Ever heard of feijoas? Unless you are from New Zealand or are a rare fruit connoisseur the odds are that you haven’t. But, scientists may use feijoas for future antifungal treatments.
What Are Feijoas?
Feijoas look like oval limes. They originate in South America but are extremely popular in New Zealand. The taste defies description. But, they are used to flavor everything from pastries to alcohol in New Zealand. Typically, you would eat them like kiwis: cut in half and eaten with a spoon.
From Eating to Antifungal Treatment
Fungal infection ranges from commonplace and a nuisance to life-threatening. And, some fungi are no longer responding to antifungal medications. Some fungi were naturally resistant to antifungals in the first place. But, more and more are becoming resistant to due to inappropriate use of antifungals.
So, the discovery of the flavone, the active component in feijoas, couldn’t come at a better time. Scientists hope that using a natural product as a key ingredient could minimize drug side effects. They can also be taken at lower dosages than their synthetic drug counterparts.
Though Feijoas have both antibacterial and antifungal properties, they seem to be more effective for antifungal applications. Researchers are also looking into other medical applications using the fruit, including: anti-cancer and anti-diabetic.
So, New Zealanders demand feijoas for its distinctive flavor and taste of home. But, scientists believe it may hold the key to future drug applications.
It’s too soon to go out and buy a bucket of feijoas. Unless you like the taste, too. But, eventually, scientists may use this little green fruit to treat even the most stubborn fungal infections.