Jamun: A diabetes fighter

Introduction

Its an old dictum that a healthy diet leads to a healthy body and a healthy mind. Ayurveda explains how diet affects the three doshas of a person and recognizes the role of all the six ras (can be referred to as six tastes) i.e. sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each ras plays a vital role for our well being and health, and also forms the reason for the aggravated doshas or any imbalances in them. Therefore out of all these six ras, the bitter and astringent taste of a fleshy fruit, Jamun is imperative. Jamun is loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids essential for a healthy body and mind in both men and women. It prevent us from various disorders such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders etc. To guide you with holistic health, our seventeenth episode of the series #SacredIndianHerbs flashes light on various health benefits of this very important summer fruit, Jamun.

English name: Black plum, java plum
Hindi name: Jamun, jambul, kala jamun
Scientific name: Syzygium cuminii

Found in both wild and cultivated form, Jamun is a slow growing - large sized tree that grows about 100 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It bears a humble fruit with minimal calories which is very tasty and is eaten as a healthy snack in many parts of the world. People usually enjoy the luscious sweetness of this black fruit with the purple stains that is left on their tongues. On top of that, it also comes with wonderful health and medicinal benefits and some of them are described as below:

Jamun for diabetes

The jamun fruit seems to work as a wonderful medicine for those suffering from diabetes. The fruit as a whole, including its fleshy part as well as the seed has hypoglycemic effects. Jamun seeds contains jamboline, a type of glucose which helps to control the conversion of starch into sugar. To manage blood sugar levels, you can consume 2.5-5g of jamun seeds powder two times daily. People with diabetes are more susceptible to dry mouth and often feels thirsty. Jamun seeds powder will act as ‘Trishna nigrahan’, i.e. thirst quenching remedy for these people. Also, to combat excess heat in summers, Jamun seeds powder can be served to relieve thirst.

Jamun for nausea

Jamun has antiemetic action and is very beneficial for the children and adults who experiences sour taste of mouth and acidic vomitus. For immediate cure, extract the juice of the leaves of jamun and mango tree and heat the juice on slight flame. When the consistency of the juice becomes thick enough, then turn off the flame and let it cool down. Consume 1 teaspoon of this juice whenever one feels nauseated.

Jamun for leucorrhea

The discharge of fluids from female genitals represent normal functioning for female reproductive system. However, if a woman experience difference in color, smell or consistency of the discharge, then it is quite possible she would be dealing with an infection or other condition. So, in such conditions, consuming jamun seeds powder (5g) along with rice water two times a day for 30 days will be beneficial. The anti-inflammatory, astringent and antimicrobial properties of jamun will reduce the inflammation, infection and the foul smell of the discharge. It is also necessary to maintain personal hygiene as well along with the intake of jamun.

Jamun for dyspepsia

If you are experiencing impaired indigestion, upper abdominal fullness, heartburn, nausea, belching, or upper abdominal pain, then jamun vinegar is very beneficial. Consume the vinegar before meals by adding rock salt in it. The appetite would increase and also the absorption process would be better. The major cause of dyspepsia is less formation of digestive juices. So consuming jamun will help to prevent such diseases and disorders.

Jamun for bleeding disorders (raktapitta)

Jamun can be used as a first aid in stopping abnormal bleeding through the mouth, nose, genitals or stools. Crush the leaves of jamun, guava and arjun tree in equal quantity, and consume 10 ml of extracted juice daily.

Jamun vinegar benefits and recipe

Jamun fruit is abundant in India and is also a main ingredient of various ayurvedic preparations. Being it a seasonal fruit, one should try to have more and more amount of jamun during the summer season. We can also derive the benefits of Jamun whole year by gathering it during the season and making its vinegar. Jamun vinegar or sirka is generally used as food preparations for adding flavor and dressing but it actually has a greater medicinal importance. It is beneficial for treating certain health problems such as jaundice, diabetes and myasthenia gravis. Now the question arises how and where will you get this jamun vinegar? Well ! Here’s how you can prepare jamun vinegar at home. During the season, gather jamun fruits and place them in a mud pot. The pot is covered with cheesecloth (कपड़ मिट्टी) and is sealed for 1-2 months to prevent dust, bugs or anything else from falling into the pot. Place the container where it can be left to ferment naturally without any disturbance and do keep it away from direct sunlight. During this time, carbohydrate present in them are converted to alcohol and finally to acetic acid. Sucrose present in jamun is converted to acidic form by self generating bacteria present in them. You may stir the pot once in a week. After a month or so, filter the jamun juice into another container to remove its floats & thick scum formed on the top of the pot. Strain the liquid again after a month through a clean cloth into the bottle. Thus, your homemade jamun vinegar is ready to use. The bitter and astringent taste of the vinegar will help from curing spleen, stomach and diabetic problems as mentioned earlier. As iron is important component of hemoglobin and increases red blood cell count, you can also place an iron nail inside the mud pot to make the vinegar more effective blood purifier.

Therefore, all these herbs are unique in a way that it make sure to provide maximum digestibility, nourishes the tissues and prevent various diseases. We should try to understand their qualities and how they affect doshas and how to balance different tastes to prevent the diseases. So let us make these natural herbs our medicine in maintaining our health and well being !

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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri

Haridwar

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