Commonly known as Java plum or Indian blackberry, this fruit is a purple berry of Jamun tree.
Interesting facts of Jamun tree
The Jamun tree has water-resistant and a robust trunk. The tree trunk is so strong that its timber is used to make many appliances. Called Neredu in Telugu, the sturdy tree trunk is used to assemble bullock-cart wheels and other agricultural supplies. It is also used in constructing doors and windows.
Jamun is a fast-growing tree growing up to about 30 meters. It is blessed with a very long life (100 years and counting) and grows throughout the year
This evergreen tropical tree is grown in India. It is also native to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Andaman Islands, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia. It begins to sprout petite fragrant flowers in March-April and by May-June, it begins to bear fruits.
Each Jamun tree usually bears fruits for 60+ years after planting. The yield gradually increases to an incredible amount of fruits per tree.
Botanically called Syzygium Cumini, Jamun is popularly known as Malabar plum, Java plum, Phanir, Jambu, Neredu, Negai, Black plum, or Jambolan.
The fruit or berry is oblong in shape and resembles an egg. It is interesting how it takes on different hues of attractive color from its flowering to blooming.
It is green at the blossoming stage and turns pink when maturing. Finally, it becomes luminous purple-black at maturity with a pinkish juicy flesh. There is another variant which is white in colour. It is believed to be used for medicinal purposes.
Jamun fruit is sweet to taste but leaves a slightly acidic flavour once eaten. But the joyful moment is when it leaves a purple tinge on the tongue. It provides an exciting moment for children to stick their tongues out at each other.
Good for you
The berry is approximately 83% water, 16% carbohydrates, 1% protein, some vitamin C. However, the fruit is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin B with active phytochemicals such as polyphenols.
The seed has its uses in various alternative medicines such as Ayurveda and Unani while the bark of the tree and the leaves help in controlling blood pressure and gingivitis.
The fruit has its therapeutic purpose and that is to tackle digestive issues and more importantly diabetes. The fruit has a component called jamboline and jambosine that reduces the release of sugar into the blood. The seed is believed to increase insulin output.
Being low on calories, Jamuns helps to lose weight. The trick is the high fiber content that keeps one satiated for a longer time preventing unwanted hunger pangs.
With phytochemicals like polyphenols containing anthocyanin, black plums are thought to prevent cancer and even heart diseases.
A delightful summer fruit, it can be used in many delectable preps. Vinegar cider and wine can be made from fermenting the Jamun fruit. Besides jams, refreshing sherbet syrup, coolers, chutney, and sauce mix to more trendy mousses, compotes, and Panna cottas can be dished out. The sherbet syrup/coolers can be used to prepare delicious mocktails.
Jamun fruit and leaves are very popular in Maharashtra. The leaves are used in marriage decorations.
A 1977 Marathi film ‘Jait re Jait mentions the fruit in the song
It is thought that the best way to have Jamun seed is in its powdered form. Allow the seeds to dry naturally then grind them to make powder.
Include Jamun in your diet, we say go purple!