Syzygium cumini, commonly known as Malabar plum, Java plum, or black plum, is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, adjoining regions of Southeast Asia, China and Queensland. The name of the fruit is sometimes mistranslated as blackberry, which is a different fruit in an unrelated order. Syzygium cumini has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in tropical former British colonies.
The tree was introduced to Florida in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruit’s are eagerly sought by various native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the great kiskadee. This species is considered an invasive in Hawaii.
■ HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLACK PLUM
● Diabetic Treatment
~ Black plum is used for treating various diseases especially diabetes and associated complications. The plant possesses several compounds which are found to be the characteristics of plant. The pharmacological activiries on deabetes were carries out with seeds.
~ There are not so much works with pharmacological actions of phytochemical constituents of Black plum. On the basis of these facts, the author reviewed the role of Black plum in variety of treatments and recommended that further clinical and phytochemical research should be carried out on the plant for making safer drugs.
● Antioxidant Activity
~ The study findings concluded that some medicinal plants have antioxidants and might be effective as preventive agents in pathogenesis of diseases.
~ The methanol extracts are considerably effective radical scavengers in comparison to those who use less polarity solvent. It indicates that antioxidants of different polarity could be found in leaves of Black plum. Still more research is needed on use of Black plum essential oil and extracts as preservative agents in various foods. Results encourage use of Black plum leaves for nutraceutical applications, medicinal health and functional food due to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
~ Other results obtained from the study confirmed that leaves of Black plum gall extracts as antioxidant and justified ethnobotanical approach in search for novel bioactive compounds. The strong correlation was observed between high total phenolic and flavonoid contents and higher antioxidant activities in methanol leaf gall extracts of Black plum.
~ The findings supported that extracts obtained with the use of high polarity solvent are effective radical scavengers. Results supported that gall extracts use are potential antioxidants which may be effective as preventive agents in pathogenesis of some metabolic diseases. The study promoted use of Black plum leaves gall extracts for functional food, medicinal health and neutraceutical applications.
● Lower Apoptosis.
~ Study confirms apoptotic and inhibitor effect of Black plum extract on cervical cancer cell lines. This fruit possess gallic acid which has anti-HIV, anti-adenoviral, anti-carcinomic, anti-peroxidant, chemopreventive and apoptotic activities. It is a topoisomerase-l-inhibitor.
~ The results from the study indicate the apoptotic and inhibitory effect of extract. Anti-viral effect is confirmed by further experiments. Further research is required for identifying efficacy, mode of action and safety issues.
■ OTHER HEALTH EFFECTS
● The seed of the fruit is used in various alternative healings systems like Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine.
● The extract of the fruit and seeds are found be effective against hyperglycemia in diabetic rats.
● Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and Vitamin C.
● It is consumed as a tonic to promote sexual activities. Black plum possesses anti-diabetic features. It converts starch into energy and normalizes levels of blood sugar.
● Due to its low glycemic index in Black plum, it is suitable for sugar patients as well. It reduces the diabetic symptoms such as thrusting and frequent urination.
● This fruit contains adequate amounts of vitamin C and Iron. Iron helps to promote the count of haemoglobin and also acts as blood purifier. Iron content is helpful in menses where women experience blood loss.
■ NUTRIENTS AND PHYTOCHEMICALS
● Nutritional information for S. cumini leaves and fruit are detailed
¤ Java Plum Leaf
Compound – Percent
Crude Protein 9.1
Crude Fiber 17.0
■ OTHER MEDICINAL USES
● Throat ailment – drink 10 to 15 ml juice of black plum to provide relief.
● Conjuctivitis – boil 400 ml water by adding 15 to 20 soft leaves till it reduces to 100 ml. Let it cool and then witj the use of this decoction wash eyes.
● Excessive urination – powdered seeds help to provide relief from excessive urination.
● Ringworm – apply the diluted juice on affected area of ringworm.
● Hoarseness – grind seeds by adding honey to make pills. Use two pills for 3 to 4 times in a day.
● Nightfall – consume 4 gm of seed powder with water twice a day (in the morning and evening.
● Bed wetting – give 1 teaspoon of ground seeds with water.
● Gas & Bloated stomach – take 10 ml of black plum vinegar for relief in water
■ TRADITIONAL USES
● In traditional medicine, it is used as an aid for diabetes mellitus.
● Fruit is useful for dysentery and bilious diarrhea.
● Prepare water diluted juice and use it as gargle for sore throat.
● It is used as a lotion for ringworm of scalp.
● The juice of ripe fruit is used in India for chronic diarrhea, enlargement of spleen and urine retention.
● Seeds are used for digestive problems.
● In India, leaves are used as poultice for skin problems.
● Leaves are steeped in alcohol which is used for diabetes and dysentery.
● In Philippines, decoction made from powdered bark is used internally in diarrhea, dysentery and dyspepsia.
● Decoction prepared from bark is used for cleansing ulcers.
● In India, bark is used for treating anemia, diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes and spongy gum.
● Roots are used to treat epilepsy.
● To support blood sugar, intake dried seeds powder for two times in a day (one gram each)
● Fruit helps to lower excessive salivation.
● The decoction of seeds with honey helps to prevent fatigue and thirst caused due to physical strain.
● Apply seeds mixed with little oil on boils or other skin problems.
● Intake Black plum with roasted cumin seed powder and black salt for treating acidity.
● Pregnant women and breast feeding mother should avoid it.
● Do not consume Black plum in an empty stomach.
● Does not intake milk after consuming Black plum.
● Over consumption of Black plum results in fever and body ache.
● its excessive used it not helpful for chest and throat.
● Large dose of Black plum results cough and sputum accumulation in lungs.
● People with high vatta should avoid the comsumption of Black plum.
● Fruits are consumed fresh when ripe or made into sauces, wine, jams and vinegar.
● Juice is good for syrup, sherbet and squash.
● Unripe fruits are used to make vinegar.
● Fruits are processed into dessert.
● Pulp is used for making chutney and jams.
■ OTHER FACTS
● All parts of Black plum have variety of uses.
● Wood is water resistance. Thus it is used for making agricultural implements and bullock cart wheels. It is also used for building houses.
● Leaves are used as a fodder for sheep, cattle and goats.
● Bark is used in dyeing and tanning industries.
References: wikipedia / healthbenefitstimes.com