What is the most dangerous fruit? In the distant southern countries, tourists often face gastronomic dangers: exotic fruits are begging to be eaten, but under the bright shell, sometimes unpleasant contents are hidden. Nausea, headaches, and high blood pressure are the most harmless consequences of eating them, and some of the tempting fruits are better not even to pick up.
List of the most dangerous fruits:
The mangrove swamps of Southeast Asia are home to tall trees that produce deadly fruit. The fresh fruits and seeds of Pangium are rich in hydrocyanic acid, and should only be eaten after a long and complicated process. First, the Pangium is thoroughly boiled, then wrapped in banana leaves and buried in ashes or soil for 40 days. The fermentation process breaks down the poisonous cyanide into relatively harmless substances, and the blackened fruit is used as a spice by Indonesians.
Consumption of Pangium fresh causes headache, shortness of breath, and confusion, and in excessive quantities can lead to cardiac arrest.
The seeds of the Strychnine Tree, which is native to the tropics of Australia and South Asia, contain powerful poisons – strychnine and brucine – so even a small handful of Strychnine Tree can cause stomach pains, heart failure, and high blood pressure. On the other hand, the tincture and extract of Strychnine Tree are medicines that stimulate the central nervous system and improve metabolism, but these drugs are used strictly under the supervision of a doctor.
The greenish-yellow fruits of the Manchineel may look like apples, but appearances can be deceiving. It grows in Central America and the Caribbean and its deadly sap was used by the natives to coat their arrows when they fought the Spanish conquistadors. A bite or two can cause severe and fatal swelling, while the milky juice flowing from the bark burns through clothing and causes burns and blisters.
Do not make a fire from the branches of mancinella either: the poisonous smoke strongly irritates the respiratory tract and eyes.
Jatropha is native to Central America, but today this hardy plant is also found in Africa, Asia and North America, where it is often used as a hedge. The shrub’s seeds are rich in oil, which India and China have tried to use as biofuel for diesel engines, and 2 of the 175 species of Jatropha are popular indoor plants. But its fruit is not useful: if consumed orally, it causes a burning throat, a sharp pain in the stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, dehydration, heart failure and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis occur.
The ackee is an evergreen tropical tree native to West Africa, from where it was introduced to Jamaica, the Antilles, and the Bahamas. The fruit of this tree, the color of a peach, is one of the symbols of Jamaica: the national dish here is considered an ackee with fish. But only ripe, fully opened fruits can be eaten, and unripe fruits and seeds contain dangerous poison – hypoglycin, which provokes the so-called Jamaican vomiting disease. It is accompanied by metabolic disorders and a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.