Jamun, Black Berry – Syzygium Cumini
Syzygium Cumini, jambul, jambolan, jamblang, or jamun, is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. Syzygium cumini is native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The name of the fruit is sometimes mistranslated as blackberry, which is a different fruit in an unrelated family.
Cumini is also known as jambul/jambhul/jambula/jamboola, Java plum, jamun, jaam/kalojaam, jamblang, jambolan, black plum, Damson plum, Duhat plum, Jambolan plum or Portuguese plum. Malabar plum may also refer to other species of Syzygium. This fruit is called Jamun in [Konkani], Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, Naaval Pazham in Tamil, Naaval Pazham in Malayalam, Nerale Hannu in Kannada,Neredu Pandu[నెరేడు పండు] in Telugu, Kalojam or Jam in Bengali, Jamukoli in Oriya and Jambu in Gujarat.
A slow growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. At the base of the tree, the bark is rough and dark grey, becoming lighter grey and smoother higher up. The wood is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.
The leaves which are an aroma similar to turpentine, are pinkish when young, changing to a leathery, glossy dark green with a yellow midrib as they mature. The leaves are used as food for livestock, as they have good nutritional value.
The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, for example.), Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments.
The pulp of the fruit, extracts from the bark and seeds is of great benefit when it comes to lowering of blood glucose level. Taking dried extract of the seeds orally, greatly reduces the blood sugar and glucosuria. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.
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