Jambul

Botanical Names

  • Family Myrtaceae
  • Eugenia jambolana syn. Syzygium cumini syn. Syzygium jambolana

Common Names

  • Jambolan, Jambu, Jamum, Java Plum, Rose Apple, Thorn Apple

Cautions

  • None listed.

Description

Native to southern Asia and Australia, jambul is now found growing throughout tropical regions of India, Indonesia, China, Australia, the Antilles, and Africa. It is related to Cloves and comes from a genus of evergreen trees and shrubs with edible fruits and seeds that are used in many medicinal preparations. Many species are found exclusively in South America. Cultivated mainly for its fruit, jambul is a typical example of a plant used for food and for medicine. The plant grows to over thirty feet, with lance-shaped leaves and greenish yellow flowers. The ripened fruit has a scent and taste of ripe apricots.

History

  • None listed.

Key Actions

  • astringent
  • carminative
  • Diuretic
  • lowers blood sugar levels

Key Components

  • phenols (methylxanthoxylin)
  • tannins
  • alkaloid (jambosine)
  • triterpenoids
  • volatile oil

Medicinal Parts

  • Fruit, seeds, dried bark

Traditional Uses

 Decoctions or tinctures from the seeds are used to treat diarrhea and colic.

The fruit and seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes. Research has shown that it has significant hypoglycemic action in both the urine and blood and, therefore, of value to diabetics. A number of herbal medicines are proving helpful in this area, including the bilberry, as well as jambul. Tests show that even small amounts of jambul will rapidly reduce blood and urine sugar levels. The reason that this plant is not used more extensively for this purpose is because it seems to work only in a small percentage of diabetics.

In India, powdered jambul seeds, or occasionally the tincture, are given for diabetes and the frequent urination that accompanies it.

In Ayurvedic medicine, jambul is ground with mango seeds and taken to treat diarrhea and dysentery.

An effective remedy for indigestion, soothing stomach cramps and dispersing gas.

In parts of Southeast Asia, the roots are sometimes given as a treatment for epilepsy.

There are many related species that are also valued for their therapeutic properties, including cloves (E. caryophyllata) for digestive problems and infections, E. chequeri, from Chile, and E. gerrodi from South Africa are used to treat coughs and congestion. From Brazil, E. uniflora is used to help repel mosquitoes and other insects.

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