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Karonda: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More  By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


Karonda, or Christ’s thorn, is an exotic, minor fruit plant that grows wild in bushes. Karonda is scientifically known as Carissa carandas and belongs to the family Apocynaceae. Karonda is an indigenous shrub of India. It is widely spread in the sub-tropics and tropics climate of the Himalayas, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The karonda plant is famous for its whitish-pink berry-sized fruits. These karonda fruits are small, succulent, fleshy and rounded with a juicy pulp. It is bitter-sour and acidic in taste and is popularly used in Indian cuisine. Karonda in English is called Bengal-currants, Black currants and Carandas-plum. Karonda in Hindi is Karaunda, Karvand in Marathi, Koromcha in Bengali. Read along to learn more about the health benefits of karonda, its bioactive components, properties, uses and more. 

Nutritional Value of Karonda: 

The karonda nutrition facts may include the following nutrients: 

Nutrients Values/100g 
Fresh  Dried 
Energy  42 calories 364 calories 
Carbohydrate 2.6%  67.1% 
Protein 1.1% 2.3% 
Fats 2.9% 9.6% 
Iron – 39mg 
Phosphorus 28mg 60mg 
Calcium 2.1mg 160mg 
Vitamin C 200-500mg 1.0mg 

Table 1: Nutritional Value of Karonda per 100 g.2 

Karonda may contain essential compounds such as reducing sugar, flavonoids, saponins, protein, amino acids, cardinolides, terpenoids, steroids, phenolic compounds, and fatty acids. It may also contain vitamins such as A, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid.13 

Properties of Karonda: 

Karonda may have the following properties: 

  • It may act as an antioxidant. 
  • It may have a cooling effect. 
  • It may have anthelmintic properties (effective against parasite infection). 
  • It may have antiscorbutic activity (may reduce scurvy). 
  • It may have an antipyretic action (may reduce fever). 
  • It may lower inflammation. 
  • It may lower blood glucose levels. 
  • It may have anti-ulcer properties. 
  • It may have  cancer-reducing properties. 
  • It may have antibacterial activity. 
  • It may act as an antiviral agent. 
  • It may have an anti-malarial effect.1-3 

Potential Uses of Karonda: 

Over the years, I have observed that karonda extract might have health beneficial effects and potential as a natural anti-skin aging ingredient. It is believed that the extract can help prevent oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support the remodeling of the external framework matrix of your skin. These actions are important in combating skin aging and promoting healthier skin.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Karonda has been used in native systems of Indian medicine like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani due to its numerous medicinal properties.3 The following may entitle a few potential uses of karonda: 

Potential uses of karonda in cancer 

A review by Hameed et al. in 2021 suggests that karonda fruit extract may possess significant anti-cancer activity against lung and ovarian cancer. Karonda may contain antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds that may exhibit free radical scavenging activity. A laboratory study on cancer cells found that daily intake of fruits in diet may be related to reduced cancer risks.1,3 However, further human research is required to develop a true scope of karonda fruit uses for cancer. Cancer is a serious health condition that requires an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Consult a cancer specialist, and do not self-medicate. 

Potential uses of karonda for skin 

In my experience, I have observed that the ethanol extract of karonda might have an antidiarrhoeal effect. In studies, it was found that the plant extracts decreased the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, similar to the standard drug used for this purpose. This suggests that the plant extracts could be helpful in reducing episodes of diarrhoea.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

A review by Singh et al. in 2021 shows that  karonda fruit may contain high sources of vitamins, antioxidants and proteins. Its anti-microbial and antifungal properties may be beneficial for the skin. A regular intake of karonda fruit or fruit juice may help alleviate open pores and other skin-related infections.2 However, this information is insufficient; therefore, more human studies are needed to suggest the karonda benefits for skin. Therefore, consult a qualified dermatologist, and do not self-medicate. 

Potential uses of karonda for diabetes 

An animal study carried out by David et al. in 2015 found that karonda fruit extract may have potential uses for diabetes. It may have anti-diabetic activity. A regular karonda intake may significantly lower the increased blood glucose levels in animals. This blood sugar-lowering activity of karonda may be due to the presence of nutrients like flavonoids and phenolic compounds.1 However, this information is insufficient as this study was conducted on animals. More human studies are needed to find the karonda benefits for diabetes. If you have diabetes consult a doctor and have karonda only if recommended. 

Potential uses of karonda for scurvy 

Over the years, I have learned that the methanolic extract of C. carandas leaves might possess hepatoprotective activity. This suggests that it has the potential to protect the liver from damage. While the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood, it is believed that certain compounds present in the extract may contribute to its beneficial effects on liver health.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Scurvy is a disease caused due to a deficiency in vitamin C. A literature review by Singh et al. done in 2021 suggests that  karonda may have an abundance of vitamin C. Karonda may be acidic in nature. Its astringent and antiscorbutic (reduce scurvy) properties may provide beneficial effects such as it may restore vitamin C in the body and help recover from scurvy.2 However, more human studies are needed to investigate the benefits of karonda for scurvy. If you have vitamin C deficiency, consult a qualified physician and do not self-medicate. 

Other Potential Uses of Karonda: 

  • The ripe karonda fruit may have cooling properties. Its acidic nature may be beneficial against sore throat and mouth ulcers.1 
  • Taking an equal amount of grounded karonda fruit, leaf and root bark once a day with water might be effective against piles.1 
  • The extract of karonda fruit, leaf and bark may be beneficial against malarial infection.1 
  • Karonda may contain a high amount of iron, which may benefit against aneamia.2 
  • Karonda fruit may have an anthelmintic effect that might help expel the parasitic worm from the intestinal tract.2 

Though studies show the potential uses of karonda in various health conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to develop the scope of the benefits of karonda on human health.  

How to Use Karonda?  

Karonda fruit is commonly used in various culinary preparations.2 You may use karonda in the following ways: 

  • It may be used as an appetizer to stimulate appetite.1 
  • It may be used to make food colourant (Lalima), mainly used to add red colour to a beverage.1  
  • Ripe karonda fruit may be eaten as a fresh fruit.2 
  • Karonda may be used to make pickles. Sour karonda fruits may be pickled in a salt solution. Karonda pickles may be made fresh or stored for around four months.1 
  • The gummy latex part of ripe karonda fruit may be cooked to make a fresh cooling drink suitable for warm weather.2 
  • Karonda may be used for making jelly, jam, squash, syrup, tarts, puddings and wine.1,2 
  • Unripe karonda may be used as a condiment in the form of chutneys.2 

You should consult a qualified doctor before using karonda in large quantities. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing modern medical treatment with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation of karonda without consulting an Ayurvedic doctor. They will guide you with its form and dosage as per your health condition. 

Side Effects of Karonda: 

Eating karonda in a balanced proportion is safe. No major study reports the karonda fruit side effects in humans. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating karonda in high amounts. However, if any side effects are seen after eating karonda, immediately consult a doctor and get proper treatment. 

Also Read: Pickle Juice For Cramps: A Research-Based Analysis on Effectiveness

Precautions to Take with Karonda: 

Eating karonda in excess amounts is not advised. The following precautions are necessary:  

  • You should not use karonda to self-medicate on your own. It is important to consult a qualified doctor and eat it only if prescribed. 
  • Karonda is acidic and sour; therefore, take precautions while giving it to small children and older adults to avoid harmful effects on the stomach. 
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take their doctor’s advice before having karonda to avoid complications. 

Interactions with Other Drugs:  

Furthermore, research is needed to study the interactions between karonda and other drugs. You must not presume that there are no interactions at all. Therefore, it is essential to take medical consultations with an Ayurvedic doctor. They will guide you on using karonda as a herb.  

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What food items can be prepared using karonda? 

In Indian cooking, karonda is a famous condiment. It may be used for pickles, chutneys, cooling drinks, juice, jelly, jam, squash, syrup, tarts, puddings, wine, etc.1,2 

What are the different names of karonda? 

The different names of karonda may include Bengal currants, Black currants, Carandas-plum, Christ thorn, Karaunda, Karvand, Koromcha, etc.2 

What are the vitamins present in karonda? 

Karonda vitamins may include vitamins A, C, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, pantothenic acid and folic acid.1-3 

What are the properties of karonda? 

Karonda may include properties such as cooling, anthelmintic, antioxidant, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, antiulcer, antiscorbutic, etc.1-3 

Does karonda help with scurvy? 

Scurvy is a rare condition in which your body becomes deficient in vitamin C. Fresh and ripe karonda may be a rich source of vitamin C, which might help alleviate scurvy. Hence, karonda may be a good source of vitamin C for those trying to recover from scurvy.2 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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​​1. Kamal M, Jawaid T, Khalid M. Carissa carandas Linn. (Karonda): An exotic minor plant fruit with immense value in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Asian J of Biomed and Pharma Sci. 2016;6(58):14–9. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kuldeep-Singh-18/publication/311510769_Carissa_carandas_Linn_Karonda_An_exotic_minor_plant_fruit_with_immense_value_in_nutraceutical_and_pharmaceutical_industries/links/5849955708ae82313e710694/Carissa-carandas-Linn-Karonda-An-exotic-minor-plant-fruit-with-immense-value-in-nutraceutical-and-pharmaceutical-industries.pdf 


​2. Singh K, Shiv P, Singh M. Karonda: A Medicinal Plant with Immense Economic Potentials. AgriCos e-Newsletter. 2021;2(2):83–6. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Krishan-Singh-7/publication/349237209_Karonda_A_Medicinal_Plant_with_Immense_Economic_Potentials/links/6026161c45851589399ae4c9/Karonda-A-Medicinal-Plant-with-Immense-Economic-Potentials.pdf 


​3. Kumar Rai G. Bioactive potential of karonda (Carissa carandas L.). Indian J Agric Biochem. 2021;34(1):24–32. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gyanendra-Rai-2/publication/353975087_Bioactive_potential_of_karonda_Carissa_carandas_L/links/61cec06eb6b5667157b96051/Bioactive-potential-of-karonda-Carissa-carandas-L.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&origin=journalDetail 




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