ACKEE Overview Information
Ackee is a plant that produces fruit. It is found in West Africa, the Caribbean, southern Florida, and Central America. Ripe ackee fruit is eaten as food and is considered a dietary staple in Jamaica. However, unripe ackee fruit is very poisonous. Unripe ackee is a frequent cause of poisoning in Africa and the Caribbean. Poisonings may occur as epidemics when the unripe fruit is eaten during times of food shortage. Children seem to be especially sensitive to the toxic effects of unripe ackee. Most ackee products have been banned from import into the US for the past 30 years because of concerns about poisoning from unripe fruit. The US has just recently begun to allow the import of canned ripe ackee on a limited basis.
Some people use ackee fruit to make medicine. It is used as a treatment for colds, fever, water retention (edema), and epilepsy.
How does it work?
There isn't enough information to know how ackee might work for medicinal purposes.
- Water retention (edema).
- Other conditions.
ACKEE Side Effects & Safety
The ripe fruit of ackee seems to be safe when eaten as a food. However, the unripe fruit is UNSAFE to eat, even if it has been cooked. Additionally, the water used to cook the unripe fruit can be poisonous. The unripe fruit contains poisonous chemicals that can harm the liver. The unripe fruit can also cause severely low blood sugar, convulsions, and death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Children: It is UNSAFE to give unripe ackee fruit to children. Children are more sensitive to the toxic effects of ackee than adults. There isn’t enough information to know whether the ripe fruit is safe for children to eat.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to eat unripe ackee fruit if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. There isn’t enough information to know whether the ripe fruit is safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
The appropriate dose of ackee depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for ackee. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.