Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels: A review of its phytochemical constituents and traditional uses
Syzygium cumini (S. cumini) (L.) Skeels (jambolan) is one of the widely used medicinal plants in the treatment of various diseases in particular diabetes. The present review has been primed to describe the existing data on the information on botany, phytochemical constituents, traditional uses and pharmacological actions of S. cumini (L.) Skeels (jambolan). Electronic database search was conducted with the search terms of Eugenia jambolana, S. cumini, jambolan, common plum and java plum. The plant has been viewed as an antidiabetic plant since it became commercially available several decades ago. During last four decades, numerous folk medicine and scientific reports on the antidiabetic effects of this plant have been cited in the literature. The plant is rich in compounds containing anthocyanins, glucoside, ellagic acid, isoquercetin, kaemferol and myrecetin. The seeds are claimed to contain alkaloid, jambosine, and glycoside jambolin or antimellin, which halts the diastatic conversion of starch into sugar. The vast number of literatures found in the database revealed that the extracts of different parts of jambolan showed significant pharmacological actions. We suggest that there is a need for further investigation to isolate active principles which confer the pharmacological action. Hence identification of such active compounds is useful for producing safer drugs in the treatment of various ailments including diabetes.
This work was fianancially supported by University Grants Commission, New Delhi [grant No. F.4-2/2006(BSR)/13-98/2008(BSR)].