Jamun is an evergreen beautiful tropical tree, native to India, Pakistan and Indonesia. In Kannada it is known as Nerale Hannu. Other common names are Jambul, Black Plum, Java Plum, Indian Blackberry, Jamblang etc. The botanical name is Syzgium cumini.
The tree grows fast and reaches heights of up to 30m and can survive for more than 100 years. Leaves of this tree are smooth, glossy, oblong and placed opposite to one another having a turpentine smell. Its wood is strong and water resistant.
The trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers are greenish-white in color, small and fragrant.
The fruits are ripe in June and the fruit is oblong. It turns from green, to pink to shining crimson black as it ripens. White colored Jamun variety is also produced.
The taste of the fruit is sweet and sour, and tastes best when the fruits are soaked in salt water for 30 minutes. Raw fruits are used for making wine and vinegar. The juice of ripe fruit is used for preparing jams, jelly, sauces and other beverages.
The seeds of Jamun are used in various alternative medicines like Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine for treating digestive ailments like dysentery.
The seeds are also rich in protein and carbohydrates and contain traces of calcium. Jamun juice acts as a dieretic and gives a soothing effect on human digestive system. It is also dried with salt and preserved as a Churan (digestive powder). Diabetic patients can consume Jamun fruit daily during the season to control sugar levels.
The leaves and bark of this tree is used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis.
Recipes using Jamun fruit: