Scientific name: Szygium cumini

Common names: Java Plum

Ayurvedic names: Jambu

Chinese names: Hai nan pu tao, Hei mo shu,  Wu kou shu, Wu mu.

Bangladesh names: Jam

Arabic names:

Rain Forest names:

Family: Myrtaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Fruit


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 10 inches in length

Actions:  Astringent, carminative

Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:

Description: Compared to other tree species, jambul grows very rapidly, quickly reaching its full height within forty years. The jambul is a tall tree with a wide range of heights in different places it grows in, it can often reach heights of one hundred ft – thirty m – in India and the region of Oceania. The jambul tree varieties grown in Florida can reach up to forty or fifty ft in height – twelve to fifteen meters. The spread of the tree can be thirty six ft – eleven m – on average, the typical diameter of the trunk being two or three ft – about 0.6-0.9 m across in width. The jambul tree normally forks into multiple trunks that radiate a short distance from the ground around the tree. The jambul tree has a distinct appearance as the bark covering the lower part of the tree is discolored, rough textured, cracked and flaking, the bark texture further up the tree is smooth with a light gray coloration. The evergreen leaves have a scent reminiscent of the compound turpentine. The arrangement of the leaves is opposite; each is about two to ten inches in length – five to twenty five cm, with a width of one to four inch – two and a half to ten cm across. The evergreen leaves of the jambul tree have an oblong shape, being oval or elliptic, and may be blunt or tapering to a point at the tips. The leaves of the plant are pinkish in coloration when tender, however, as they begin to mature, they turn leathery, glossy and dark green colored on the upper surface, with a light green coloration underneath. Each leaf is marked by a conspicuous and yellowish midrib running through the lamina. Jambul bears fragrant smelling flowers in clusters that are one to four inches in size – or two and a half to ten cm. Each flower is about half an inch – 1.25 cm – across, with a length of one inch or two and a half cm. The calyx of each flower has a particular funnel shape formed from the unison of four to five petals. The flowers are white in color at first, as they mature they become rose pink in coloration, the flowers are shed soon after and only the numerous stamens are left on the stalk.

A relative of cloves.  

Traditional Use:

Used to help regulate blood sugar.  An astrigent, and carminative that sees itselfg used for diarrhea, particulary if there is cramping pain associated with it.

Clinical Studies:The jambul has been included among a number of herbal medicines found in different parts of the world, such as the bilberry which all have the unique ability to lower elevated blood sugar levels in the body especially in diabetics and hyperglycemic individuals. Herbalist typically recommend remedies made from the jambul to counteract the deleterious effects of long term diabetes, in this common disease, the islet cells in the pancreas do not produce enough insulin – this enzyme helps glucose enter cells and is thus responsible for the regulation and control of glucose levels in the body. In middle age, many people in the modern world become susceptible to type II diabetes, this lifestyle disease is increasingly prevalent throughout much of the world as lifestyles and dietary habits change. Herbal treatment with jambul remedy is effective during the early and mild stages of the disease, when it is also accompanied by a strict dietary regimen by the affected person.  Diabetics in India, are given the powdered down jambul seeds as a remedy, sometimes the tincture may also be given to the patients. The herbal remedy also alleviates the frequent need to urinate that accompanies the diabetic condition. The potent astringent effect of the jambul herbal remedy is useful in the treatment of persistent diarrhea and chronic bouts of dysentery in affected patients. The traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, uses a combination formula made from the jambul and mango seeds ground into a powder – these two digestive disorders are treated using this remedy. The strong carminative properties of the jambul remedy are also a very effective treatment for dealing with the symptoms of indigestion and other digestive complaints such as excessive gas. Remedies made from the jambul help soothe chronic stomachache and ease abdominal cramps and aid in dispersing excess gas in the abdomen. A remedy made from the roots of the jambul plant is sometimes used as an herbal treatment for epilepsy in some parts of South East Asia.