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Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels

Synonyms:
Eugenia cumini (L.) Druce
Eugenia jambolana Lam.
Syzygium jambolanum (Lam.) DC.
Caryophyllus jambos Stokes
Myrtus cumini L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Myrtaceae - Myrtle family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Jam, Kalojam, Kalajam.

Tribal Name: Jum (Chakma), Pramoii (Khumi), Lenmui (Bawm), Chaku (Mogh), Sabri (Mogh), Mojibaong (Marma), Musbrisi (Marma), Sochi Tobri (Marma).

English Name: Black Plum, Jambolan, Java Plum, Indian black-berry.

Description of the Plant:

A large tree. Leaves simple, elliptic, ovate-lanceate, acuminate at apex. Flowers white in paniculate cymes. Fruit a berry, variable in size and shape, black, juicy and shining when thoroughly ripe, pulp deep purple. Flowering time: April-May; Fruiting time: July-August.

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves contain essential oil containing a-terpinene, ß-pinene, ß-phellandrene, terpinolene, myrcene, limonene, cadinene and methyl salicylate. They also contain sitosterol, betulinic and maslinic acids, paraffins, n-alkanes, heptacosane, nonacosane, triacontane, hentriacontane and aliphatic alcohols and oxalic, citric and glycolic acids, glucose and fructose. Flowers contain triterpenoids, ellagic acid and the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and isoquercitrin; acetyl olenolic acid, oleanolic acid and crotegolic acid. Flowers also contain myricetin-3-L-arabinoside, dihydromyricetin, quercetin-3-D-galactoside. Fruit pulp contains proteins, fat, carbohydrates and vitamins A, C, thiamin, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, folic acid and its conjugates, minerals and a number of anthocyanins.

Seeds contain a pale yellow essential oil, tannins, a glycoside, jambolin, flavonoids, phenolic constituents, gallic, ellagic, caffeic, ferulic and hexahydroxydiphenic acids and ellagitannins. Stem bark contains kaempferol, kaempferol glucoside, quercetin, ß-sitosterol glucoside, betulinic aid, friedelin, eugenin and tannins, resins, starch and proteins. Effective hypoglycemic principles have been isolated from 95% alcoholic extract of dried seeds. An alkaloid, jambosine, has also been reported in this plant (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

  • A bark extract is used as a dye in traditional hand weaving. Chakma also use the wood to make looms and shuttles for weaving (Chakma).
  • Ripe fruits are eaten (Khumi).
  • Extract prepared from bark through boiling in water is taken and in addition used to take bath for the treatment of scabies (Bawm).
  • The juicy ripe fruit is eaten directly by all tribes.
  • The bark is also used for toothache and blood dysentery in Khagrachari. Bark juice along with equal amount of fresh milk is taken in the early morning for three days to cure dysentery. The fresh bark juice is taken for stomach pain in Chittagong.

Distribution:

Planted all over Bangladesh.

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