Sunday, 18 July 2010

Jamun, natural remedy for diabetes

By Syed Akbar
Come June and the market is flooded by small shiny oval black fruits attracting our attention. Tradition has it that one should take at least one jamun fruit in a season to clear the digestive system and keep the human machine running.
Jamun or Indian blackberry no doubt is a wonder tree.  Every part of the Jamun tree, also called black plum, has one or other medicinal use, right from its fruit to seed and bark to leaves.
Traditional Indian medicines like Ayurveda and Unani prescribe jamun for different health problems including diabetes, dental issues, digestive disorders, liver trouble and skin ailments.
While the fruit is rich in antioxidants (that prevent cancer) like tannic and oxalic acids, the bark contains diuretic (promotes urine) and digestive properties. The seed is prescribed for diabetes. Jamun as a whole is a good blood purifier in the traditional systems of medicine.
Jamun fruit can also be consumed with a pinch of salt to beat its astringent or slightly bitter taste. But those suffering from hypertension should better avoid adding salt to the fruit.
While the fruit is available during June-August, Jamun bark and leaves can be utilised all through the year. One may also add fruit jams containing jamun fruit to their daily routine.
Quick remedies
Diabetics may consume the jamun fruit in limited quantity to keep the blood sugar under control. Herbal doctors recommend jamun for diabetics. Take seeds of jamun, dry them and make powder by grinding. Sieve the powder. Take a small quantity and consume it with water. Repeat it everyday and the blood sugar levels will be under control.
If you want to keep your body going for a long time, make it a point to eat lots of jamun during the season. It is a good general tonic to keep the body healthy. The fruit also gives a cooling effect when the day is hot and sultry.
Jamun juice is also good for the body. Take some jamun fruit, wash them and remove the pulp. Blend the pulp, add honey and consume it. You may also take it without honey.
For relief from nagging wounds you may take a few fresh jamun leaves, make a paste of them and apply on the affected portion of the skin. Since the leaves of jamun are natural antibiotic, they help in the healing of injuries fast. Jamun seed powder will also help in clearing skin blemishes left by acne and blackheads.
Those suffering from bleeding gums and unhealthy teeth may use the ash from the burnt jamun leaves to brush the teeth twice a day. Take a few leaves of jamun tree, dry them and burn them (bhasma). Sieve the bhasma using a fine, clean cotton fabric and brush the ash for quick relief from toothache, bleeding gums and loose teeth.
Practitioners of traditional system of medicine prescribe powder prepared from the jamun seeds mixed with a small piece of jaggery for relief from diarrhea and dysentery.

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Syed Akbar in an island in river Godavari with Papikonda hills in the background

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity