Jamun is commonly known as Java plum or Indian blackberry. They ripen during June and July with the onset of monsoon and are extremely popular in India. These nutri-rich berries have many health benefits and medicinal properties. More on our favourite berry below.
Interesting facts about the Jamun tree
The Jamun tree has a robust water-resistant trunk. The tree’s trunk is so strong that its timber is used to make several objects and 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 approximately 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 once planted. The yield gradually increases to produce an incredible amount of fruits per tree.
The Jamun berry
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 a small egg. It is interesting to see how the berry takes on various hues of attractive colour at different stages of ripening. It is green when unripe, turns pink while maturing, and finally, takes on a deep purple-black shade with a pinkish juicy flesh on reaching maturity.
The Jamun fruit is sweet in taste with a slightly acidic aftertaste. The most joyful part of bingeing on Jamuns is being left with a purple tongue, and don’t we all remember sticking out that colourful tongue to see who’s got the darkest shade? That’s just one of the many reasons why Jamuns have such a fan following among kids and adults alike!
Why it’s good for you
The berry is approximately 83% water, 16% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and some vitamin C. However, the fruit is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin B with active phytochemicals such as polyphenols.
The seed, too, has many uses in various alternative medicines such as Ayurveda and Unani, while the bark and the leaves help in controlling blood pressure and gingivitis.
The fruit has therapeutic properties that help tackle digestive issues, and more importantly, diabetes. It has two components, namely jamboline and jambosine, which reduce the release of sugar in the blood. Its seed also is believed to increase insulin production in the body.
Being low in calories, Jamuns help lose weight. It has a high fibre content that keeps one satiated for longer, preventing unwanted hunger pangs.
With phytochemicals like polyphenols containing anthocyanin, black plums are thought to prevent cancer as well as heart diseases.
This delightful tropical and sub-tropical fruit can be consumed in many delectable ways. It’s used to make vinegar cider and wine by allowing the Jamun fruit to ferment. It is also used in jams, refreshing sherbet syrups & mocktails, coolers, chutneys, and sauce mixes. Jamun also works beautifully in more exotic recipes like mousses, compotes, and panna cottas.
- Jamun fruit and leaves are very popular in Maharashtra. The leaves are used in marriage decorations.
- It is thought that the best way to consume the Jamun seed is in its powdered form. Allow the seeds to dry naturally then grind them into a fine powder.
- There is a variant of the Jamun fruit that is white in colour. It is believed to have several medicinal properties.
So in conclusion, all we can say is eat Jamun and go purple!