Physalis angulata: 12 health benefits of ground cherry

Physalis angulata ( ground cherry

Physalis angulata (cutleaf ground cherry) is one of the most cherished herbs among traditional medicine practitioners. The plant which hardly grows beyond three feet produces sack-like pods with a fruit in each pod. The fruits taste like sweet tomato when ripened. It is an annual plant which is native to North America but has spread throughout the globe, including Nigeria.

The plant, physalis angulata is known by several other names such as Bolsa mucalla or, simply, mucalla in the Peruvian Amazon, and as cutleaf ground cherry among the northern Americans. It possess so many bioactive compounds that make it useful as a strong home remedy for treating several illnesses such as asthma, rheumatism, and tumors.

The flowers of physalis angulata are bell-shaped and hang upside down. The fruits sit in a sack that turns papery brown as it mature. The fruit itself turns orange color when t matures. They are sweat and edible.

As wonderful as this plant may be, he twist with physalis angulata is that only the cherry fruit is edible; other parts of the plant are poisonous and should be treated with caution. Even the fruit itself is poisonous until when ripe and fall from the plant in their papery husks that resemble tiny laterns when they are ready, which is why they are commonly called ground cherry and Chinese lantern.

What Are The Chemical Compounds Present In Physalis agnulata?

Physalis angulata contains several bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and phenolics. It also possesses several steroidal lactones such as the Physalins A-I, physagulin A- G, withangulatin A, and withanolide T. other chemical constituents include lipids, vitamins and minerals. These chemical constituents are the therapeutic agents against several diseases in human and animal body.

What Are The Health Benefits of Physalis angulata?

Having seen that ground cherry is packed with numerous bioactive phytochemicals, you would naturally wonder what benefits this plant could offer to your health. Indeed, physalis is a home remedy to several health complications. It medicinal value has been proven in traditional medicines in several countries.

Every part of physalis including the roots is of medicinal value as we would see later in this article.

Physalis angulata Is used in treating diabetes

Ground cherry has been used as an alternative medicine in treating diabetes in western part of Nigeria. The plant possesses several anti-diabetic bioactive compounds such as physalins, physagulin F and withanolide T. This anti-diabetic property of physalis angulata has been supported by several scientific studies, which showed that the plant can effectively reduce hyperglycemia and blood cholesterol levels, while improving insulin secretion.

To use ground cherry as a home remedy for managing diabetes, gather a handful of the fruits, enough quantity of the leaves and roots. Wash the roots and leaves thoroughly with clean water and rinse. Boil 6 liters of water in a big pot and place the roots, leaves and fruits (slice the fruits) in the pot and heat until it boils for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and drink 1 cup of the decoction morning and at night for two weeks.

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May lower you body weight

Looking for a herbal remedy to lower your body weight? The fruits of physalis contain physagulin F which possess anti-obesity effect. The leaves and roots also lower blood glucose levels making it a good home remedy for lowering body mass and belly fat as the plant contains chemicals that lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

If you want to lower your body weight, just as in diabetes above, drink the herbal infusion for a week and then check your body weight and blood sugar level regularly. Stop drinking the infusion once your blood sugar levels as well as your body weight are regular.

Physalis angulata is used in treating infertility in men

If you are battling low sperm count, low sperm motility, and low testosterone hormone, the extract of cutleaf ground cherry is what you need to recover from these sexual dysfunctions. The bush or wide tomato leaves possess great amount of bioactive chemicals that treat infertility and low sperm count in men. Studies carried out on the effect of  both the aqueous and methanolic extracts on male swiss albino rats solidifies this claim as both studies showed that this plant can be a good home remedy for correcting infertility in men.

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How to prepare ground cherry juice or tea for infertility treatment

To Prepare Physalis Juice,

  • Homogenize a handful of the leaves, thyme, and uziza leaves and fruits in a blender.
  • Add a little quantity of water to ease the homogenization, add a cup of water after blending.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes to allow proper extraction, especially with regard to the thyme.
  • Strain the juice and drink the liquid part.
  • Do this once or twice a day for a week and check with your doctor.
  • Stop drinking the juice if you notice any side effect and report to your doctor.

To Prepare The Ground Cherry Tea

  • Boil 1 ½ cup of clean water in a tea pot.
  • Add the physalis leaves, followed by the uziza fruits and leaves and the thyme.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes and drain.
  • Add honey or orange juice for a taste.
  • Enjoy your tea.

Ground cherry may lower your blood pressure

Physalis angulata possesses hypotensive bioactive compounds which lowers your blood pressure considerably. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. You may also have known that obesity and diabetes are risk factors of high blood pressure. By taking physalis angulata tea or juice, you would be on the right tract to lowering your blood pressure.

Ground cherry leaves boost blood production in your body

In the research on male fertility above, the methanolic extract was found to boost blood production in the bone marrow of the albino rats, resulting in increased level of premature red blood cells.

Physalis possess anti cancer bioactive compounds

One of the major traditional applications of ground cherry is in the treatment of several cancer. This is because of the anti-cancer properties of this wonderful plant against several cancer cell lines such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer as well as lung cancer. It also proved high activity against tumors. This is one of the many reason you should incorporate ground cherry in your daily home remedy tea.

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It is used in treating malaria infection

Physalins B, D, F, and G possess anti-plasmodium activity against malaria parasite. This may be the reason ground berry have been extensively used in the treatment of malaria. Another important function of this plant is its antipyretic effect. This makes it work best at calming malaria fever while inhibiting plasmodium growth and cell cycles. Drink the tea or juice of physalis angulata leaves and fruits to recover from fever and malaria.

Physalis angulata is used in treating asthma

The leaves of physalis angulata possess strong biochemical components that antagonize histamine and serotonin receptors. Histamine plays a role in the airway obstruction through smooth muscle contraction, bronchial secretion and airway mucosal edema. The inhibition of histamine from its receptors and that of serotonin helps in preventing the occurrence of asthma.

To treat asthma with wild tomato, make a tea of the leaves and stem by boiling for 15 minutes. Strain and drink twice a day for two weeks.

Is used in treating joint and body pain

Physalis plants possess anti-inflammatory compounds which suppress the release of proinflammatory cytokines through the inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase way, lymphocyte proliferation and production of TGF-β. Physalin E has shown activity against skin edema. The powerful anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties of physalis are seen in the treatment of such diseases as dermatitis, and all forms of arthritis. Both the roots and aerial parts are powerful in treating body and joint pains. You may boil the roots, leaves and fruits in clean water and drink for a week or two, depending on the severity of the pain.

Physalis angulata Plants Possess Strong Antioxidant Properties

Oxiative stress is the root cause of many illnesses, including autoimmune diseases. It is also implicated in cellular toxicity and apoptosis, which eventually lead to early aging. The fruits of physalis possess stronger antioxidant properties than most fruits regarded as antioxidants. Aside the fruits, the leaves and roots also possess antioxidant compounds. When you drink physalis tea, you are empowering your body with numerous antioxidants.

The antioxidants in physalis may help your body maintain its youthfulness for a longer period and delay the onset of aging. Another herb with strong antioxidants is watercress juice.

Golden Cherry May be used in treating hepatitis

In traditional medicines, golden berry is used in treating hepatitis and liver toxicity. It has been shown that the chemical compounds, physalins, possess antiviral activity against hepatitis causing viruses. Aside this function, physalins also protects the liver from toxic agents, making it a good home remedy for treating hepatitis and associated liver toxicity.

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Physalis angulata May Boost Your Immunity

Owing to its numerous bioactive compounds, physalis plants may boost your immune system and fight against invading diseases due to its strong antimicrobial activity.


The health benefits of physalis angulata as a home remedy for various health diseases cannot be overemphasized. Both the roots as well as the aerial parts, including the fruits possess strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties against several diseases. Its anticancer properties call for attention as cancer is increasing becoming a world health burden.

This article should not, however, replace your doctor. Always contact your doctor before embarking on any herbal mixture as a means of cure for an ailing system. However, you may drink golden berry tea as an antioxidant tea, just like other green teas.

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Chhaya Rathore KR, Dutt Shobharam Sahu and Lokesh Deb, (2011): Antiasthmatic activity of the methanolic extract of Physalis angulata Linn.: Journal of Medicinal Plants Research; 5(22):351-355.

Khaled Athmouni, Dalel Belhaj, Khaoula Mkadmini Hammi, Abdelfattah El Feki, Habib Ayadi. (2018) Phenolic compounds analysis, antioxidant, and hepatoprotective effects of Periploca angustifolia extract on cadmium-induced oxidative damage in HepG2 cell line and ratsArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry 124:3, pages 261-274.

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Sateesh Pujari and Estari Mamidala (2015). Anti-diabetic activity of Physagulin-F isolated fromPhysalis angulata fruits.The Ame J Sci & Med Res,2015,1(1):53-60. doi:10.17812/ajsmr2015113

RENGIFO-SALGADO, Elsa, y VARGAS-ARANA, Gabriel, y  “Physalis angulata L. (Bolsa Mullaca): A Review of its Traditional Uses, Chemistry and Pharmacology.” Boletín Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromáticas, vol. 12, no. 5, 2013, pp.431-445. Redalyc,








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