9 Side Effects of Wood Apples

Wood apple, also known as Limonia acidissima, is an edible fruit found in parts of South and Southeast Asia. It has long been used for its purported health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, and hepatoprotective properties.

However, there are reports of adverse reactions related to wood apple consumption, including nausea, vomiting, and liver toxicity. Limited research has been conducted into the potential risks associated with consuming this fruit, so it is important to understand both the pros and cons before incorporating wood apples into one’s diet. Doing so can help individuals make informed decisions about their health.

What Is Wood Apple

Wood apple is a tropical fruit native to India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It has rough, dark brown skin with soft yellowish pulp inside full of small seeds. Nutritional value includes calcium, phosphorus, iron, carbohydrates, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. Medicinal benefits include constipation relief, indigestion remedy, liver stimulation, eczema treatment, and anti-inflammatory effects on body tissues.

Wood apples are used in juices, decoctions, pastes, and honey for various medical treatments. They contain essential vitamins and minerals that make them a healthy addition to any diet. From centuries of cultivation in Southeast Asia, wood apples have become an important part of traditional cuisine as well as natural medicine.

wood apple side effects

Nutritional Benefits

Wood apples are a nutrient-rich fruit that offers numerous health benefits. They contain vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, as well as antioxidants, making them an ideal choice for any diet. Wood apples also have a low-fat content of 1 gram per 100-gram serving size and only 50 calories in the same portion. Furthermore, their low glycemic index rating makes them suitable for managing blood sugar levels.

Additionally, wood apples possess anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce chronic inflammation and help protect from diseases. The presence of phytonutrients further supports a healthy immune system and aids digestion. Therefore, incorporating wood apples into one’s diet is beneficial for overall health.

Common Uses Of Wood Apple

Wood apples are a unique and versatile fruit with many uses. Their pulp can be made into juice, jam, chutney, tea, and syrup. Juice is a popular beverage in some countries, while jam is often spread on bread or toast. Chutney is an essential accompaniment to Indian meals, and tea made from the leaves has numerous health benefits. Syrup extracted from wood apples is used to sweeten beverages and desserts. The pulp of this fruit can also be added to smoothies, pickles, and candies. Wood apple powder is used as a thickening agent in curries, stews, and shakes, and as a natural sweetener in other drinks. All these products make wood apples a highly valued ingredient around the world.

Potential Allergies

Wood apple allergy or sensitivity is a condition caused by the presence of histamine-releasing compounds in the fruit. Symptoms can include itching, sneezing, coughing, swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. People who suffer from related food allergies should consult their doctor before trying anything containing wood apple extract or pulp.

If any adverse symptoms occur after consumption it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately. It is important to take precautions when consuming products made with wood apples such as jams and jellies if you have an existing allergy or intolerance.

Drug Interactions

Wood apples have the potential to interact with drugs, supplements, and over-the-counter medications. It is important to discuss wood apple consumption with a healthcare professional before consuming them.

People taking prescription pharmaceuticals should not take wood apples as it could lead to an overdose. Alcohol consumption can result in contraindication symptoms such as headaches and dizziness when combined with wood apples; therefore, abstaining from drinking alcoholic beverages is recommended.

To avoid any adverse reactions, individuals should consult their doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions between wood apples and other medications or supplements being taken.

Digestive Issues

Wood apple is known to be beneficial for digestive health. It can help with stomach cramps, indigestion symptoms, constipation relief, and gas relief. Wood apple juice has laxative properties, so it should be consumed in moderate amounts to avoid potential side effects of excessive consumption. Regular intake of wood apples may also provide relief from abdominal discomfort and nausea.

However, too much juice can cause further intestinal distress, so it’s important to consume only a small amount per day.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Wood apple is a fruit with potential cardiovascular side effects. Studies on mice have shown a decrease in resting heart rate after two weeks of eating the fruit. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease or other forms of heart disease from long-term consumption. However, consuming wood apples can also have benefits including improved blood pressure and lowered cholesterol levels.

As more research needs to be done to fully understand its impact on health, individuals should talk to their healthcare professionals before adding it to their diet.

Skin Irritations

Wood apples have been linked to skin irritation. Symptoms such as rashes, hives, eczema, itching, inflammation, and sensitivity can occur after contact with the fruit or its juices. If you experience any of these reactions, wash the affected area with soap and water to avoid further discomfort. In extreme cases, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Before consuming wood apples in any form, it is advisable to consult a doctor to assess potential risks based on one’s health condition. Taking necessary precautions before introducing new foods into your diet can help reduce the risk of an adverse reaction.

Eye Problems

Consumption of wood apples can lead to a variety of eye problems, such as wood-apple-eye-strain, dry eyes, and glaucoma. In severe cases, retinal damage may occur due to overconsumption of this fruit. Symptoms including headaches or eyestrain, blurred vision, and double vision should be taken seriously and addressed with an optometrist. Reducing the number of wood apples in one’s diet is important to avoid potential long-term negative effects on vision. Regular visits to an eye doctor for checkups are also recommended to ensure healthy eyesight. Taking preventative steps now can help maintain a good vision for years to come.

Respiratory Issues

The wood apple can be a trigger for respiratory issues in some people. Symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing can occur due to allergies or asthma-like reactions.

Those suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may also experience shortness of breath after eating it. Furthermore, eating too much of the wood apple can lead to an increase in mucus production, chest congestion, and further aggravate already existing lung conditions.

Therefore, individuals with compromised respiratory systems should exercise caution when consuming this fruit and consult their doctor beforehand.

Nervous System Effects

Wood apples have been linked to a variety of neurological impairments, including cognitive decline and motor dysfunction. Consumption of the fruit could lead to memory and concentration difficulties, as well as depression or anxiety disorders.

It can also cause neuropathy, which is nerve damage leading to numbness and pain throughout the body. Furthermore, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, tremors, and seizures may result from long-term consumption.

While research into these effects is ongoing, it appears that frequent use of wood apples should be avoided to reduce the risk of neurological impairment.

Reproductive Effects

Wood apple has been linked to several reproductive issues. In women, it may worsen menopause symptoms, cause complications during pregnancy, increase the risk of birth defects and affect libido or menstrual cycles.

For males, wood apple consumption can lead to fertility issues such as erectile dysfunction and lower testosterone levels. Studies also show that high doses can damage sperm cells and reduce sperm mobility, impacting conception rates.

Long-term use of wood apples can weaken male sexual function by disrupting hormones, thus individuals should be aware of its potential effects before taking it for extended periods.


Wood apples have many potential health benefits, but there are risks associated with consuming them. Allergies and drug interactions can be serious health concerns, while eye problems, respiratory issues, neurological symptoms, and reproductive effects can also occur. It is important to discuss any underlying conditions or medications with a healthcare provider before consumption.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid eating wooden apples altogether. If an adverse reaction occurs after ingestion, seek immediate medical help. By being aware of the risks associated with wood apple intake, it can be enjoyed safely for its nutritional benefits.

Scroll to top