Thailand Wild Edible Fruit

Here are just a few of the many wild edible fruits we encounter on our jungle survival tours in Khao Sok National Park and Phang Nga Province. Many of the edible plants and fruits are still used as traditional medicine in Thailand. Some of the different parts of some fruit trees are very useful.

wild fruit Bladder Cherries jungle fruit Bladder Cherries

Bladder Cherry

The Bladder Cherry is in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae - tomato, potato, chilli peppers, and tobacco) and the genus Physalis, this small bush offers a wonderfully tasty treat during the late dry season in Thailand. Once ripe, they taste like a very sweet Cherry Tomato.

In Chinese medicine it's used to treat sore throats, coughs, and a fever.

Thailand wild fruit trees Ma Uk

Ma Uk

This is a wonderfully sour jungle fruit.

It's not common, but we find it in Khao Sok in the early spring months.

Thailand wild tree fruit Maprang Maprang Thailand wild tree fruit

Maprang

Maprang (also called Ma Yong in Thai) is really sour when green, but very sweet when ripe (yellow). Maprang (Bouea macrophylla) leaves are also edible. It is about 11% carbohydrate. The protein content is very low. It has vitamin C and B Complex, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and a little bit of iron.

It is easy to find in Khao Sok in March and April. This wild fruit is so tasty that it is sold commercially.

Red Sorrel wild edible plants

Red Sorrel

You can eat the leaves and the red hips of the Red Sorrel or Roselle plant. Both are wonderfully sour and refreshing. Both can be eaten raw or made into a drink. This is in the Hibiscus family. All Hibiscus flowers are edible. When you find some Red Sorrel you usually find a lot of it as it spreads... so finding enough to get a lot of nutrition out of it is actually quite easy.

Roselle is very nutritious. 60 grams has close to 7 grams of carbohydrate, over 7 mg of Vitamin C, 120 mg of Calcium, 0.8 mg of Iron,, 38 mg of Magnesium,, 20 mg of Phosphorus, 119 mg of Potassium, and trace amounts of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin A.

Gooseberry wild tree fruit

Gooseberry

Gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) - 150 gram, less than half a cup, of gooseberries provides over 40 mg of Vitamin C (a very important white blood cell boosting antioxidant of course). The B vitamins are also present, especially B5 and B6.

150 grams provides over 15 grams of carbohydrate, along with the minerals potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

Gooseberries have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. The leaves are used to treat fever as well as being used as an antiseptic to clean wounds. They are also considered effective and treating snakebites and scorpion stings. The root bark is used to treat mouth sores.

Bilimbi wild edible fruit

Bilimbi

Bilimbi fruits throughout the year. It is also known as the Cucumber Tree or Tree Sorrel. It is supposed to have a wide variety of medicinal properties such as eliminating phlegm and reducing body heat.

It has anti-inflammatory properties too.

The fruit is 95% water, so it’s a nice find on a hot day when you might not have had enough water.

It's in the family Oxalidaceae, therefore it has oxalic acid, which interestingly is very useful for removing rust.

Ficus (Fig) Thailand wild tree fruit

Ficus (Fig)

Besides having much needed carbohydrate value, figs are rich in beta carotene, vitamin A, C, E and K, minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, potassium, zinc, phosphorus.

The amino acid Tryptophan is high in fig. Tryptophan helps with sleep by triggering the body to release serotonin.

Figs also have a Phenol called Benzaldehid that can kill pathogens. Crushed fig can be used topically.

Vine fruit wild edible fruit

Vine fruit

Other than being in the palm family, I can’t find any information on this lovely fruit. It has a very tough skin and a big seed, but the little bit of fruit between the two is absolutely stunning!

This is not really very common, though it seems common in Phang Nga Province on certain mountains.

Thailand wild edible tree fruit Ee-quee

Ee-quee

This fruit taste like a Dream Sickle! It’s sweet, with a slight tang to it. It must be very popular with wild animals as most of the fruit that lands on the ground is at least partially eaten. If I was an animal, I’d certainly eat it.

Here is a bunch of information about wild edible plants in Thailand.

Check out this video of edible plants in my yard. Some are available in the jungle.

There are, of course, many more edible and medicinal plants in southern Thailand. Check out our blog and our FaceBook jungle survival pages for a lot more information and wild edible plant images.

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