Stinking Toe

Stinking Toe or Hymenaea courbaril (its scientific name, where it is a part of the Fabaceae family) is a tree common in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America-where it is said to be indigenous to Jamaica and Brazil.

Stinking Toe

Stinking toe

Ok, so not the best title for something to be consumed. But don’t run or knock it until you’ve tried it! Many people grew up, especially, those from the Caribbean by eating this fruit.

They can tell you that it’s just amazing, and is quite frankly underrated. Well, let’s get an insight on this fruit like a ‘Stinking Toe Facts 101’ type of vibe.  So, because the title is a bit a throw-off for some of you, let’s see what this fruit does to our body.

Stinking Toe Health Nutrition/Components

Components

Stinking Toe Fruit is rich in:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

Please note that the aforementioned nutrients or components are not limited to what is listed.

stinking toe fruit in grass

Health Benefits of Stinking Toe Fruit

Ok so, who’s ready to explore what’s the hype about the stinking toe? Buckle up because it’s blast-off time! Stinking toe is great for consumption because it’s: Read More.

A good antioxidant

Antioxidants are renowned as the free radicals power off button. They put a stop to those reactive cells that may lead to cancer and other diseases.  Stinking toe is high in Vitamin A and C as well as others which are great antioxidants. Other functions of antioxidants include helping to manage/monitor oxidative stress and inflammation.

 These two can be connected with osteoarthritis, cancer, and even heart disease. Let’s not forget that antioxidants present in the stinking toe (especially, Vitamin A and C) slow down aging.

May prevent anemia

Stinking toe is highly rich in iron. Due to this reason, iron is absorbed by the body and helps majorly to produce the protein found in red blood cells-hemoglobin- that carries oxygen to tissues in the body. Due to more oxygen present, this prevents anemia from occurring.

Reduce Eye Diseases

Stinking toe has a great source of Vitamin A. Therefore, it helps to reduce the risk of eye diseases and replenishes the cells within the eyes for proper functionality.

Appetite and Energy Booster

Stinking toe is regularly given to individuals who seem to have a lack of appetite.  The fruit is also consumed for the amount of energy it provides to your body. Hence, many athletes and physically active persons tend to use it a lot in their smoothies. This is due to the vitamins, carbohydrates, and other minerals present.

Antifungal Properties

Stinking Toe has strong antifungal properties that make it ideal for dealing with topical and internal fungal infections. These include; athlete’s foot, nail fungus, urinary tract infections, and as a douche for yeast infection too. However, as a recommendation douching should not be practiced.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Stinking Toe has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of inflammation in the respiratory tract-this includes asthma and bronchitis.

In several studies, it has been identified as an inhibitor of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. Prostaglandins are by-products of this enzyme which are inflammatory agents- e.g. leukotriene B4 is responsible for inflammation in air passages.  It reduces inflammation that leads to rheumatism, lupus, and pemphigus as well.

Other health benefits of stinking toe

  • May assist in weight loss
  •  
  • It May help to treat meningitis
  •  
  • May treat retention of  liquids
  •  
  • Assist in strengthening the  immune system

stinking toe pods on a wooden board

What is a stinking toe?

Stinking toe is on average a medium or large-sized evergreen tree with massive spreading branches.

It can grow to a tall height of 30 meters to 45 meters, where it varies for some of its specimens. The plant is typically grown in a variety of habitats in the tropical and subtropical areas/regions. If you’re interested to grow the plant then you will find that it grows in all textures of soil.

From sand to clay but you’d get the best results from deep, fertile, moist, and well-drained sandy soils. Stinking toe leaves are 4.5-11 cm long and 3-5 broad that are green in color and have inflorescence. Its fertile flowers are followed by indehiscent (doesn’t open when ripe) woody legumes with an oval section, that are slightly kidney-shaped.

The fruit

The fruit changes from green to red-brown or dark brown, showing its maturity transition from young to ‘fit’ meaning mature.

This color is normally the color of the pod/shell that has a leguminous texture and a bit hard and inedible. The fruit is shaped like a toe, but, that odor that you smell, which you may find a bit of a turn-off, is released when the shell of the pod is broken; hence, the name stinking toe.

A recommendation is to avoid smelling the aroma as you will not want to enjoy the richness the pulp has to offer. Think of the odor like when a lioness protecting her cub. The interior of the shell lies dry and creamy to a yellow-colored pulp that clumps together.

The fruits consist of 1-6 slightly spheroidal seeds, having a red-brown color. Where each seed is covered with flesh/pulp.  What does stinking toe taste like?

Despite the texture, it has a sweet flavor, where many compare it to powdered sugar. Please note, that the seeds should be discarded! When consumed raw it tends to stick inside the mouth like cotton candy.

A fun fact is that it’s one of the richest vegetable foods known because of its high concentrations of starches and proteins as well as it’s one of the largest trees in the Caribbean. It does wonders for animals as a source of food. Read More.

Aliases

  • West Indian locust
  • Koubari or Courbaril in Creole
  • Carao in Asia
  • Hymenaea courbaril
  • Jamaican stinking toe
  • Jatoba, or Guapinol

Where to buy stinking toe?

In some regions, you may find that it is difficult to ascertain. However, the good thing is that it’s the 21st century! That means you can shop online for things these days. Yes, you may go to online stores in order to get Powdered Stinking Toe or visit your local farmer’s market. It may be available in some supermarkets but packaged as stinking toe powder and not in the whole form.

How to eat it

Break apart the pod, but ensure you avoid the smell! You can even wear a mask until you feel like you won’t smell the odor. Carefully take out the creamy pulp and place it in a bowl or on a dish. Remember to remove the seeds then discard them. Then, here comes the best stage, you eat it! Bon appétit!

Uses

  • For topical infections
  • Eaten raw
  • Used in smoothies
  • Used for anti-aging
  • Juice
  • Pastries
  • Furniture (trunk of the stinking toe tree)

Season

You can popularly get stinking toe fruit in its season. This is around the summer.

Not bad huh? Again don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! And with that, stay safe and remember to spread love because there’s power in that. There’s power in eating healthy too! So, continue to spread the word about us, we can’t thank you enough for joining us on this journey.

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Lots of stinking toe pods

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Recipe author's Gravatar image

Tavauné Cunningham

Hiiiiiiiiii! A lot of 'i's I know! By now you must can tell that I'm a jovial person but I am quite dynamic. I have a passion for creativity and writing, but I love to explore and try new things, especially food! Afterall I live in a country whose cuisine is delectable! That's right I'm a Jamaican- "we likkle but wi talawah!"

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

25 Comments
  1. NDIMURIWE
    February 19, 2021

    This is such a rare fruit, thank you for sharing about it.

  2. levinson
    February 19, 2021

    I love this website

  3. phocas
    February 19, 2021

    I’m intrigued by this legume

  4. esperance
    February 19, 2021

    i am interested to grow the plant in africa especiall in east africa

  5. BENOIT DUSABE
    February 19, 2021

    I need to take a trip to Jamaica, seems so fertile.

  6. Umi
    February 19, 2021

    Thank you for showing the benefits stinking toe

  7. abdon
    February 19, 2021

    it’s rich in calcium required for strong bones
    stinking toe is rich in antioxidants that help the body neutralize free radicals that cause the sign of aging, this is amazing!

  8. jerome
    February 19, 2021

    I love this fruit, reminds me of my childhood.

  9. evariste
    February 19, 2021

    Michelle, I have been enjoying reading your website, you are doing an amazing job, keep up the good work.

  10. jotham
    February 19, 2021

    Thank you healthier steps channel, I found you on Youtube

  11. claude
    February 19, 2021

    This website has a wealth of information, thank you.

  12. Martin
    February 19, 2021

    This is so amazing!

  13. blaise
    February 19, 2021

    stinking to it is good antioxidant
    high rich in iron
    reduce eyes disease because it has c vitamin
    appetite and energy boaster
    we congrate you so much

  14. eugene Gatashya
    February 19, 2021

    come back Dear I thank you so much for all your updated I read more about healthiersteps congratulations and courage ,everybody ,everyone needed this website. more,more ,more informations about healthy

  15. BONIFACE KARAHARI
    February 19, 2021

    stinking role play big role for to many people around the world thank you for this website i have a big problem of eyes disease ,but its not easy to find it or where we buy stinking toe , in is not easy for african to obtain these important of many things we read on this website ,we have a few things ,so Dear healthiersteps founder try to help and to be acces on your recipes

  16. YVES
    February 19, 2021

    Thank you dear for your great work, congratulations and courage GOD BLESS YOUR HANDS

  17. ANGELIQUE MUSHIMIYIMANA
    February 19, 2021

    Thank you very much for showing importance of stinking toe , very interesting informations after reading more about stinking i love this website because of knowing the benefit of stinking toe like ; highly rich in iron reduce eyes diseases many people have the problem of eyes like me antifungal properties anti-inflammatory
    stinking has more more role but non available everywhere ,many people need it but its not easy to find it . I have found how to eat it and where to buy stinking