Cojones de Caballo - Gastro Obscura
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Ritual & Medicinal

Cojones de Caballo

Belizeans use this bulbous fruit to kill mosquito-borne parasites.

Cojones de caballo, or “horse’s balls,” is the common name given by Belizeans to the fruit of a tree that also has its fruit to thank for its colloquial namesake: simply, “the horse’s balls tree.” When seeing the fruit hanging from its tree, the reason for its nickname becomes increasingly obvious, as the large, bulbous fruit grows in pairs.

When the skin of the fruit is cut, it begins to gush a sticky, milky-white residue. Because of this residue’s mildly adhesive quality, locals have compared it to store-bought glue, and use it for similar purposes. 

The cojones de caballo fruit is also known for one particular medicinal application: killing mosquito-borne parasites called botflies. Belizeans simply apply the fruit’s residue to the affected area and suffocate the parasite.

Need to Know

While humans use of the fruit is purely medicinal and practical, the cojones de caballo is a popular snack among capuchin monkeys.

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