Jamun look like olives, but are a sweet, slightly sour fruit, with a stone like an olive. They are native to the subcontinent and Indonesia and there are two basic varieties. One Jamun tree has dark purple to dark blue fruit which have seeds, and the other is a seedless variety whose colours range from white to purple.

The fruit arrives in summer and it is believed that if you eat a lot of jamun in this season, you will be healthy for the rest of the year, and get through the winter months with relatively few illnesses. Some people eat jamun with a little salt to take away the astringency of its taste. You will see jamun translated as blackberries, which they are not, and black plums, again which they are not. They are known in the States as Java plums, although they are not popular in the UK, probably because they can’t be grown in the climate. On the subcontinent it grows wild as well as in orchards.

The whole tree can be used in medicine and the wood is strong and durable, so can be used as railway sleepers.

In traditional medicine jamun is used for a multitude of purposes. If you burn the fresh leaves, the resultant ash can be sieved and used as a substitute for toothpaste, and as a remedy for gingivitis. Jamun fruit are rich in minerals, carbohydrates and vitamins A and C, but should not be eaten on an empty stomach as they will cause stomach pains. You shouldn’t contemplate eating unripe jamun either. The dried, powdered seeds are used to lower blood sugar levels and the leaves are used to treat ulcerous colitis. A decoction of the leaves and bark of the jamun tree controls blood pressure levels, while a decoction of the bark is used as a general tonic.

The powdered dried seeds are also good to get rid of skin blemishes left by pimples or acne. The fruit has antibiotic properties, as do the leaves, and if you have a nagging wound, then you should make a paste from the fresh leaves of the jamun tree and apply it to the wound, so that it heals. The juice and pulp of a soft ripe mango can be mixed with jamun leaves and honey, and taken twice a day to stop the burning sensation produced by vomiting. It is said that this will also stop vomiting. A traditional remedy for diarrhoea is to mix gur (jaggery) with the dried powder from jamun seeds and mango seed powder and to take a small quantity twice a day.

In folk medicine people use the fruit and powder when it isn’t in season to help cure a whole range of ailments, including asthma, sore throats, bronchitis, dysentery, blood impurities and ulcers. The juice cools the body in the heat of summer and quenches thirst. The owner of this site once had a bad culinary experience when he was in Greece. He saw a jamun tree (or thought he did) and took a fruit. Unfortunately it was an olive which exacerbated his thirst rather than quenching it.

Recent medical studies have found that jamun fruit, particularly those from Pakistani’s Punjab region, may help in breast cancer treatments as it seems to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cell lines, but more research is needed before this can be proved.

Like the Neem Tree, the Jamun Tree is a real Wonder Tree.

10 jamun per glass, chopped and seeds removed
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice

Blend the fruit, strain it, pour into a glass an add the honey and lemon juice. Chill in the fridge then serve with ice for a really cooling drink.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there -
    Seems a tasty recipe. But I wanna know, is there any way to dry the javaplums? I need to use it in winter also for stomach problems. It really works for me but not available in winter. So can you help.
    My Yahoo ID tommyboy9810
    Thanks a bunch :)