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Salak – Snakefruit (Salacca zalacca)

Within the PermaTree FoodForest we grow high diversity of fruits.

Salak palm or snake fruit (Salacca edulis or Salacca zalacca) is a high value understory species for tropical agroforestry plantings. Salak palm is native to southeast Asia in wet tropical lowland climates. At higher elevations the “Bali” variety can be grown. It produces a delicious fruit, eaten out of hand, with a taste similar to apple and lemon like. Its sweeter than honey, sour like a pineapple and incredibly juicy. Its flesh is slightly acidic, giving your tongue a citrus like tingle. There are usually 3 Seeds per fruit. Salak fruits mature five to seven months after pollination.


History of Salak

Salak is considered to have originated from South Sumatra and southwest Java. It was introduced and is now widely cultivated in Thailand, throughout Malaysia and Indonesia as far as the Moluccas (Maluku). It has also been introduced into New Guinea, the Philippines, Queensland and the northern Territory in Australia, the Ponape Island (Caroline Archipelago), China, Surinam, Spain and the Fiji Islands because of its distinctive look and health promoting benefits.


Salak overview

Salak palms are individually male or female and you need to have both for fruit production. There is no way to know if a seedling salak will be male or female until it flowers, some 3-4 years after planting.

Salak palm is easily started from seed. Seeds should be placed sideways and half buried in a well drained potting mix.

Asexual propagation, usually to increase female plants, is done through sucker removal. Soil should be mounded up around the base of the sucker. This allows the sucker to form its own root system. Then use a saw to partially sever the connection to the mother plant. This process should be repeated every few weeks over a two month period, until the plants are separated and the sucker has it’s own root system. The sucker can be removed and placed in the nursery for further establishment.

Once plants in the nursery have reached at least 40 cm in height they are ready to go in the ground. They should be planted at the beginning of the rainy season. The soil around the palm should be heavily top-dressed with biochar, manure, compost, etc and then mulched. Salak feeder roots will come up into this mulch.

Salak can be supported by additional species such as Musa sp, Gliricida sepium (and other legumes), and Tithonia diversifolia. All of these fast growing plants provide shade for the young palms and can all be pruned/chopped aggressively for mulch.


Salak Health Benefits

Salak fruit consist of nutrition just like Protein, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin-C, Dietary fiber, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and Carbohydrates which are great for overall health. Salak or Snake Fruit contains lots of Beta-Carotene which is a powerful antioxidant and works well to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and even cancer. Additionally it contains 5 times more Beta-Carotene than that found in watermelon, mangos, and 3 times more than found in guava. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of Salak fruit

1. Eye Medicine Salak fruit is considered quite beneficial as eye medication. According to research by health specialists, salak fruit consists of beta-carotene that is great for eyes. For anyone who wish to keep the eyes healthy and balanced yet fed up with having to constantly consume carrot juice, now you have yet another option that is exchanging the carrot juice along with salak juice. SO including salak fruit in your regular diet is one of the best methods to get the required amount of beta carotene.

2. Good for Stomach Salak is one of the nutrients dense fruit which consists of calcium, tannin, saponin, flavonoid and beta-carotene. Because of these nutrients, salak has health benefits for human body. Tanin is anti-diarrhea, so salak help to cure diarrhea. Apart from that salak treat indigestion stomach. It is better to consume salak along with its epidermis, which can prevent constipation.

3. Memory Booster Because of its higher nutritional value, Salak is called as a ‘memory fruit’. High amount of potassium and pectin present in salak helps to improves body’s cognitive functions and enhances memory.

4. Control Blood Sugar Level Skin of Salak fruit when made into a tea helps in cell regeneration in the pancreas that helps to control diabetes. Apart from that it also contains pterostilbene which is a blood glucose lowering agent that helps in controlling diabetes. Therefore frequent use of salak fruit in your diet is quite beneficial for lowering blood glucose level.

5. Maintain Cardiovascular Health Salak consist of good amount of potassium content that makes heart healthy. High amount of antioxidants and minerals keep the cardiovascular system function properly and helps in water regulation within the body.

6. Maintain Stamina Vitamin A is beneficial for maintaining eye health and is commonly recommended to consume a lot of carrots to meet the benefits of vitamin A. Though Dr. Pericone recommend staying away from the carrots in a wrinkle-free diet to suit him just as much food is loaded with vitamin A (carotenoids) can cause an inflammatory reaction related because of the high sugar content. Nach to the glass every time he tries to reduce facial lines young efforts should convert alias using carrot juice Salak.

7. Cure Nearsightedness A sharp eyesight cannot be corrected only by using the benefits of vitamin A. Vitamin A only improve the sharpness seen the light and dark (night blindness). Trouble nearsightedness is not a problem in the retina of the eye, but the axis is shortened, so that the drugs are also used. As the use of glasses can because a lot done, so the glasses are considered drugs of course. Apart from that frequent consumption of vitamin rich food is also quite beneficial for overcoming this problem.

8. Promote Overall Body Health As mentioned before salak is one of the nutrient dense fruit that helps in improving overall health of the body. Its rich nutrient profile consisting of vital vitamins and minerals help in maintain proper body functions. Antioxidants help in fighting damage to the cells and tissues and prevent the body from harmful carcinogenic damage. Regular consumption of a portion of Salak in your diet helps to reduce the risk of hemorrhoid formation.

9. Good for Pregnant Women Pregnant women should select foods that are good for her as well as future baby, so healthy food should be a priority. Consumption of Salak is good for young pregnant women who experience morning sickness. But do not consume too much of salak, balanced amount of protein-rich foods such as nuts must be consumed frequently.

10. Helps in Weight Loss Due to high fiber and antioxidant content, Salak is a sought-after diet for weight management diets. Since salak consists of calcium and carbohydrates it provides necessary energy and stamina to the body while on diet. Its tea is a wonderful astringent that is beneficial in reducing weight.