Scientific Name: Opuntia Tuna
Common Name: Tuna, Prickly Pear, Indian Fig
Opuntia Tuna Description and Overview:
Tuna is a common Jamaican plant, which is also commonly known as prickly pear or opuntia. It is typically seen in most Jamaican home gardens. Like all true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Western hemisphere; however, they have been introduced to other parts of the globe. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico, especially in the central and western regions. These plants do extremely well in dry rocky areas, which makes it drought resistant.
Prickly pears (opuntia) typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes (also called platyclades) that are armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids, that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures.
Plant Constituents: They contain a series of characteristic alkaloids. The stem is said to contain calcium oxalate and calcium malate. It also produces tuna gum which contains a substance called bassorin. The fruit is an astringent. (8, I5, 26).
Opuntia Tuna (Prickly Pear)
Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of Opuntia Tuna:
Dosage and Administration of Opuntia Tuna
Sliced stem can be applied in some cases.
The fruit can be liberally eaten
Potential Side Effects of Opuntia Tuna
No proven side effects.
Tips & Warnings of Opuntia Tuna
Prickles from plant can easily penetrate skin.
Jamaica Library Service