Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.
About Jamun (Jambul) and the Jamun Tree
Latin Name: Syzygium cumini
In India, the Syzygium cumini tree and its fruit are known variously as jamun, jambul, jaam, jambul etc. Worldwide, it is known by some other names like java plum, black plum, Indian blackberry, Portuguese plum, jambolana plum, etc.
The Jamun tree is native to India and its bordering countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh Sri Lanka and even Indonesia. In 1911, this tree was introduced in Florida by the USDA.
The tree grows equally well in both the tropical and the subtropical regions. Though organised cultivation is not done much, a lot of trees are grown individually by people having land in their backyards. In the wild, however, it grows all over India.
It is a large and hardy evergreen tree and lives for over a hundred years. It starts flowering in the month of March and continues till May. Thereafter, with the onset of monsoon in June, it starts bearing fruit. The flowers are white and have a sweet fragrance.
The fruits do not ripen at the same time and are picked daily. Jambul fruits resemble grapes and are oblong or ovoid in shape. Only ripe fruits are picked as they do not ripen once they are picked. They have a single seed and a soft dark purple coloured almost black skin and a lighter purple flesh. When eaten, the fruits coat the mouth and the tongue a deep purple colour that stays for a few hours.. The fruit is sweet and tart and leaves a slight astringent action in the mouth.
The Jamun tree is revered by the Buddhists.
Jamun Tree in Indian Culture
- In Indian mythology, Lord Rama is believed to have subsisted on the fruits of the jamun tree during his 14-year exile in the forests. Jamun is therefore also considered the "fruit of the Gods".
- Lord Krishna's skin colour was shyam (purple) and is compared to the fruit's colour in the Indian Sanskrit epic "Mahabharata".
- The leaves are used to decorate marriage pandals. (A pandal is a temporary fabricated structure to hold occasions like weddings, prayers, meetings etc).
- Down South in India, in the Telegu culture, eyes that are beautiful, are compared to this fruit.
Uses of the Jamun Tree
All the parts of the jamun or jambul tree find a wide variety of uses.
The wood is exceptionally strong and water-resistant. Hence, it is used to make bullock-cart wheels and agricultural implements. It is also used in house building.
It is used to make railway sleepers (wooden planks on which the steel rails are laid). Water pumps which are located in wells are also supported by planks made from this wood.
Furniture is also made from the wood, though not much, as the wood is tough to work upon.
The wood is used as firewood and yields charcoal too.
The leaves are used in a variety of tooth powder brands. They are also used as fodder for cattle, sheep and goats. They also act as food for tassar silkworms. The essential oils are used in soap making and perfumes.
The bark, leaves and fruits are used medicinally. The bark is used in tanning and dyeing industries. The flowers attract bees and are a source of honey.
The flowers are rich in nectar and yield high-quality honey when apiculture is done close by.
Jams, jellies, squashes, preserves, vinegar, juices, beverages, pickles and wine are made from the jamun fruits.
Nutrients in Jamun or Jambul
- The ripe Jambul fruit contains Glucose & Fructose are the major forms of sugar. It also contains Vitamins C & A, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, choline, folic acid, maleic acid, sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and iron. Anthocyanins are present in appreciable quantities and are the reason for the antioxidant activity of the fruit.
- The stem & bark contains tannin, gallic acid, resin, phytosterols.
- The seed contains the glycoside, jamboline, gallic acid and essential oils.
- The leaves contain essential oils.
- The flower contains terpenoids.
Nutritional Levels in Jamun/Black Plum/Java Plum
251 kJ (60 kcal)
Thiamine (vit. B1)
0.006 mg (1%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)
0.012 mg (1%)
Niacin (vit. B3)
0.260 mg (2%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.160 mg (3%)
0.038 mg (3%)
14.3 mg (17%)
19 mg (2%)
0.19 mg (1%)
15 mg (4%)
17 mg (2%)
79 mg (2%)
14 mg (1%)
Some Health Benefits of Jamun Fruit in General
- It is digestive and activates the liver and spleen.
- It is a good remedy for urinary diseases & diabetes.
- Regulates heartbeat.
- Purifies blood, cures anaemia and stops skin eruptions.
- Stops diarrhoea & dysentery.
- Relieves throat affections and other respiratory diseases.
- Removes worms.
- Vinegar made from the fruit gives relief in colitis, indigestion, stomach diseases. It relieves gas and improves digestive power.
- It breaks renal stones.
Some Specific Uses of Jamun (Jambul) for Healing
- Eat jamun daily.
- Boil 250 gms of the fruit in 500 ml water till they are soft. When cool crush the fruit in the water. Strain and drink 3 times daily.
- Mix 1/2 tsp powdered seeds with 1 tsp honey once daily in the evening.
Bed Wetting in Children
- Give 1 tsp ground seeds to the child with water.
- Take 4 gms seed powder twice a day with water, in the morning and in the evening.
- Take 20 gms powdered seeds. Mix in 1/2 cup water and drink twice a day.
- Add 10 gms bark in 500 ml water. Boil till it reduces to 1/4 th. Strain and cool. Take 20-25 ml of this 3 times a day.
- Take 2 leaves (they should neither be tender nor too thick). Grind them, add a little rock salt and make a pill. Take a pill each in the morning and evening.
It relieves immediately.
- Grind some seeds. Add just enough honey to make pills. Suck 2 pills 3 -4 times a day.
It relieves all problems associated with the voice. This remedy is very good for speakers and singers.
Dental & Gum Infections
- Mix ash of jamun leaves and ash of almond shells. Add a little peppermint to make an excellent tooth powder which not only cleans teeth but stops bleeding and relieves gum infections.
- Rub ash of leaves on the teeth and gums. It stops bleeding and makes the teeth strong.
If you suffer from pyorrhea wash the mouth with a mouthful of jamun juice.
- Diluted juice, when applied on the ringworm affected area, cures it.
- The powdered seeds give relief from this problem.
- Boil 15-20 tender leaves in 400 ml water till it gets reduced to 100 ml. Cool and wash the eyes with this decoction.
- Drink 10-15 ml juice for relief.
- Grind some tender leaves to make 20 ml juice. Add some sugar to it. Take 3 such doses every day for relief.
- Grind 10 gms leaves. Add to 250 ml of cow's milk. Stir well and take 3 doses of this every day for 1 week. It stops bleeding.
- Mix 2-3 gms of powdered bark with 2 tsp honey. Add to milk and drink.
Gas & Bloated Stomach
- Take 10 ml of jamun vinegar for relief in the water.
- Add a few pieces of mango & jamun to 500 ml of water. Boil till the water reduces to 1/4 th. Cool and drink about 10 ml to stop vomiting.
Enlarged Liver, Spleen, & Other Liver Problems
- Drink 2 tsp jamun vinegar daily.