What is Jambul?
Jambul is a summer fruit with a wide variety of important medicinal benefits. Also known as black plum, jamun, jambas and rajaman, the fruit has been used for centuries as a diuretic and for its ability to treat treat stomach pains and diarrhea. The fruit contains a wide variety of medicinal compounds including polyphenols which have applications for heart disease, diabetes and arthritis among other conditions.
Jambul is originally native to Australia and Southern parts of Asia but is now commonly found growing in various tropical parts of the world including China, South America and Africa. It is actually related to the clove and belongs to a family of evergreen shrubs and trees with edible seeds and fruit that are commonly used in medicinal preparations.
The tree is quite large and grows upwards of 10 meters. These days, the trees are cultivated almost exclusively for their delicious fruit. If you have never eaten jambul and are wondering how they taste, I think the best approximation is that the taste similar to sweet, ripe apricots. Let us take a closer look at the benefits of this fruit.
Traditional Uses of Jambul
Jambul has traditionally been used as a health tonic especially by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in India. The fruit and the seeds have been used to treat diabetes because of its hypoglycemic actions. In India today, jambul seed extract is given to diabetic patients in powdered form to help treat diabetic patients and to deal with frequent urination.
It is also a popular Ayurvedic remedy for stomach complaints like dysentery and diarrhea. Other traditional uses of jambul include the treatment of bloating, flatulence, cramps and indigestion while it is even used to treat epilepsy in some parts of Asia.
Jambul Nutritional Value
Jambul is a fruit with an array of important nutrients. Despite containing sugars in the form of fructose and glucose, it is fairly low in calories and also low on the glycemic index. The fruit contains various essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium while it is also a great source of vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
What are the Health Benefits of Jambul?
The reason that jambul has such a wide range of medicinal uses is down to its chemical compounds which includes tannins, phenols, alkaloids and triterponoids. The fruit and its seeds have various medicinal activities including carminative and diuretic actions and the ability to lower blood sugar levels.
1) For the Treatment of Diabetes
Perhaps the most important and popular use of jambul is as a treatment for people with diabetes. The fruit is known to have anti-diabetic activities which Indian practitioners have known about for a very long time. Jambul works by helping to convert starches in the body into energy and helping to keep blood glucose levels under control.
Jambul has a low glycemic index and diabetic patients in India and other Asian countries are advised to eat the fruit regularly. Jambul also helps ease many of the symptoms of diabetes such as frequent urination.
While the traditional use of jambul is impressive enough, recent research also backs up its effectiveness. One study conducted in Lucknow, India found that a dried extract of the fruit’s seeds helped significantly reduce blood sugar levels.
2) For Digestive Complaints
Another one of Jambul’s important medicinal uses is to help treat a very wide variety of digestive complications. Jambul is well known to help relieve diarrhea and colic and decoctions made from the seeds are a popular remedy. The fruit can also be eaten or taken in supplementary form to help treat other common digestive complaints including indigestion, flatulence and stomach cramps.
3) For your Skin
As well as being an effective remedy for numerous internal conditions, jambul seeds can also be used to help you achieve a beautiful appearance. While simply eating the antioxidant rich fruit is good for the overall health of your skin, the seeds can also be used to clear up chronic skin complaints like acne.
There are several ways to use jambul seeds to help attain healthier skin. One popular method is to crush up the seeds and add a small amount of milk in order to mix it up into a smooth paste. Apply the finished paste to your skin before bed and leave it on overnight before washing it of the following morning. This can help you attain a stronger, healthier looking appearance and is a great natural way of dealing with acne.
Another recipe involves a combination of jambul pulp, rose water, amla juice and barley flour. Mix the ingredients into a thick paste and apply it as a face mask. Leave the mask on until it dries and then rinse it off with clean water.
4) For Heart Health
Because of all the healthy nutrients it contains, the jambul fruit can be an excellent weapon against heart disease especially if you eat them regularly. It goes without saying that fresh fruit like jambul is better for your heart than the processed junk that so many of us eat these days and the antioxidant levels as well as certain minerals and vitamins it possesses can do a great deal for your heart’s long term health.
Jambul is very high in potassium with a 100 gram serving containing as much as 55 mg of the mineral. Potassium is known to be extremely important to the heart and it helps regulate heart rhythm. According to research, a healthy amount of potassium in the diet can also help reduce blood pressure which in turn reduces the risk of developing killer diseases like atherosclerosis or heart attack.
5) For Oral Health
Waste not want not ….as the saying goes. As well as the fruit itself and the seeds, the leaves and bark can also be put to good use for health purposes. Jambul leaves and bark have antibacterial and astringent properties that many people find perfect for ensuring good oral health and are also used to help relieve sore throats.
A decoction made from the bark can be used as a mouthwash and is considered to be beneficial for gum disease and painful ulcers because of its astringent and antibacterial qualities. Gargling with a decoction helps to soothe painful gums and treat gingivitis.
Jambul leaves can be chewed to ensure oral cleanliness and a powder made from the leaves can also be used to help treat infection, bleeding and pain.
6) To Boost the Blood
Jambul fruit is also high in iron content and vitamin C. Iron is known to be an important mineral when it comes to boosting the blood, especially the production of haemoglobin. It can help protect against diseases like anemia which are caused by an iron deficiency and results in numerous symptoms including debilitating weakness and fatigue. It is also beneficial for women who might lose iron during their monthly periods.
7) Other Potential Benefits from Jambul
As well as the major benefits listed above, there are several other potential uses for jambul when it comes to your health. Chewing the leaves is a great way to restore digestive health and rid yourself of ulcers. In Ayurvedic medicine, the fruit is also used to purify the blood and protect the liver and kidneys.
As a rich source of antioxidants, the long term consumption of the fruit or its extracts may also help protect against cancer and brain disease.
How to Use Jambul
As well as eating the fruit in its fresh state, you may like to use jambul to make tasty sauces and jams. Jambul is also used commercially to produce a vinegar and a good quality wine.
You can also get jambul in supplementary form which are typically in the form of tinctures. A decocotion made from the seeds and bark is another possibility.
Have you ever eaten jambul in any of its forms? Let us know what you thought of it and whether it had any positive effects on your health.