Evergreen tree growing to 33 ft (10 m). Has lance-shaped leaves and green-yellow flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
A native of southern Asia and Australia, jambul is now also found in tropical regions of Africa. The tree is cultivated commercially for its fruit and is propagated from seed or semiripe cuttings in summer. It requires well-drained soil and plenty of sun. The fruit is harvested when ripe.
Fresh and dried fruit, seeds.
Jambul contains triterpenes, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and volatile oil.
History & Folklore
Jambul is a typical example of a medicinal plant that is both food and medicine. The fruit when ripe has the scent and taste of a ripe apricot and is eaten as a preserve. While both fruit and seed have a tonic and astringent effect on the digestion, the seeds have long traditional use in Ayurveda as a preventative and treatment for diabetes.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Following traditional use, jambul continues to be employed for a wide variety of health problems. The powdered seed is commonly taken to treat diabetes and the frequent urination that accompanies it, as well as a remedy for mouth ulcers, stomachache, diarrhea, dysentery, and worms. Case reports over the last 100 years and more recent pharmacological research supports the use of jambul for diabetes and poor blood glucose control. It is thought to lower blood-sugar levels by about 30%.
Many other closely related species have notable therapeutic activity. Cloves (Eugenia caryophyllata) are taken for digestive problems and to treat infection. Syzygium gerrardii from South Africa and Luma chequen from Chile are used to treat coughs and congestion.