Saturday, 10 August 2013

Fruit of the month (August): #Jamun - #Black Plum

Fruit of the month (August): Jamun- Black Plum



Jamun Fruit
I have an emotional attachment with the Jamun tree. We have one in our backyard. It has been standing there for almost three generations now as it was planted by my father and now his grandchildren play under its shade. They love to show off their purple tongues after eating the fruits. We watch in fondness as we too had done the same. My mother often complains about the mess created by the leaves and the ripe fruits that keep falling off the tree, still this seems insignificant to her as the tree is a witness to many naughty childhood stories of her children and grandchildren ...  in the long, hot tropical summer afternoons.  


Botanical name: Syzygium cumini / Eugenia jambolana
Common name: Black Plum, Java Plum, Jambolan
Hindi name: Jamun
Family: Myrtaceae
Parts used: Fruits, seeds, leaves and bark

Origin: Jamun tree is native to India and thrives in the Tropical climate. This tall tree that has the capacity to bear fruits for 60-70 years is found in almost all parts of Indian subcontinent along with other Southeast Asian countries and Eastern Africa.

Belief: Jamun is considered as a symbol of prosperity by the Hindus. They regard it as ‘Fruit of Gods’. Its leaves form an important part of Hindu prayer rituals. They are used to decorate doorways of temples and houses to ensure prosperity. They are also used as a part of wedding decorations to ensure prosperity and stability in marriage. Lord Krishna’s skin colour is often compared to this shiny blackish purple fruit. In Indian poetry, the poets poetically refer a woman’s beautiful eyes as ‘jamuns’ seeking inspiration from this beautiful delicate oblong fruit.

Useful components: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Calcium (Traces), Vitamins B and C, Iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and fiber. Jamun provides fewer calories as compared to other fruits. One medium sized fruit provides 3-4 calories.

Properties and benefits: According to Ayurveda jamun causes urine retention (mutrasangrahneya) and is helpful in treating vomiting (chardinigrehan). It is astringent, sweet and sour in taste. It’s easy to digest (laghu) and dry (rookhsha) in nature. By virtue of its properties, it increases ‘Vata’ Dosha and has a balancing effect on ‘Kapha’ and ‘Pitta’ Doshas. Due to this the traditional system of medicine recommends its use in diabetes, diarrhoea and menstrual disorders especially menorrhagia. It also improves digestion and is beneficial in emaciation, worm infestations and infections. It’s various parts and extracts are used in various ayurvedic formulations in combination with other herbs.
 Modern research recommends its use in diabetes. Extracts of bark, seeds and leaves have been found to be beneficial in reducing blood sugar and glycosuria. Several studies provide evidence for its hypoglycemic effects.

Recipe:
I recommend my patients to incorporate the fruit in their diet. It’s better to eat the fruit as such. The ripe fruit is liver stimulant, carminative, promotes digestion and has a cooling effect. Some like to have it as a juice.

Juice has shown beneficial effects in diarrhoea.
Jamun Juice

Juice Recipe
Ingredients
Jamun Fruit: 10- 20 (deseeded)
Salt: ½ teaspoon or as per taste
Sugar: according to taste, not recommended for diabetics.
Method:
Grind the jamuns .Strain. Add salt and sugar. A teaspoon of lemon juice can be added to enhance taste.
Dose : 15-20 ml once or twice in a day.

A refreshing summer drink can be made by grinding 350 gms Jamuns (deseeded) along with 500 ml of water. Strain and toss in some sugar and salt according to taste. (Serves 2-3).

 
A lot has been discussed about the fruit here and a lot more can be said as each part has its varied uses and has been used in very innovative ways in classical formulations of various Ayurvedic medicines. The readers should keep in mind that the fruit discussed above is for the purpose of promoting health and wellness. It is not a substitute to the advise and treatment recommended by your physician. To consult Dr. Moninder Kaur mail at bepositivewithlife@gmail.com

Enjoy the seasonal gifts from nature, Eat healthy and Be Positive with Life 

© Dr.Moninder Kaur 2013