Flowers early in the wet season; fruits ripen later
Many parts of the cashew plant are used. The cashew "apple," the
enlarged fully ripe, fruit may be eaten raw, or preserved as jam or
sweetmeat.Fruits or seeds of the cashew are consumed whole, roasted,
shelled and salted.Shelling the roasted fruits yields the cashew nut
of commerce. Seeds yield about 45% of a pale yellow, bland, edible
oil, resembling almond oil. From the shells or hulls is extracted a
black, acrid, powerful vesicant oil, used as a preservative and
water-proofing agent in insulating varnishes, and for termite
proofing timbers. Timber is used in furniture making, boat building.
Bark used in tanning. Stems exude a clear gum, Cashawa gum, used in
pharmaceuticals and as substitute for gum arabic. Juice turns black
on exposure to air and provides an indelible ink.
Propagation is easy from fresh seed, planted directly into the
Medical use: A tea of leaves and bark to treat diarrhea and colic
remedy for infants. The toxic seed oil as an external worm medicine
to kill botfly larvae under the skin. A wine made from the fruit is
used for dysentery.
The fruit is taken for syphilis and as a diuretic, stimulant, and
aphrodisiac. The leaves and/or the bark is also used for eczema,
psoriasis, scrofula, dyspepsia, genital problems, and venereal
diseases, as well as for impotence, bronchitis, cough, intestinal
colic, leishmaniasis, and syphilis-related skin disorders.