Plant Name: Physalis minima L.
Marathi: Chirambot, Ran-popti, Chirboti
English: Little Gooseberry
Jawhar: Chirambot, Ran-popti, Chirboti
It is a pantropical annual herb 20–50 cm high at its maturity.
very delicate, geniculate, terete or angled; leaves membranous, secondary nerves looping near the margin; fruits covered by inflatted calyx.
Alternative arrangement, type is simple, shape elliptic-ovate, apex acute with an obliquely rounded-acute base and margins are coarsely toothed.
Flowers In axillary, solitary, pedicellate; yellow with purple throat, flowers are followed by edible yellowish fruit encapsulated in papery cover which turns straw brown and drops to the ground when the fruit is fully ripe
A globose berry, overtopped by inflatted calyx; seeds many, compressed.
Habit / Habitat
A small, annual herb found along river banks, cultivable lands and roadsides from plains to 1000m.
1) Availability of the plant species in India: Maharashtra
2) Global distribution: Tropical Africa, Asia and Australia.
Used by tribal community in Jawhar Fruits
Method of consumption
Fruits are consumed directly.
Crape Gooseberry Jam
1 kg grams (6 cups) Cape Gooseberries, 1½ cup Sugar, ½ cup Honey
½ teaspoon Cinnamon powder, 2 tbsp orange juice, 2 tbsp lime juice
- Wash and gently wipe the cape gooseberries. Make puree out of 2 cups and sliced the rest as per their size but not too thin.
- Take a heavy bottom non-reactive pot and add all ingredients. Put on medium heat and stir the ingredients. Once the sugar melts and the mixture begins to boil (approx 3-4 minutes), reduce the heat to medium low and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Check if the jam is completely cooked and had achieved the desired consistency.
- After that, remove from heat and transfer hot in dry sterilized containers keeping a half an inch space at the neck of the bottle. Screw the lid tightly and turn the jar upside down to allow the heat to create a vacuum.
Medicinal use: Other
- Herb paste is reported to be applied for ear disorders in Himachal regions of India.
- Fruits and flowers are cooked by some villagers of Himachal Pradesh to be given in stomach pain and constipation.
Nutritional and medicinal information
The fruit is juicy, containing 61.4 per cent extractable juice and 76.7 per cent moisture. The fruits contain 5.97 per cent total sugars, 3 per cent reducing sugars, 2.81 per cent non-reducing sugars, 0.64 per cent tannins and 0.52 percent pectin. It contain a good amount of vitamin C which is 24.45 mg per 100 ml of juice. It also consists of Protein 2.75 %, Phosphorous 0.108%, Potassium 0.613%, Calcium 0.024%, Magnesium 0.056%, Iron 0.006%.
- Physalis minima is reported for its diuretic, laxative and antiinflammatory activities in Indian medical system since ages. Its antimicrobial potential has been scrutinized against a battery of Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains using streak plate, well diffusion, determination of minimum inhibitory concentration and bioautographic methods. Potent inhibitory activity was reported against all the tested bacterial strains by the methanol and chloroform extracts of P. minima. Minimum inhibitory concentration found out was 100 μg in both the extracts. Bioautography assay also showed that polar compounds present in the crude extract which might be responsible for the antimicrobial action.
- As per a research paper which covers the phyto-pharmacological overview of a P. minima
- Experiments on NMRI mice and wistar rats had proved the anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and analgesic properties of methanolic extracts of p/ minima.
- Its chloroform extracts are reported to have cytotoxic activities on human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines as well as human T-47 breast carcinoma cells. This [roves the anti-cancer property of the plant.
- It is also reported to possess anti-ulcer, anti-fertility, hypoglycemic, anti-malarial properties also.
Although no specific toxic properties have been reported for this species, it belongs to a genus where many of the members have poisonous leaves and stems, though the full ripe fruits are usually edible.
Harvesting and preserving
Fruits can be directly collected from wilds.
Fruits for consumption purposes could be stored only up to 6 days at 12º C. after that they are reported to lose the level of ascorbic acids
Propagation and Storage
Season of collection
Flowering from November-February and July-October.
Fruiting throughout the year
How to grow it?
Seed - sow in March/April by only covering them, germination usually takes place quickly. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Method of storage
Seeds for cultivation.