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Family Zingibereaceae
Annona cherimola Mill.
Mao ye fan li zhi

Scientific names Common names
Annona cherimola Mill. Cherimoya (Engl.)
Annona pubescens Salisb. Chirimoya (Eng.)
Annona tripetala Aiton Chirimuya (Engl.)
  Chirimollla (Engl.)
  Custard apple (Engl.)

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Mao ye fan li zhi.
FRENCH: Annone, Cachiman, Cachiman clur de bluf, Cherimole, Cherimolier, Corossol du Perou.
GERMAN: Chirimoya, Chirimoyabaum, Jamaikapfel, Peruansicher fraschenbaum, Rahmapfel, Zukerannone.
HINDI: Hanuman phal, Marytiphal.
ITALIAN: Cerimolia.
JAPANESE: Cherimoa, Cherimoya.
MEXICO: Pox, Poox.
PORTUGUESE: Anona de Chile, Chirimolia, Chirimorrinon, Chirimoya, Fruta do conde, Grabiola, Graveola, Graviola.
SPANISH: Anona, Anona poshte, Anon de manteca, Catuche, Chirimorrinon, Chirimoya, Corazon, Mamon, Pac, Pox.
TELUGU: Hanuman phalamu.
OTHERS: Hanuman phala, Noina ostrelia.

Cherimoya is a small deciduous tree that grows to a height of 10 meters, low branched, shrubby, spreading 5 to 9 meters. Leaves are alternate, two-ranked, with minute hairy petioles, ovate to elliptic, short and pointed at the apex, slightly hairy at the upper surface, velvety on the lower surface. Flowers are fragrant and solitary, on short, hairy stalks along the branches, with 3 outer, greenish, fleshy, downy petals and 3 smaller, pinkish inner petals. Fruit is cone- or heart-shaped, 10 to 20 centimeters long, up to 10 centimeters wide, containing numerous hard, brown or black glossy seeds, 1 to 2 centimeters long.

- In Peru, cherimoyas are classified according to degree of surface irregularity: Lisa (almost smooth), impresa (with fingerprint depressions), umbonada (rounded protrusions), papilonado or tetilado (fleshy, nipple-like protrusions), tuberculada (conical protrusions with wartlike tips). (1)

- Introduced.
- Cultivated for its edible fruit.
- It does well in the Mountain Province at an altitude above 2,460 feet.
- Native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru.

- Plant yields alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, carbohydrates, proteins, phenolic compounds, phytosterols, and amino acids. (12)
- Nutrient analysis per 100 g of fruit (1 cup=160gm)
yields: (Principle) energy 75 Kcal, carbohydrates 17.71 g, protein 1.57 g, total fat 0.68 g, cholesterol 0 mg, dietary fiber 3 g; (Vitamins) folates 23 µg, niacin 0.644 mg, pantothenic acid 0.345 mg, pyridoxine 0.257 mg, riboflavin 0.131 mg, thiamin 0.101 mg, vitamin A 5 IU, vitamin C 12.6 mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg; (Electrolytes) sodium 7 mg, potassium 287 mg; (Minerals) calcium 10 mg, copper 0.069 mg, iron 0.27 mg, magnesium 17 mg, manganese 0.093 mg, phosphorus 26 mg, zinc 0.16 mg' (Phytonutrients) carotene-ß 2 µg, cryptoxanthin-ß 1 µg, lutein-zeaxanthin 6 µg. (7)
- Bioassay-guided fractionation of ethanol extract of leaves yielded five phenolic compounds: caffeic acid, quercetin, kaempferol, nicotinflorin, and rutin. (see study below) (3)
- Yields numerous bioactive chemicals i.e., annonaceous acetogenins, annocherine A, cherianoine, annocherine B, chermolin, annomolin, romucosine H, anonaine, among others.
- GC-MS analysis of essential oils of fresh leaves, flowers, and fruits obtained by steam distillation yielded 60 constituents. Main constituents in the oil of leaves were bicyclogermacrene, trans-caryophyllene and δ-amorphene; flowers yield main constituents of bicyclogermacrene, α-terpinolene and germacrene D, and oil of fruits yielded main constituents of β-pinene, α-terpinolene, β-fenchyl alcohol and α-pinene. (see study below) (10)

- Studies have suggested antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antidiabetic, antiprotozoal properties.

- Seeds, like all Annona speices, are toxic and should be removed from the pulp before blending.
- Blindness can result from the juice of crushed seeds coming in contact with the eyes. (6)
- Seeds and twigs contain several alkaloids including (+)-reticuline, (-)-anonaine, liriodenine, and lanuginosine. (6)
- Ingestion of 0.15g of seed resin can cause symptoms resembling atropine effects. (6)

Parts used
Seeds, rind.


- Fruit is juicy, slight sweet, and a little tart, with a delicious flavor cross between a pineapple and banana. Added to fruit salads and various dessert recipes. Pulp may be blended with orange juice and lime juice.
- Caution: seed is toxic. (see toxicity above)
- In Mexican traditional medicine, used for treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.
- Powdered seed mixed with grease as treatment for parasitic skin diseases.
- Seeds are toasted, peeled, and pulverized to a powder, taken with water or milk as potent emetic or cathartic. Decoction of rind taken to treat pneumonia. (6)
- Insecticide: Crushed seed used as insecticide. (6)

Antiprotozoal / Kaempferol / Leaves:
Bioassay-guided fractionation of ethanol extract of leaves yielded five phenolic compounds: caffeic acid, quercetin, kaempferol, nicotinflorin, and rutin. In vitro antiprotozoal assay showed kaempferol was the most potent antiamoebic and antigiardial compound with IC50 values of 7.9 µg/ml for Entamoeba histolytica and 8.7 µg/ml for Giardia lamblia. (3)
• Antioxidant and Hypolipidemic Effects / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant effect of oral administration of methanol extract of Annona cherimola leaf on antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation in blood-Triton WR 1339 induced rat. Results showed improvement of antioxidant enzymes associated with an increase in body weight control and healthier lipid profiles suggesting antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects. (4)
• Alkaloids / Annona cherimola x Annona squamosa / Leaves: Atemoya is an interspecific annonaceous hybrid between A. cherimola Mill. and A. squamosa L. Phytochemical screening yielded seven alkaloids, including two aporphine (annonaine and asimilobine), three oxoaporphine (lanuginosine, liriodenine, and lysicamine) and two proaporphine (pronuciferine and stepharine). The species is an important source of aporphine akaloids with a high relationship with other Annona species. (8)
• Cytotoxic Cyclic Heptapeptide / Seeds: Methanol extract of seeds yielded a new cyclic heptapeptide, cherimolacyclopeptide C. It exhibited significant in vitro cytotoxic activity against KB cells, with an IC50 value of 0.072 µM. (9)
• Antimicrobial / Essential Oil: GC-MS analysis of essential oils of fresh leaves, flowers, and fruits obtained by steam distillation yielded 60 constituents. Study reported In vitro antimicrobial activity of three essential oils and some of their major constituents against five gram (±) bacteria and one fungus. (see constituents above) (10)
• Antihyperglycemic / Rutin / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of A. cherimola, subsequent fractions, and rutin on alloxan-induced type 2 diabetic rats. Bioactive-guided fractionation of EEAc yielded a major antihyperglycemic compound, rutin. EEAc attenuated postprandial hyperglycemia. Results suggest rutin as an a-glucosidase inhibitor was responsible in part for the antihyperglycemic activity of A. cherimola. (11)

- Cultivated.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

October 2017

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Annona cherimola fruit / File:Starr 070308-5404 Annona cherimola.jpg / Forest & Kim Starr / 8 March 2007 / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license / click on photo to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Cherimoya: Annona cherimola - Fruits in warm climates /
Morton J. 1987. p 65-69 / hort.purdue.edu
Sorting Annona names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Antiprotozoal Constituents from Annona cherimola Miller, a Plant Used in Mexican Traditional Medicine for the Treatment of Diarrhea and Dysentery. / Calzada F, Correa-Basurto J, Barbosa E, Mendez-Luna D, Yepez-Mulia L / Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Jan-Mar;13(49):1 pp 48-152. / doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.197636.
Biochemical studies on the effect of medicinal plant Annona Cherimola species in cholesterol induced rats / K.S.Chandana, Chakrapani.P, Venkatesh.K, Amareshwari.P, Prem Kumar, Saraswathi and Anupalli Roja Rani / 2nd World Congress on Bioavailability & Bioequivalence: Pharmaceutical R & D Summit-2011 and International Conference on Pharmaceutics & Novel Drug Delivery Systems / Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta / DOI: 10.4172/2153-2435.10000S5
Annona cherimola Mill. (Custard apple): a review on its plant profile, nutritional values, traditional claims and ethnomedicinal properties / Prasad Jamkhande, Balaji R Ajgunde, Dhanraj R Jadge /
Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, July 2017 / DOI: 10.1007/s13596-017-0263-0
Annona cherimola Mill. / Plants For A Future
Cherimoya fruit nutrition facts / NutritionAndYou
Alkaloids isolated from the leaves of atemoya (Annona cherimola × Annona squamosa) / Suzana V Rabelo, Jackson R G da Silva Almeida et al / Rev. bras. farmacogn. Vol 25, No 4,  Curitiba July/Aug. 2015 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2015.07.006
A Cytotoxic Cyclic Heptapeptide from the Seeds of Annona cherimola / Alassane Wele, Yanjun Zhang, Idrissa Ndove, Jean-Paul Brouard, Jean-Louis Pousset, and Bernard Bodo / J. Nat. Prod., 2004, 67 (9), pp 1577–1579 / DOI10.1021/np040068i
Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oils from Annona cherimola(Annonaceae) / María Yolanda Ríos*, Federico Castrejón, Norma Robledo, Ismael León, Gabriela Rojas, and Víctor Navarro / Rev. Soc. Quím. Méx, Vol 47, No 2,  Apr-Jun 2003
Antihyperglycemic Activity of the Leaves from Annona cherimola Miller and Rutin on Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats. / Calzada F, Solares-Pascasio JI, Ordoñez-Razo RM, Velazquez C, Barbosa E, García-Hernández N, Mendez-Luna D, Correa-Basurto J. / Pharmacognosy Res., 2017 Jan-Mar; 9(1): pp 1-6. / doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.199781.
Phytochemical and Pharmacological potential of Annona cherimola--A Review / Arun Jyothi B, Venkatesh K, Chakrapani P and A Roja Rani* / International Journal of Phytomedicine 3 (2011) 439-447 / http://www.arjournals.org/index.php/ijpm/index

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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