Article from the Tropical Fruit News magazine of the Miami Rare Fruit Council International
by Bob G Cannon II

New Benefits from Miracle Fruit

Few growers of tropical fruits are unaware of the Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, and its property of confusing one's taste buds. The small red fruit of this African species are used locally to enhance the flavor of native foods. Collectors and researchers throughout the world grow this plant mostly as a curiosity. The fascinating principle of a fruit that turns sour to sweet ensures this plant a place in many collections. Few can resist the "Old Sweet Lime" trick where a visitor is given a miracle fruit to sample (alone, they are nothing special) but no explanation, shortly thereafter the unwitting visitor is given a "new, special sweet lime" to taste. EuREKA! Good lime flavor but no sweetener needed, what a great lime! Kinder-hearted trickster inform the person of what really happened and send them away with a couple of miracle fruit of possible. Some victims are given a "sweet" lime to take-home to the spouse -- and no explanation.

For years Rare Fruit Council members have been growing ,eating and distributing miracle fruit seed, RFCI founder William Whitman has eaten hundreds at a time (the best way to clean any fruit seed) and reports never having had an adverse effect.

Over 20 years ago miracle fruit was slated for development as a sugar alternative. The problem of use and storage were solved and plans underway to see the product marketed. (Not as easy as you might think, as to work its miracle, the active element needs to be eaten before the sour or unsweetened food). Plants were being grown in some number to supply the glycoprotein that serves to reverse sour to sweet.

This glycoprotein is the chemical, contained in the fruit's juice, that coats the tongue. One on the tongue the glycoprotein interferes with the sour taste buds causing sour-tasting foods to become sweetened as if by magic.

The full story of the attempt to commercialize miracle fruit contains the appearance of industrial espionage, burglary and government misuse of power. The true" story and all of the facts may never be known but a good basic accounting of the fruit and these events appears in Tropic Fruit News April 1992.

With this history it would be easy to think that the miracle fruit's story had been told. Recent events have now produced what may be the most beneficial if not the most useful application of miracle fruit. The use of miracle fruit as an adjunct of cancer chemotherapy.

Ed Kraujalis, a longtime member of the Rare Fruit Council International, recently was diagnosed with cancer and underwent therapy. The good news is that Ed appears to have won his battle with cancer.

One interesting discovery he made was the use of miracle fruit to combat the severe effects of chemotherapy. His letter, which is quite enlightening, is reproduced here:

Miracle Fruit and Chemotherapy by Ed Krasujalis

As Ed says, please let us know if you have had experience with Synsepalum dulcifium and relief of adverse effects from medications. We, and the research community, need to know if miracle fruit can help patients who suffer taste or nausea problems. (Yes, powerful anti-nausea drugs are frequently given but they have their own side effects. In patients where chemotherapy and the resultant effects has caused nutritional problems could miracle fruit be of significant benefit?)

If any reader is undergoing medical therapy that has caused unpleasant taste changes or nausea, speak with your doctor before trying miracle fruit. It is time for the research establishment to conduct the necessary tests and trails on S. dulcifium, the University of Miami Medical School! Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami would be a good starting place as would several others.

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Cannon II, Bob G. "New Benefits Miracle Fruit." Tropical Fruit News, Volume 29 - Mar. 1995. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

Published 17 Jan. 2017 LR
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