Jamun, the highly nutritious, refreshing and succulent fruit flooding the summer markets has innumerable health benefits. Commonly known as Java plum or Indian blackberry in English, Jamun or Jambul in Hindi, Jambufalam or Mahaphala in Sanskrit, Naavar Pazham in Tamil and Neredu in Telugu, it goes by the botanical name Syzygium cumini.
Jamun, the tall tree with a heavy trunk is native to the Indian sub-continent but is also widely found in various Asian countries. The tree bears fruits which are oblong in shape – that are green when raw but turn pink or purple as they ripen.
This juicy fruit holds a great significance in holistic treatments like Ayurvedic, Unani and Chinese medicine as it attenuates Kapha and Pitta.
In fact, jamun found a special mention in Ramayana and is prized as the ‘Fruit of Gods’ as Lord Rama survived eating this berry during his 14 years of exile in the forest.
Available in two varieties – Jamuns with white toned flesh and has a good amount of pectin while the other one with dark purplish flesh has lower amounts of pectin. Pectin is a polysaccharide substance present in the flesh of berries, fruits like apples that serves as a thickening agent, while making jams and jellies.
The outer layer of the fruit appears to be blackish or dark purplish in colour and has a distinct sweet taste with sour and astringent undertones.
Black Plums are also low on calorie count with only 3 to 4 calories compared to other berries and is an excellent source of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and few phytochemicals.
The fruit is diuretic, anti- scorbutic and carminative in properties and is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds. Ayurveda strongly recommends this berry for treating various conditions related to heart, arthritis, asthma, stomach pain, bowel spasm, flatulence and dysentery. The diuretic effects of jamun flushes toxins out of the kidneys, while the high fibre content aids in digestion and prevents nausea and vomiting.
Several studies show that the high alkaloid content present in jamun is effective in controlling hyperglycaemia or high blood sugar. Apart from the fruit, extracts from the seeds, leaves and bark are useful for reducing the high levels of blood sugar in your body.
Black Plum being a highly nutritious succulent fruit, can be consumed in various ways. The fruit can either be enjoyed raw or can be taken in the form of juices and is also used in various culinary applications such as salads, smoothies and jam.
The seed can be consumed in the form of powder or churna. These days, the goodness of jamun tree, bark, leaves, fruits are also being integrated into health supplements that are available in the form of tablets and capsules.
How To Make Jamun Juice At Home
Jamun is one of the tastiest summer fruits which not only replenishes your body with high energy levels but also boosts the presence of antioxidants and flavonoids, for the prevention of chronic diseases and fight against free radical cell damage.
10 – 15 jamun fruits
1 cup of chilled water
¼ tbsp black salt
2 tbsp honey
A pinch of ginger
A pinch of chat masala
Wash and pat dry the black plums.
Remove the seed and slice it into small pieces.
Put the sliced plums in a blender.
Add the remaining ingredients-water, salt, honey, ginger and chat masala in the blender.
Blend the entire thing into a smooth liquid.
Sieve the juice to remove any particles.
Pour it in a glass and add ice cubes if required.
A glass of yummy Jamun Juice is ready to be savoured.
Nutritional benefits of Jamun Juice:
The polyphenolic ingredients present in the fruit play a significant role in the treatment of diabetes, heart problems and cancer.
Honey or flavoured honey is known for lowering high blood pressure, improves good cholesterol and reduces the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Regular intake of honey helps in shedding that extra fat in the body.
Gingerol, being the active ingredient of ginger is used as an expectorant for providing relief from cough and cold. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger also help in treating osteoarthritis and issues related to bones.
The presence of iron and minerals in the black salt make the juice healthy for people suffering from mild hypertension and for those on low sodium diet. Black salt helps in restoring electrolyte balance in your body, relieves from heart burn, stomach bloating and boosts your digestive metabolism.
Black Plum, Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 251 kJ (60 kcal)
Carbohydrates 15.56 g
Fat 0.23 g
Protein 0.72 g
Water 83.13 g
Vitamin A 3 IU
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%)
Vitamin B6 0.038 mg (3%)
Vitamin C 14.3 mg (17%)
Calcium 19 mg (2%)
Iron 0.19 mg (1%)
Magnesium 15 mg (4%)
Phosphorus 17 mg (2%)
Potassium 79 mg (2%)
Sodium 14 mg (1%)
*Source as per USDA
Benefits Of Jamun:
Jamun is a powerhouse of various nutritional components. It is loaded with a spectrum of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, fibre, magnesium, potassium, glucose, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients.
1. Low On Calories:
Jamun is the first choice for those on low calorie diet as it has a very minimal amount of glucose and fructose. With sucrose completely being absent, it makes an ideal snack or fruit for those suffering from diabetes and is highly recommended for those on a weight loss diet plan.
2. Fibre Rich:
Jamun is loaded with fibre that prevents chronic diseases, aids in digestion and cures several gastrointestinal problems like constipation, bowel disorders, nausea, diarrhoea and dysentery.
3. Loaded With Vitamin C:
Jamun being an excellent source of Vitamin C has numerous benefits. The antioxidant properties of vitamin – C or ascorbic acid help in healing wounds, strengthen teeth, bone and cartilage. It is also widely referred as an immune booster as it prevents several respiratory infections like common cough, cold, asthma and other contagious infections. Thanks to vitamin C, regular consumption of this fruit also contributes towards healthy skin and hair.
4. High On Iron:
Jamun being loaded with iron is highly beneficial and is recommended for people suffering from anaemia. The abundance of iron in Jamun makes it one of the natural foods to purify blood, increases red blood cells and haemoglobin count of blood. Traditionally, jamuns are must-have fruit for women and girls during menstruation to balance the huge amount of blood loss. It helps body to recover from weakness and fatigue.
Powerhouse of Phytochemicals and Polyphenols:
Jamun fruit has a rich load of bioactive phytochemicals including polyphenolic compounds and flavonoids. Research confirms that Jamun has anti-cancer and chemo-preventive properties and is quite effective while treating cancer, heart and liver ailments.
Abundance of Minerals:
Jamun contains high amount of minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The sodium and potassium mainly balance the electrolyte content in the body whereas calcium and magnesium are essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Jamun For Various Health Conditions:
1. Diabetes Management:
Ayurveda suggests Jamun as a highly effective fruit while fighting against diabetes. The seeds of the fruit have active ingredients called jamboline and jambosine that slow down the rate of sugar released into the blood and increases the insulin levels in the body. It converts starch into energy and reduces the symptoms of diabetes such as frequent urination and thrusting.
2. Healthy Heart:
Jamun is laden with high amount of potassium. A serving of 100 gm jamun contains 79 mg of potassium. It is extremely beneficial in keeping heart related ailments at a bay. Regular consumption of Jamun prevents hardening of arteries, reduces high blood pressure and prevents strokes.
3. Weight Loss:
Being low on calories and high on fibre, makes Jamun an ideal fruit in all weight loss diets and recipes. It improves your digestion and the pharmacological properties help in minimizing water retention besides boosting body metabolism, satiating your hunger and gives you a feeling of fullness.
4. Oral Hygiene:
Dried and powdered leaves of Jamun have anti-bacterial properties and is used as a tooth powder for strengthening teeth and gums. The fruit and leaves possess strong astringent properties, making it highly effective against throat problems and in eliminating bad breath. The decoction of the bark can be used as a mouth wash or gargled regularly to prevent mouth ulceration and gingivitis.
5. Radiant Skin:
Drinking Jamun juice regularly gives you a healthy, glowing skin. It detoxifies and purifies the blood and makes your skin glow from inside. The high index of Vitamin -C blesses you with a blemish free radiant skin.
1.Mix dried, powdered jamun seeds with honey and apply it as a mask on your face and leave it overnight. It considerably reduces pimples, dark spots and pigmentation, when religiously followed for a month.
2. Apply fresh jamun juice on your face after cleansing. Jamun being a natural astringent act as a toner, it reduces the pores and controls excess secretion of oil.
3. For people having oily skin, mix squashed jamun, curd and rose water and apply it as a face pack. Regular use would cause noticeable reduction of pimples.
Jamun in Ayurveda and Supplements
According to Ayurveda, Jamun is a pivotal ingredient in treating majority of health disorders. Several ancient ayurvedic texts even mention India as Jambudweep or a “land of Jambu” as there are a vast number of jamun trees growing in our nation.
Jamun is considered to be a magic tree as it is beneficial right from the root, leaves, fruits and even bark for numerous medicinal properties. The pulp and the seeds are significant for treating diabetes while the leaves of the tree are useful for teeth and gum disease. The bark of the tree prevents gingivitis and is also effective against infestation of worms in the body.
The fruit has cold potency (sheeta veerya) and keeps the body cool. It has sweet (madhura rasa), sour (amla rasa) and astringent (Kashaya rasa) taste. Jamun fruit normalises Pitta and Kapha and increases Vata. Due to these actions on doshas, this fruit is helpful in controlling many health conditions and is available in the market in various formulations:
Jamun Churna Powder:
The powder of the seeds of Jamun is highly beneficial in reducing the blood sugar level. It promotes digestion and is effective for a healthy heart and liver. It is also essential for maintaining bone health, blood dysentery, hoarseness, bilious diarrhoea, bed wetting in children and excessive urination in adults.
Jamun Churna for PCOS:
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome causes female infertility. It causes weight gain and increases levels of insulin in the body. Ayurvedic doctors suggest Jamun churna or vatis (i.e. tablets or capsules) containing Jamun as an active ingredient to overcome PCOS.
Jamun Churna for Male Infertility:
Men suffering from diabetes and obesity, often experience erectile dysfunction and low sexual drive. Regular intake of churna or powder of the seeds, leaves or bark of Jamun acts as a remedy.
How To Make Jamun Churna Powder:
2 kgs of fresh jamun
Clean the jamuns and squeeze out the seeds.
Wash the seeds thoroughly and dry them completely under the sun.
Remove the outer kernel and again dry them for a week.
Break the seeds and grind them into a fine powder.
Sieve the powder to remove any hard particles.
Store it in an air tight container.
Triphala Jamun Ras:
This Ayurvedic concoction is a mixture of Jamun, Amla, Harad and Bahera. The key ingredients are popular for therapeutic properties and are helpful in treating vision problems, migraine, digestion, obesity, headache, piles, urinary disorder, stomach problem and constipation. The tonic must be added to your regular diet to garner its benefits.
The amazing tonic is prepared by using either the fruit pulp or raw juice. Ayurveda recommends for treating diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, dysuria and diabetes. It is also used in various culinary preparations.
Other Traditional Uses of Jamun
Gargling diluted Jamun juice can be used in treating throat problems.
Drinking juice of a ripe jamun fruit can be helpful in curing urine retention and enlargement of spleen.
As Jamun exhibits astringent and antibacterial properties, the juice is useful for treating fungal infections on the scalp.
Ayurveda also suggests using the crushed leaves of jamun as a poultice for skin problems.
Roots of the Jamun is helpful for treating epilepsy
Mix a small quantity of Jamun churna with oil and apply it on boils or other skin problems for getting instant relief.
Consuming jamun regularly can provide you relief from bleeding haemorrhoids.
Jamun is a nutritious and amazing fruit available throughout the summer season. It can be relished in the form of juices, smoothies, ice cream, salad, pies and can also be transformed into jam to savour its taste year long.
We bring you two such delectable recipes of the Indian blackberry, one which can be made any time during the summers and the other that can be stored throughout the year.
Jamun, Quinoa, Mango Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 ripe mango
1 cup jamun
½ cucumber (peeled)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Rock salt to taste
Boil the quinoa in water under low flame and cool it down.
Mix it with chopped mangoes, seedless jamun and cucumber.
Add black pepper, salt, lemon juice and olive oil as dressing.
Mix it well and serve.
A healthy yet appetizing blend of the summer fruits and quinoa sprinkled with lemon, salt and pepper gives this salad a high nutritional value. While mango provides good amounts of vitamin A, folate, vitamin B-6, quinoa is loaded with fibre.
2 kg Jamun
1 cup brown sugar/ sugar
1 cup water
½ tbsp cinnamon powder
3 tbsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp fennel powder
Wash the fruits thoroughly and remove the seeds from inside.
Cut the fruits into small pieces.
Boil the sugar in 1 cup of water until it reaches thick consistency.
Add the sliced fruits, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel powder in it.
Keep on stirring for 15-20 mins until all the fruits are squishy and the jam thickens.
Cool it down and store it in a clean glass jar.
Refrigerate the jam for enjoying it yearlong.
The jam can be stored throughout the year. It can be spread on breads and chapatis. Apples are loaded with vitamin A, while cinnamon, cardamom, and fennel aid in digestion.
Adverse Effects of Jamun:
Like all fruits, Jamun may exhibit certain contraindications in few people. If you suffer an allergic reaction like hives, skin rash, swollen gums, lips and eyelids after eating the fruit, talk to doctor immediately.
Be mindful of the following while eating Jamun.
- Intake of Jamun lowers the blood sugar level naturally, hence it should be avoided before or after a surgery.
- Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers must not take jamun without consulting the doctor.
- As jamun has a mild sour taste, it must not be consumed on empty stomach or after drinking milk as it might cause acidity.
- Jamun contains minimal sugar, but over consumption may lead to increase in the levels of blood sugar in your body.
- Avoid nibbling on roadside Jamun, as it may be contaminated with heavy metals from exhaust fumes.
- Eating huge quantity of jamun may lead to fever, body ache and throat problems.
- As jamun enhances the Vata dosha in the body, people having a higher level of Vata should avoid consuming the fruit.
- Jamun should not be taken by people who have atherosclerosis or a history of formation of blood clots.
- Consuming jamun in huge amount may cause hyperacidity and retention of gas in the stomach.
- People who have a tendency of vomiting, must not take jamun.