The Jamun berry has an unusual taste, but while taking the health factors into considerations, this little berry could blow you away.
The berry which usually leaves a grainy feel on the tongue, is a powerhouse of health. It has been officially named as a diabetes-fighter by the studies conducted by Indian Journal of Pharmacology, and Bhabha Atomic Research Center and Central Drug Research Institute for its hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar) properties.
The berry is oblong, ovoid, pink when nearing maturity, and crimson black when ripe. Even the white variety is said to have medicinal properties, particularly useful for diabetics. The seed is used in various alternative healing methods in Unani, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for gingivitis and controlling blood pressure. Vinegar and wine are also made from the fruit.
Glucose and fructose are the principal sugars present in the ripe fruit, with no trace of sucrose. The astringency of the fruit is due to the presence of tannins and gallic acid.
It was found that oral administration of Jamoon extracts, from the bark and seeds, boosts insulin levels in diabetics. Studies carried out at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, show that alcoholic extracts of seeds of the plant, reduce blood sugar levels and glucosuria in diabetic patients. Fresh seeds are better than the dried ones to serve this purpose.
Also, A quarter teaspoon of the powdered seeds with one teaspoon of honey could be consumed for fifty days and significant changes in sugar levels could be noticed.
The blossoms of the tree are an important source of honey, and the trees in Western Ghats are said to contribute to more than thirty percent of annual harvest of honey in the surrounding areas.
The berry is also rich in minerals such as manganese, zinc, iron, calcium, sodium and potassium.