Physalis peruviana Linn

Physochlaina praealta Miers.

Habitat ► Native to tropical America; grown in the hills and plains throughout India.

English ► Cape Gooseberry.

Siddha/Tamil ► Perungunni, Potti-pallam.

Action ► Plant—diuretic. Leaf— anthelmintic, an infusion is used in abdominal disorders. Fruits— a good source of carotene and ascorbic acid; eaten as a table fruit.

The fruit contain carotene (as vitamin A) 2,380 IU, thiamine 0.05, riboflavin 0.02, nicotinic acid 0.3 and ascorbic acid 49 mg/100 g; mineral matter 0.8%; phytin phosphorus 18, iron 2.0, ionizable iron 0.9, sodium 0.9, potassium 320, copper 0.19, and sulphur 43 mg/100 g. The juice from the ripe fruits contain considerable quantity of pectin. The chief acid is citric acid, but malic and tartaric acids are also present.

The plant is a source of highly oxygenated ergostane-type of steroids— withanolides and related compounds.

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