Root cutting Size : 5" - 7" Inches
Breadfruit is an evergreen tree with a wide crown; it can grow up to 30 metres tall, though is usually smaller.The straight, cylindrical bole, which is often buttressed, can be 1.8 metres in diameter. The tree can become deciduous when grown in areas with a distinct dry season.
A multipurpose tree with a wide range of traditional uses as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is especially valued for its edible fruit and also provides a commercial timber known as 'terap'. The tree has been cultivated as a food crop since prehistory in Malaya. It is now widely cultivated in most tropical regions for its edible fruit and seeds and has become a staple food in many regions.
Breadfruit is a versatile food that can be cooked and eaten at all stages of its development.The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked.
The unripe fruit, as small as 2 - 6cm in diameter, is eaten as a starchy vegetable with a flavour similar to that of artichoke hearts.It can be prepared in various ways including boiling, baking, added to soups, pickling etc.
Ripe fruits are somewhat sweet and are occasionally eaten raw, but are more often cooked as a starchy vegetable or fermented into a cheese-like food. The mature fruit can be dried and ground into a flour. The mature fruit is about 20cm long.
Compared with other staple starch crops, breadfruit is a better source of protein than is cassava; it is comparable to sweet potato and banana.It is a relatively good source of iron, calcium, potassium and riboflavin.
Seed - cooked. Firm and close-textured, they are very nutritious, with a flavour somewhat reminiscent of chestnuts.They can be cooked with the raw breadfruit or removed and boiled or roasted.They are usually peeled before being eaten. Both fresh and cooked seeds contain about 8% protein.The seeds are low in fat compared with tree nuts such as almond, brazil nut and macadamia nut, which contain 50 - 70% fat.The seeds are a good source of minerals and contain more niacin than cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, black walnuts or chestnuts.
Male inflorescence - cooked and used as a vegetable or used in the preparation of a sweetmeat.
Breadfruit has a very wide range of applications in traditional medicine with all parts of the plant being utilised in the treatment of a range of conditions.Research has shown the presence of a number of active compounds in the plant:-
The fruit contains artocarpine and the enzyme papayotine.
The leaf contains the phenols quercetin and camphorol, plus gamma-aminobutyric acid, which lowers the blood pressure.
The stem-bark and fruit contain cyclopropane sterols.
The toasted flowers are rubbed on the gums around aching teeth to ease pain.An extract from the flowers is effective in treating ear oedema.
Latex is massaged into the skin to treat broken bones, bruises, sprains, abscesses etc, and is bandaged on the spine to relieve sciatica. It is commonly used to treat puncture wounds in the eyes.skin ailments and fungal diseases such as thrush.The latter is also treated with crushed leaves.Diluted latex is taken internally to treat diarrhoea, stomach-ache and dysentery.Latex and juice from the crushed leaves are both traditionally used to treat ear infections.
A filtrate of new, unfolded leaves is employed as a remedy for fish poisoning and as a muscle relaxant in cases of convulsive spasms. The yellowing leaf is brewed into a tea and taken to reduce high blood pressure.
The tea is also thought to control diabetes.Hypertension and diabetes medications are prepared from a mixture of the boiled leaves of this species combined with Persea americana, Carica papaya and Annona muricata.The leaves are used in Taiwan to treat liver diseases and fevers.
The root is an astringent and is used as a purgative.Pressed fluid of the root is used in the treatment of respiratory ailments which include difficult, painful breathing.When macerated it is used as a poultice for skin ailments.
The bark is used to treat headache. Bark extracts exhibited strong cytotoxic activities against leukaemia cells in tissue culture, and extracts from roots and stem barks showed some antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and may have potential in treating tumours.
Liquid squeezed from the bark or leaves is given to remedy chest pains and vomiting resulting from heart trouble.
Pressed liquid from the stem bark is employed in the treatment of pain in the bones and maternal postpartum infections. The bark is also used to treat stomach aches and digestive tract problems.
Fluid pressed from young fruit is given to treat an illness which causes pain in the lungs and vomiting of blood.
*Seed - best extracted from ripe fruits and sown immediately as they lose viability within a few weeksThey are planted about 5 cm apart and 1 cm deep.The seed germinates best at a temperature of 24 - 27c.Some 85% germinate about 2 weeks after sowing. The germination bed should be kept moist. Seedlings can be transplanted into individual containers as soon as they sprout.
They grow quickly and are ready for planting in the field when they are about 1 year old.
*Root cuttings. These are best collected during the dormant season immediately preceding the renewal of growth, or at the beginning of that period, when carbohydrate stores in roots are highest. The dormant period (2-3 months) begins immediately after the crop ripens.