Eating a manchineel “beach apple”BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7258.428 (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:428
- Nicola H Strickland, consultant radiologist
- London, Anne Glennie, Helen Sanderson previously research botanist, Centre for Economic Botany, Kew
Last year I went on holiday with a non-medical friend to the Caribbean island of Tobago. On the first morning we found one of those idyllic deserted beaches, exactly as described in the brochure: white sand, swaying palms, turquoise sea. While searching for exotic shells and coral fragments, I saw some green fruits among the scattered coconuts and mangoes lying on the beach. They were round, the size of a tangerine, and had apparently fallen from a large tree with a silvery bole and oblique based leaves.
I rashly took a bite from this …