Plants have provided mankind with herbal remedies for many diseases for many centuries and even to day. They continue to play a major
role in primary healthcare as therapeutic remedies in developing countries. In India herbal medicines have been the bases of treatment and
cure for various diseases in traditional methods practiced such as Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha . Syzygium cumini ( syn.Eugenia Jambolana
) commonly know as a “ Jamun ” having promising therapeutic value with its various phytoconstituents such as Tannins, Alkaloids, Steroids,
Flavonoids, Terpenoids, Fatty acids, Phenols, Minerals, Carbohydrates and Vitamins. Its pharmacological actions like hypoglycaemic,
diuretics, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplaque, antimicrobial, antidiarrhoel, antioxidant,gastro-protective and astringent to bowels proven
on animal models. Most importantly the studies have shown that it protects against the radiation induced DNA damage and it has signifi-
cantly decreases the fertilizing capacity of the male albino rats, some clinical trial reports are also available for its antidiabetic activity.
Keywords: Syzygium cumini, Myrtaceae, Phytochemistry, Antidiabetic.
Dr. (Mrs.) Varsha M. Jadhav
HOD and Professor
Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Pharmacy,
Sector 8, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai.
Tel.: + 91-(022) 27722919, 09869046618
Telefax: +91-(022) 27722919
India is one of the nation blessed with a rich heritage of traditional
medical systems and rich biodiversity to complement the herbal needs
of the treatment administered by these traditional medical systems.
The recognized Indian Systems of Medicine are Ayurveda,
Siddha and Unani, which use herbs and minerals in the formulations.
India, which has 15 agro-climatic zones, 47000 plant species of which
15000 are reported to have medicinal properties varying degrees. The
World Health Organization( 1980 ) has also recommended the evalu-
ation of the effectiveness of plants in conditions where there is lack
of safe synthetic drugs.
Syzygium cumini ( L.) synonyms such as Syzygium cumini (
belonging to the family Myrtaceae, is a large evergreen tree up to 30
India upto an altitude of 1,800 m.
Most of the plant parts of E.
traditional system of medicine in India.
A smooth tree of the Myrtaceae family , 4-15 meters in height.
Leaves leathery oblong-ovate to elliptical or obovate and 6-12 cm
long , the tip being broad and shortly pointed. The panicles are borne
mostly from the branchlets below the leaves , often being
axillary or terminal and 4-6 cm long. The flowers are numerous,
scented,pink or nearly white, without stalks, and borne in crowed
fascicles on the ends of the branchlets. The calyx is funnel shaped,
about 4 mm long,and 4 toothed. The petals cohere and fall together as
a small disk . The stamens are very numerous and as long as the calyx.
Fruit is oval to elliptic;1.5-3.5 cm long, dark purple or nearly black,
luscious, fleshy and edible; it contains single large seed.
SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION :
Kingdom : Plantae
Unranked : Eudicots
Unranked : Rosids
Order : Myrtales
Family : Myrtaceae
Genus : Syzygium
Species : Cumini
Binomial name : Syzygium cumini (L) Skeels.
AYURVEDIC PROPERTIES :
Rasa - Kasaya , Madhura ,Amla.
Guna - Laghu, Ruksa.
Vipala - Madhura , Katu.
Karma – Vatala, Pittahara, Kaphahara, Vistambhi, Grahi.
Photographs of Syzygium cumini
The original home of Syzygium cumini is India or the East
Indies. It is found in Thailand, Philippines, Madagascar and some
other countries. The plant has been successfully introduced into many
other tropical countries such as the West Indies, East and West Af-
rica and some sub tropical regions including Florida, California, Alge-
ria and Israel.
Sansk. : Mahajambu, Ksudrajambu
Beng. : Jaam , Kalajam
Eng. : Jambul tree
Guj : Gambu,Jamun
Hindi : Jamuna
Mar. : Jambul
Mal. : Njaval
Ori. : Jamu
Punj. : Jaamun
Tam. : Naval
Urdu. : Jamun
Syzygium cumini seed :
Shows cotyledons consisting of single layered epidermis,
mesophyll composed of isodiametric thin-walled, parenchymatous
cells fully packed with simple starch grains,
oval ,rounded measuring 7-28 µ in diameter a few schizogenous
cavities are also found.
Syzygium cumini seed powder :
Brown coloured; shows a few parenchymatous cells and
numerous oval, rounded starch grains, measuring 7-28 µ in diam-
Mature bark shows a wide zone cork differentiated into
upper and lower cork zones, forming a rhytidoma; cork consisting
of tangentially elongated rectangular cells, upper few layers thick,
stratified and reddish brown, having groups of 2-4 stone cells and
crushed elements of phloem; lower cork thin and colourless; cork
cambium not distinct; secondary phloem composed of sieve
elements, and phloem rays; phloem parenchyma thin walled and
polyhedral in shape ; stone cells ,oval to angular, elongated
fibres aseptate; both stone cells and fibres single or in groups
present throughout this
region; phloem rays 1-4 cells wide; reddish brown content ,rosette
crystals of calcium oxalate and simple ,round to oval starch grains,
measuring 5-11 µ in diameter.
Light brown; shows fragments of thin- walled cork cells,
aseptate fibres; single or in groups, oval to angular, elongated,
stone cells; rosette and prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate and
simple round to oval starch grains, measuring 5-11 µ in diameter.
‘ Phyto’ is the Greek word for plant. There are many families of
phytochemicals and they help the human body in a variety of ways.
Phytochemicals may protect human from a host of diseases.
Phytochemicals are non nutritive plant chemicals that have protec-
tive or disease preventive properties.
Fruit of Syzygium cumini contains Malic acid is the major acid
( 0.59 of the wt of fruit), a small quantity of oxalic acid is also reported
to be present. Gallic acid and tannins account for astringency of the
fruit. The purple colour of the fruit is due to presence of cyanidin
Fruit contain sugar (8.09%), nonreducing sugar (9.26%)
Glucose, Fructose, mannose and galactose
The mineral constituents reported to be
Fe, 1.2 ( ionisable Fe, o.1) ; Na, 26.2; K 55; Cu, 0.23; S,13 and Cl,8. The
vitamins present ( in 100g. edible pulp) are vit.A, 80 IU; thiamine,0.03
mg, riboflavin,0.01mg; nicotinic acid ,0.2 mg; vit.C, 18 mg; choline,7
mg; Folic aid, 3 µg.
Seed contains a glucoside jamboline, a new phenolic substance,
Phenolic such as ellagic acid, gallic acid (1-2%), caf-
feic and ferulic acids and derivaties, guaicol, resorcinol dimethyl ether
The seeds are fairly rich in protein and calcium.
Monoterpenoids like ß-pinene, ?-terpinene, terpinolene, borbeneol,
ß-phellandrene,a-terpineol and eugenol
and flavonoid such as ru-
ß-sitosterol also present syzygium cumini seed.
palmitic (4.7%), stearic (6.5%), oleic (32.2%),linoleic (16.1%), malvalic
(1.2%) and vernolic (3%) acids.
Novel compounds such as 5,6
dimethylperhydrocyclopenta [a] phenanthren-17-yl (phenyl) methyl
3,15- dihydroxy ?
androstene [16, 17-C](6’methyl , 2’-1,3-
C](6’methyl, 2’-1-hydroxy –isopropene-1-yl) 4,5,6 H pyran.
Stem bark of Syzygium cumini contains betulinic acid, ß-sito-
and new ester of epi-friedelanol
It also contains ß-sitosterol-D-glucoside, kaempferol-3-o
myricetin, astragalin and gallic acid.
Gupta and Sharma isolated sitosterol,betulinic acid and
crategolic (maslinic)acid and also detected n-hepatcosane, n-
nonacosane, n-hentriacontane ,n-octacosanol, n-triacontanol and n-
dotricontanol by GLC and sugars – glucose, fructose ,acids-
oxalic,citric,glycolic acids and aminoacids – glycine, alanine, tyrosine
and leucine by co-paper chromatography in the leaves of E.
Quercetin (0.0085%), myricetin ( 0.023%), myricitrin
also found to contain in E.jambolana leaves.
A complicated mixture
acid, 3-0-methylellagic acid, myricetin 4’-methyl ether 3-0-a-L
rhamnopyroside (querecet), kaempferol 3-0-ß-D-glucuronopyranoside,
myricetin 3-0-ß-D-glucaronopyranoside, ellagitannin,nilocitin and two
acylated flavonol glycosides such as mearnsetin 3-0-(4’’-O-acetyl )-
a-L rhamnopyranoside and myricetrin 4’’-0- acetyl-2’’-0-gallate re-
ported in E. jambolana leaves.
Steam distillation of leaves give an
Oleanolic acid, erategolic acid ( maslinic acid ), flavonoids -
flowers of Syzygium cumini.
Structure of some isolated phytoconstituents :
Kaempferol R= H
Myricetin R = OH
TRADITIONAL AND MEDICINAL USES :
Entire plant of Syzygium cumini such as seed, fruit, leaves,
flower, bark used in folk medicine. Charaka used seeds, leaves and
fruits in decoctions for diarrhoea and the bark as an astringent.
Sushruta prescribed the fruit internally in obesity, in vaginal
discharges and menstrual disorders, cold infusion in intrinsic
The bark is astringent, its juice is given
coction of the bark is an efficacious mouth-wash and gargle for treat-
ing spongy gums, stomatitis, relaxed throat and other diseases of
mouth. Bark also used for inflammation of skin.
The bark is used in
Ayurveda, its bark is acrid, sweet, digestive, astringent to the bow-
els, anthelmintic and in good for sore throat, bronchitis , asthma ,
thirst, biliousness, dysentery, blood impurities and to cure ulcers.
The juice of Jambu, Amra and Amalaka leaves mixed with goat
Leaf juice is
morning. Fresh leaf juice is taken orally for stomach pain.
A syrup prepared from the juice of the ripe fruit is a very pleas-
spleen enlargement and efficient astringent in chronic diarrhoea.
Hot water extract of dried fruits is used for stomach ulcers,
The ethanolic extract of Syzygium cumini seeds decreased blood
Seed powdered in com-
come problems of diarrhoea and dysentery, enlargement of spleen
and as diuretic in scanty or suppressed urine
and seed also having
diarrhoel, antioxidant, gastroprotective, antiallergic, astringent, anal-
gesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplaque, antimicrobial but the most im-
portant activity is anti-diabetic.
1. Anti-diabetic Activity :
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder affecting a major popu-
lation world wide . A sustained reduction in hyperglycaemia will de-
crease the risk of developing micro vascular diseases and reduce
The conventional therapies for diabetes may
ondary failure. On the other hand herbal extracts are expected to have
similar efficacy, without side effects, to that of conventional drugs.
A number of scientific studies in animals have substantiated
the role of jambul in the management of diabetes.
(500mg/ person) was active as an anti-hyperglycemic agent.
Sigogneau-Jagodzin-ski et al., showed constituents isolated from
Jain et al. studied antidiabetic effect of hot water extract of
dried fruit pulp of S. cumini (5 gm) when administered by gastric
According to Ratsimamanga et al., the ethanolic extract
hyperglycaemic rabbits in a dose corresponding to 10 gm/kg.
Achrekar et al.,reported the oral administration of pulp extract of fruits
hypoglycaemic effect in 30 minutes which was possibly due to the
stimulation of insulin secretion.
According to Prince et al.,increased activity of hexokinase and
month) to alloxan diabetic rats. Aqueous seed extract (2.5 & 5g/kg,
b.w. for 6 weeks) has been observed to produce hypoglycemic activ-
ity, in rats.
Alcoholic seed extract injection (20mg, intraperitoneally)
hour of administration in alloxan diabetic mice along with enhanced
According to Grover et al., daily administration of
mum reduction of blood glucose level to 73.51, 55.62 and 48.81% as
compared to their basal value in mild (21 days), moderate (120 days)
and severe (60 days) in diabetic condition in rats. In addition the
treatment also partially restored altered hepatic and skeletal muscle
glycogen content and hepatic glucokinase, hexokinase, glucose-6-
phosphate and phospho-fructokinase levels.
streptozotocin diabetic rats for 17 days with decoction of E.jambolana
leaves (15 % w/v) as a substitute for water and reported that, E.
jambolana leaf decoction had no antidiabetic activity.
Vats et al.,
400 mg per day for 15 days substantially prevented hyperglycaemia
and hyperinsulinemia induced by high fructose diet in rats.
et al., observed that the hypoglycaemic effect of S. cumini seeds is
due to water-soluble gummy fiber and not because of water insoluble
neutral detergent fiber and other constituents of the seeds.
Ravi et al., evaluated hypoglycaemic activity of different
on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Administration of ethanolic
extract of kernel at a concentration 100mg/kg of body weight signifi-
cantly decreased the levels of blood glucose , blood urea and choles-
terol, increased glucose tolerance and levels of total proteins and
liver glycogen and decreased the activities of glutamate oxaloacetate
transaminase and glutamate pyruvate transaminase in experimental
diabetes rats. Whole seed showed a moderate hypoglycaemic effect
and seed coat did not show any hypoglycaemic effect. The
hypoglycaemic efficacy was compared with that of glibenclamide, a
standard hypoglycaemic drug.
Saravanan G.,reported that ip. ad-
betes as reflected by glycosuria, hyperglycaemia and body weight
loss and after treatment with. S. cumini bark extract exhibited potent
blood glucose lowering property both in normal and diabetic rats.
Shankar et al., studied antidiabetic activity of novel androstane de-
studied a novel compound 5,6 dih ydroxy-3-[ (4-hydroxy-6-(
hydroxymethyl)-3,5-di[3,4,5 trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl ) tetrahydro-
2h-2pyranyl] oxy tetrahydro-2h-2-pyranyl)oxy] -2-methoxy-10, 13
acetate from Syzygium cumini having antidiabetic effect.
decreased blood sugar level and increased body weight after 30 days
feeding of extract .They also showed definite improvement in the
histopathology of islets and the important finding is that the blood
sugar level , which once dropped to normal levels after extract feeding
was not elevated when extract feeding was discontinued for 15 days.
Sharma et al., studied antihyperglycaemic activity of flavonoid rlch
Bose et al., proved the clinical effectiveness of the E
Karnick et al., reported a polyherbal
treatment of diabetes.
Kohli et al., has carried out clinical trial of E.
Mitra observed the effect of
(Momordica charantia) , Amla(Emblica
the composite results in reduction of fasting blood sugar.
Mechanism of action :
Many scientist studied probable mechanism of action of S.
Bansal et al. reported that the increase in plasma
proinsulin to insulin conversion possibly by pancreatic cathepsin B
and or its secretion.
S. cumini exerts a dual effect namely a combina-
tract of S. cumini seed due its direct insulinotropic action.
etone extract was potent inhibitor of alpha glucosidase hydrolysis of
maltose when compared to untreated control animals. Therefore this
result point to the inhibition of alpha glucosidase as a possible mecha-
Kumar et al., isolated mycaminose from methanol extract of S.
cumini seed having antidiabetic activity. The possible mechanism of
action may be due to the potentiation of insulin effect of plasma by
increasing either pancreatic secretion of insulin from ß-cells of islets
of Lagerhans or its release from the bound form. Mechanism of
mycaminose similar to the glibenclamide.
Effect on Diabetic Complication :
Grover et al., observed plasma glucose concentration in
streptozotocin induced diabetic mice were reduced by administration
of extract of E. jambolana by 20.84% . E. jambolana treatment signifi-
cantly prevented the rise in urinary albumin level from 0-40 , polyuria
and renal hypertrophy compared to diabetic control.
Rathi et. al.,
200 mg/ kg in the prevention of murine alloxan diabetic cataract. Al-
loxan was used as a diabetogenic agent. Cataract examined in the rat
with both naked eye and through slit lamp. After two months of treat-
ment of E. jambolana, 59.85% cataract was prevented.
diabetic rats having received an extract of E. jambolana.
fruit pulp extract of E. jambolana 50 mg/ day for 41 days showed no
observable difference in body weight, food or water intake, urine
volume, glycaemia, urea and glucose level in urine, hepatic glycogen
and serum level of total cholesterol, as compared to untreated con-
Retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy are major compli-
cations which make diabetes more severe . Accumulation of sorbitol
in different organs due to higher activity of aldose reductase is main
cause of these complications.
Therefore inhibition of aldose reduc-
plications. In this respect aldose reductase expression level in kidney
and there was a clear decrease in its expression in diabetic treated
mice with seeds of E. jambolana compared to diabetic mice.
2. Antiallergic Activity :
allergic effect and indicate that its edematogenic effect is due to the
inhibition of mast cell degranulation and of histamine and serotonin
effects where as the inhibition of eosinophil accumulation in the aller-
gic pleurisy model is probably due to an impairment of CCL11/ eotaxin
and IL-5 production.
3. Gastroprotective Activity :
pylorus ligation-ethanol and aspirin induced gastric ulcers in rats.
The ulcer protective activity of Eugenia jambolana may be due to its
effects on both offensive and defensive factors. The antioxidant prop-
erties of Eugenia jambolana contribute towards its activity.
4. Antioxidant Activity :
of diseases. Banerjee et al., reported antioxidant activity of the fruit
skin with the use of different assay such as hydroxyl radical scaveng-
ing assay, based on the benzoic acid hydroxylation method, superox-
ide radical –scarening assay, based on photochemical reduction of
nitroblue tetrazolium ( NBT) in the presence of a riboflavin light –NBT
system, DPPH radical scavenging assay and lipid peroxidation assay,
using egg yolk as the lipid rich source the antioxidant property of the
fruit skin may come in part from the antioxidant vitamins, phenolics or
tannins and anthocynins present in the fruit.
Zhi Ping Ruan et al.,
diphenyl -1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging and ferric
–reducing antioxidant power (FRA) assays. The methanolic extract
and its four water, ethyl acetate, chloroform and n-hexane fraction
were prepared and subjected to antioxidant evaluation. The ethyl
acetate fraction were had stronger antioxidant activity than other ones.
HPLC data indicated that Syzygium cumini leaf extract contained phe-
nolic compounds such as ferulic acid and catechin responsible for
5. CNS Activity :
subfractions from the seeds of Syzygium cuminii Linn. Skeels, for
behavioural effects in mice, particularly in relation to their sedative
and anticonvulsant actions. Oral treatment with the hydroalcoholic
extract showed an anticonvulsant activity in pentylenetetrazol- and
maximal electroshock-induced convulsions, besides a hypothermic
effect.. The ethyl acetate fraction and its subfractions enhanced la-
tency and duration of the first convulsion induced by pentylenetetra-
zol. S. cuminii has some active principles with central depressant prop-
erties, and some of them also present an anticonvulsant action.
Kumar et al., reported the seed extracted with ethyl acetate and metha-
dose of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg exihibited significant CNS activity.
The significant CNS activity due to the presence of saponins.
6. Anti-inflammatory Activity :
S.cumini was investigated for anti-inflammatory activity. The extract
did not show any sign of toxicity up to a dose of 10-125 g/kg.i.p. in
mice. This study demonstrated S. cumini bark extract has a potent
anti-inflammatory activity against different phase of inflammation
without any side effect to gastric mucosa.
7. Antihyperlipidemic Activity
plication in diabetes mellitus, which is found in about 40% diabetics.
Kasiappan et al., showed oral administration ethanolic extract of E.
jambolana-kernel ( 100mg/kg body weight ) antihyperlipidermic activ-
ity on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and standard drug was
8. Antifertility Activity :
acid isolated from the flowers of E. jambolana significant decreased
the fetilizing capacity of the male albino rats without any significant
change in body or reproductive organ weights. It causes significant
reduction in conversion of spermatocytes to spermatides and arrest
of spermatogenesis at the early stages of meiosis leading to decrease
in sperm count without any abnormality to spermatogenic cells, leyding
interstitial cells and sertoli cells.
9. Anti-diarrhoeal activity :
nol extract of Syzygium cumini against different experimental models
of diarrhoea in rats. It produced significant inhibition of castor oil
induced diarrhoea and PGE- induced entero - pooling and a signifi-
cant reduction in gastrointestinal motility in charcoal meal tests in
nol-water(1:1) extracts of the bark were able to suppress plaque for-
mation in vitro. All were active against Streptococcus mutans at
260,120 and 380 µg per ml respectively.
11.Antipyretic activity :
seeds showed antipyretic activity
and Mahapatra et al., studied
at doses of 50 mg per kg were active versus yeast induced pyrexia.
aerial parts was inactive in guinea pig ileum vs. acetyl choline and
histamine induced spasms.
Mokkhasmit et. al., studied ethanol water
guinea pig ileum.
13.Antihistamine activity :
administered intraperitoneally to rats was active vs. histamine in-
duced pedal edema .
14.Antiviral activity :
entire plant ,at a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml in cell culture ,was
inactive on Ranikhet virus and vaccinia virus. For Ranikhet virus ,
infected chorioallantoic membrane viral titre decreased 10% and for
vaccinia virus 0% . The extract when injected into chick embryo at a
dose of 1.0 mg/animal was inactive on Ranikhet and vaccinia vi-
ruses .Infected chick embryo viral titre decreased 10% and 0%, re-
Dhawan et al., reported ethanol/water (1:1) extract of the
inactive on Ranikhet and vaccinia viruses.
Singh et al., studied
15. Antibacterial activity :
ethanolic extracts of Eugenia jambolana against gram positive and
gram negative organisms.
Bhuiyan et al., reported antibacterial ac-
tive bacteria ( Bacillus creus, B. subtalis, B.megateriun , Steptococcus
ß – haemolyticus, S. aureus )and nine Gram negative bacteria ( Shi-
gella dysenteriae, Sh. Shiga, Sh. boydii,Sh. flexneriae, Sh.sonnei, E.
coli, S. typhi B, S. typhi B- 56 and Klebsicella species) by disc diffu-
Shafi et al.has , reported good antibacterial action from
Pitchai Daisy et al., have worked
diffusion method using extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL)
producing bacteria. Methanol, acetone and hexane extract of Syzygium
cumini seeds were examined for antibacterial activity on Aeromonas
hydrophila, Acinetobacter baumannii, Citrobacter freundii, E. coli,
Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis. Methanol extract of Syzygium cumini
seeds exhibited significant antibacterial activity against bacteria.
Other Uses :
Ganesh et.al., studied radioprotective activity of
hydroalcoholic extract of jamun seed on different doses of gamma
radiation. The drug was more effective when administered through
the i.p. route at equimolar doses than oral route. The presence of
flavonoids and ellagic acid in S. cumini extract might have been re-
sponsible for its radioprotective activity. The Syzygium cumini extact
treatment protected mice against the gastrointestinal as well as bone
Krikorian et.al., found anorexigenic power of E.
Juice - 56-112 ml.
Seed powder - 1-3 gm.
PRECAUTIONS AND ADVERSE REACTION :
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction
Indian literatures like Ayurveda have already mentioned
herbal remediation for a number of human ailments.
Syzygium cumini commonly known as ‘jamun’also having various
pharmacological activity such as antidiarrhoeal,astringent, digestive,
antibacterial, antioxidant,antiviral but most important activity is
antidiabetic.Most of the herbal formulations example, Diabecon,
Jambalsava containg Syzygium cumini as main ingredient for
diabetes.Although most of the studies of Syzygium cumini as an-
tidiabetic agent with its possible mechanism of action and delaying
complications of diabetes such as cataract, neuropathy have been
conducted but detailed research on isolation of bioactives through
clinical trials followed by standardisation is seriously required to know
potential of plant .Most of the pharmacological work was carried out
on seeds of Syzygium cumini but the pharmacological potential of
other parts also required to be explore.
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