Grewia asiatica (Phalsa or Falsa) (Urdu: فالسہ ) is a species of
Grewia native to southern Asia from Pakistan east to Cambodia, and
widely cultivated in other tropical countries. Grewia celtidifolia
was initially considered a mere variety of Phalsa, but is now
recognized as a distinct species.
It is a shrub or small tree growing to 8 m tall. The leaves are
broadly rounded, 5–18 cm long and broad, with a petiole 1-1.5 cm
long. The flowers are produced in cymes of several together, the
individual flowers about 2 cm diameter, yellow, with five large (12
mm) sepals and five smaller (4–5 mm) petals. The fruit is an edible
drupe 5–12 mm diameter, purple to black when ripe.
Cultivation and uses
It is extensively cultivated for its sweet and sour acidic
fruits, which are sold in the market during summer months under the
name Falsa. The pleasant sherbet or squash is prepared from the
fruit pulp by mixing it with sugar and used as an astringent,
stomachic and cooling agent.
The fruits allay thirst and burning sensations, and can reduce
inflammations. These are said to be good for heart and blood
disorders, fevers and diarrhoea. The fruit is also good for the
troubles of throat. The unripe fruits remove vata, kapha and
biliousness. The root bark is used by Santhal tribals for
rheumatism. The stem bark is said to be used in refining sugar, for
making ropes and its infusion is used as a demulcent. The leaves are
used as an application to pustular eruptions. The buds are also
prescribed by some physicians.
It has become naturalised and locally invasive in Australia and