Bignay or Antidesma bunius is considered wild cherry by many while in some places they call it a tropical cranberry. However you may call it, the benefits of bignay are just the same.
I know some of you can share some backyard stories about bignay. Can you still remember how it stains the teeth and your hands? I can remember playing the unripe ones like they’re the marbles for Chinese Checkers. Oops, alam ko pong bawal maglaro ng pagkain. Bata pa ko nun, haha.
Bignay originated in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and here in the Philippines. One can find the fruits amusing because these tiny berries which grow in clusters vary in reaching its ripened state so in one huge cluster you’d find raw and ripe ones – berries in multicolor ranging from pale yellow or pale green to pink to red to deep plum.
Other than being an interesting fruit to eat, Bignay has its health benefits. It is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties. And you can have it in different ways. What are those?
Bignay can be eaten raw, straight from the tree, after washing off the dirt of course. Or you can pick the unripe ones and make a jam or jelly out of the fruits which your kids can enjoy. Or make bignay juice for a refreshing treat.
This tropical fruit is also known for yielding wine. But in Nasugbu, a man named Clarito Caisip invented the bignay tea. Yes, tea, which for some people is synonymous to happiness. Haha.
Caisip’s bignay tea received support from Fred Lee, an entrepreneur who assisted the Batangueño in growing this venture. Learn more about their bignay tea business here.
So aside from the health and nutritional benefits, bignay is also a big blessing for farmers who cultivate its trees. Bignay grows abundantly in Nasugbu and Lipa City. These farmers earn income from this multicolored fruit-bearing tree.
Bignay may be small in size but big in benefits.