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17 Amazing Health Benefits Of Rose Apple (Java Apple)

Rose apple, scientifically termed Syzygiumjambos L., has a long history of usage in Indian traditional medicine. It belongs to the family Myrtaceae and is native to Southeast Asia. However, the rose apple has been naturalised in India and is harvested mainly for its fruits that come with numerous medicinal properties.

The rose apple has the word 'apple' tagged to it, but in no way resembles the apple tree or the fruit. Unlike an apple, the rose apple is small in size, bell-shaped and features distinct colours like dark red, green, white, yellow-gold, deep purple and blue-black.

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Other names for rose apple include red water apple, wax apple, jambu and java apple. Rose apple tastes like rose petals with a hint of apple. It is a seasonal fruit and is available in many parts of Kerala and Karnataka.

This article includes some of the health benefits of rose apple. Take a look.

Nutritional Profile Of Rose Apple

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Health Benefits Of Rose Apple

1. Boosts immunity

Rose apple contains gallic acid, myricetin, ursolic acid and myricitrin which are known for their strong antioxidant activity. These compounds help inhibit inflammatory cytokines and boost immunity in the body. The antimicrobial activity of the fruit also helps protect against pathogens and improve the immune system to fight against various illnesses. [1]

2. Prevents constipation

The high fibre content in jambu adds bulk to the stool by promoting speedy and easy passage of the foods through the stomach and intestines. This relieves constipation and also eases abdominal bloating.

3. Promotes eye health

A decoction made from the leaves of a rose apple tree is widely used as a diuretic for the treatment of sore eyes. Also, vitamin C, a strong antioxidant in the fruit helps protect the eye cells against damage by free radicals and maintain good eye health. [2]

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4. Promotes brain health

Studies say that rose apple is used as a tonic for the brain. The terpenoids in the fruit are known to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and improve brain functions, memory and learning ability by promoting neuronal survival. [3]

5. Strengthens bones

100 g of the fruit contains 29 g of calcium and this is why the consumption of the fruit may help strengthen the bones and prevent related diseases such as rheumatism characterised by extreme pain in the joints or connective tissues.

6. Maintains body hydration

Rose apple is rich in vitamins like A, C, B1 and B2 and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Juice of rose apple is suggested to maintain the hydration of the body as it contains around 93 g of water per 100 g, along with the aforementioned nutrients to keep the body healthy.

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7. Helps with digestion

Rose apple acts as an astringent for digestive problems. The organic extracts of rose apple such as methanol, hexane and dichloromethane exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, thus improving digestion and related problems. [4]

8. Helps in detoxification

Rose apple is considered a diuretic that may help flush out toxins from the body and help with detoxification. The fruit also contains phenolic compound and saponins that possesses hepaprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrhoeal activities. It helps maintain the health of the liver and the kidney and improve overall body function.

9. Manages diabetes

The leaf infusion and seeds of the rose apple are mainly used to control glucose levels in the body and manage diabetes. The strong antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities are due to the presence of flavonoids that may help manage the condition.

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10. Have chemopreventive effects

Trihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the fruits is known to inhibit chemokine interleukin, a type of cytokine that attracts cells to cause inflammation and then, cancer. The compound may help prevent the risk of colon cancer and age-related cancers. Also, the natural antioxidants in the fruit may help reduce free radicals in the body and prevent the risk of cancer.

11. Good for skin

A study says that rose apple can be effective in the prevention of skin conditions such as acne vulgaris due to its string antioxidative, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also helpful in treating sun-dried skin and maintaining the hydration of the skin. [1]

12. Good for heart

Dietary fibre and flavonoids along with multiple vitamins and minerals in red water apple help maintain the heart's health and keep it healthy. Also, high potassium helps reduce bad cholesterol levels which is the main cause of heart-related diseases such as coronary heart diseases and stroke.

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Other Health Benefits

  • The bark, leaves and seeds of rose apple may help protect against eight microorganisms such as S. aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus Vulgaris, Salmonella typhi and Vibrio cholera.
  • The bark decoction of the rose apple tree may help relieve asthma and bronchitis.
  • The flowers are known to relieve fever.
  • The root is widely used to treat epilepsy.
  • The leaf possesses strong antiviral activity towards the herpes virus.

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Common FAQs

1. What is Rose apple good for?

Rose apple is good for many purposes such as it may help boost immunity, prevent constipation, promote heart health, reduce inflammation, maintain bone health and help in detoxification.

2. What does a rose apple taste like?

Rose apple tastes like rose petals with a tint of apple. It is light, crisp and faintly sweet. Some studies say that raw rose apple possesses astringent flavour.

3. Is Rose apple edible?

Yes, rose apple is edible. The fruits can be eaten directly from the tree or added to certain Malaysian culinary. In many parts of the world, the tree is mainly grown as an ornamental tree.