Hepatoprotective / INH-Rifampicin Induced Enzyme Elevation: 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. (16)
Gestational Malformation Alleviation:
Study diabetic albino rats concluded the gestational use of A. squamosa tends to alleviate the diabetes induced fetal malformations. (17)
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. (18)
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.
(19)
Antioxidant / Leaves:
Extract of leaves showed only moderate scavenging activity of superoxide radicals and antilipid peroxidation potential. (23)
Antioxidant / Stem Bark:
Extract of stem bark was evaluated for antibacterial activity against Bacillus coagulans and Escherichia coli. Results showed activity on test bacteria. (25)
Hypoglycemic / Leaves:
Hot water extract of leaves showed a beneficial effect in controlling elevated blood glucose in alloxan and STZ-induced diabetic rabbit and rat models. Preliminary data suggest various mechanisms: pancreatic release of insulin and uptake of glucose through specific receptor. (26)
Cytotoxic Acetogenins / Seeds / Anticancer on Five Tumor Cell Lines:
Study of seeds isolated six new annonaceious acetogenins, annosquacins A-D, annosquatin A and annosquatin B. The compounds exhibited potent cytotoxic activity in vitro against five human tumor cell lines, and 5 and 6 showed high selectivity toward MCF-7 and A-549 cell lines. (27)

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Small or large scale cultivation for fruit produce.
 

Last Update June 2013

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Antitumor constituents from Annona squamosa fruit pericarp / Beena Joy and P. Remani / Medicinal Chemistry Research • Volume 17, Numbers 2-7 / June, 2008 / DOI 10.1007/s00044-007-9070-3
(2)
Beneficial effects of Annona squamosa extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Kaleem M, Medha P, Ahmed Q U, Asif M, Bano B
(3)
Mono-tetrahydrofuran Annonaceous Acetogenins from Annona squamosa as Cytotoxic Agents and Calcium Ion Chelators /Chih-Chuang Liaw, Yu-Liang Yang, Mei Chen, Fang-Rong Chang, Shu-Li Chen, Shih-Hsiung Wu and Yang-Chang Wu

(4)
Antidiabetic activity of aqueous leaf extract of Annona squamosa in streptozotocin–nicotinamide type 2 diabetic rats / Annie Shirwaikar et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 91, Issue 1, March 2004, Pages 171-175 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2003.12.017
(5)
The hepatoprotective effect of alcoholic extract of Annona squamosa leaves on experimentally induced liver disease in swiss albino mice / D Sobiya Raj et al / International Journ of Integrative Biology • Vol 5, No 3, 182, 2009
(6)
Antibacterial Activity of Annona squamosa Linnaeus (Annonaceae) / Au T S et al / Investing in Innovation 2003
(7)
Annona squamosa seed extract in the regulation of hyperthyroidism and lipid-peroxidation in mice: possible involvement of quercetin / Panda, S.; Kar, A. / Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology | December 01, 2007 | Panda, S.; Kar, A.
(8)
Protective role of Annona squamosa linn bark extracts in DMBA induced genotoxicity / K Suresh et al / Kathmandu University Medical Journal, Vol 6, No 3 (2008)
(9)
Antiplasmodial activity of selected Sudanese medicinal plants with emphasis on Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell. / Ahmed El Tahir et al / Journ of Ethnopharmacology • Vol 64, Issue 3, pp 227-233, March 1999 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00129-9
(10)
Molluscicidal Activity of the Custard Apple (Annona squamosa L.) Alone and in Combination with Other Plant Derived Molluscicides / Amrita Singh et al / Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants, Volume 8, Issue 1 May 2001 , pages 23 - 29 / DOI: 10.1300/J044v08n01_04
(11)
ANTI-HEAD LICE EFFECT OF ANNONA SQUAMOSA SEEDS / Junya Intaranongpai et al / SOUTHEAST ASIAN J TROP MED PUBLIC HEALTH • Vol 37 No. 3 May 2006
(12)
Lipoxygenase inhibition by novel fatty acid ester from Annona squamosa seeds / Nighat Sultana / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 23, Issue 6 December 2008 , pages 877 - 881 / DOI: 10.1080/14756360701747334
(13)
New Cyclic Peptides from the Seeds of Annona squamosa L. and Their Anti-inflammatory Activities / Yu-Liang Yang et al / J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 386–392
(14)
Sorting Annona names / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
(15)
Hepatoprotective activity of Annona squamosa Linn. on experimental animal model / Mohamed Saleem TS, Christina AJM et al / International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products, Vol. 1(3), pp. 1-7, Sep/Oct 2008
(16)
PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF ANNONA SQUAMOSA LINN IN ISONIAZID-RIFAMPICIN INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN RATS / Mohamed Saleem Thattakudian Sheik Uduman, Ramkanth Sundarapandian et al / Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., Vol.24, No.2, April 2011, pp.129-134
(17)
EFFECTS OF ANNONA SQUAMOSA LEAVE EXTRACT ON GROSS CONGENITAL ANOMALIES IN DIABETIC ALBINO RATS / Mah Jabeen Munira, Mohammad Tahir et al / Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journ, June 2010, No 2.
(18)
Evaluation of Antimicrobial activity of Annona squamosa / L V.R.Kulkarni, C.Chandrashekar / JPBR Vol. 1, Issue 1, May 2011
(19)
Antimalarial alkaloids isolated from Annona squamosa / Tylor Johns, Arnold Windust et al / Phytopharmacology 2011, 1(3) 49-53
(20)
Biological Studies on Fruit Pulp and Seeds of Annona squamosa / K F Ahmad and N Sultana / Jour Chem Soc Pak, Vol 25, No 4, 2003
(21)
Annona squamosa L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(22)
Sorting Annona names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
(23)
In vitro antioxidant studies of Annona squamosa Linn. leaves. / Shirwaikar A, Rajendran K, Kumar CD. / Indian J Exp Biol. 2004 Aug;42(8):803-7.
(24)
Inhibition Effect of Alkaloids Extract from Annona Squamosa Plant on the Corrosion of C38 Steel in Normal Hydrochloric Acid Medium / M. Lebrini, F. Robert2, C. Roos / Int. J. Electrochem. Sci., 5 (2010) 1698 - 1712
(25)
SCREENING OF STEM BARK METHANOL EXTRACT OF ANNONA SQUAMOSA FOR ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY / KACHHAWA J.B.S., SHARMA N., TYAGI, S., SHARMA K.K. / International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical, Vol 4, Issue 1, 2012
(26)
Hypoglycaemic and antidiabetic effect of aqueous extract of leaves of Annona squamosa (L.) in experimental animal / Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Achyut Narayan Kesari, Geeta Watal, P. S. Murthy, Ramesh Chandra, Kapil Maithal and Vibha Tandon* /
(27)
Six cytoxic annonaceous acetogenins from Annona squamosa seeds
/ CHEN Yong, CHEN Jianwei, WANG Yu, XU Shasha, LI Xiang /


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