4 Amazing Health Benefits of Jackfruit – Ben Cao Medical Book

By | September 2, 2017

1. Description

1.1 What is a jackfruit?

The jackfruit (botanical name: Artocarpus heterophyllus, also known as jack tree, fenne, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak; Chinese Pinyin: Bo Luo Mi, Simplified Chinese: 菠萝蜜), is a species of perennial, evergreen, flowering, fruit-bearing tree in genus Artocarpus in the mulberry family (also called fig family), Moraceae. The term jackfruit can refer to the tree as well as the fruit of the plant. The flowers are compound inconspicuous. The edible fruit is nearly spherical to oval, huge in size (the largest tree-borne fruit in the word), between 5-35 kg in weight. The plant can grow up to 20m tall. Native to South India and extensively cultivated in southeast Asia, habitats of jackfruit include river banks, subtropical open forest, mountainous regions and orchards with rich and deep soil (usually found from between 0 to 600 meters in elevation). Characteristics of jackfruit include tolerance for shade (when young), deep roots, tolerance for drought and great versatility (deep roots can be used for high end wood carving).

Other simplified Chinese names for jackfruit include: 苞萝, 木菠萝, 树菠萝, 大树菠萝, 蜜冬瓜, 牛肚子果.

1.2 How does jackfruit taste?

Good jackfruits have a crisp, juicy, meaty, firmed, similar to pulled pork texture with a flavor that is sweet, milky, subtle, mixed taste of mango, pineapple and banana.

This is what jackfruit looks like. (Image source: taobao.com)

1.3 How do I tell if my jackfruits are ripe?

Jackfruits ripen with development of an aromatic odour and reduction of quantity of latex. Most ripe jackfruits are found from May to September, depending on the local weather conditions.

1.4 Does jackfruit ripen after cutting?

Yes, jackfruit can still ripen after cutting. Jackfruits are fruits that are typically sold immature, and unripe (green and firm) for better shipping. If jackfruits are found unripe after cutting, ripening can still be done and accelerated by putting whole fruit into a closed 20 litre bucket 5-7 gallon (20-30 quart).

1.5 How is jackfruit used in traditional Chinese medicine?

The flesh of jackfruit is considered to have sweet, fragrant, mildly sour, neutral and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the lung and large intestine meridians. It is used as antidipticum, sedative, skin beautifier, qi tonic, hangover remedy, digestion aid, lump resolver and antihypertensive in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as ingestion and constipation.

2. Uses, Health Benefits of Jackfruit & Medical Formulas

2.1 Boost Metabolism

Jackfruit is rich in Vitamin B5 (also called pantothenic acid) which is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in all living cells in our body. Pantothenic acid is key in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; it is used in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA), an enzyme that participates in a variety of reactions in the body, especially the breaking down of fatty acids. Deficiency of Vitamin B5 may lead to a falling blood sugar level (sleep disturbances, restlessness, and irritability), diarrhea, vomiting, tiredness, and apathy. Therefore, it can be concluded that high dietary intakes of Vitamin B5 may help to boost metabolism in our body and jackfruit is an excellent food source for the nutrient.

2.2 Lowers LDL Cholesterol

Cholesterol is carried in the blood attached to proteins called lipoproteins. There are two main types of cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL cholesterol is commonly known to as “bad cholesterol” because excess of LDL cholesterol is unhealthy. In contrast, HDL cholesterol is often known as the “good cholesterol” because it is protective (heartuk.org.uk 2017). Jackfruit contains a high level of Vitamin B3 nicotinic acid (or Niacin) which has been used since the 1950s to treat high cholesterol. Studies show that nicotinic acid can lower levels of LDL cholesterol by 5%-20% and at the same time increase the level of the good HDL cholesterol.

2.3 Control Blood Pressure And Prevent Stroke

Potassium found in jackfruit is a key mineral that our body depends on heavily to function normally. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), jackfruit contains 448 mg potassium (equivalent to 10% RDA) per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving. Potassium assists to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt (high sodium consumption raises blood pressure). A number of researches have demonstrated an inverse correlation between potassium intake and blood pressure, and a low intake of potassium may lead to a higher risk of stroke.

2.4 Diarrhea In The Elderly

[CTM Formula] Powdered jackfruit is taken orally with rice soup to treat kidney deficiency related diarrhea in the elderly.

3. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions

Simultaneous intake of jackfruit and honey is NOT recommended as it can cause negative consequences.

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

List of reference

heartuk.org.uk 2017 Cholesterol – The silent killer [online] link: https://heartuk.org.uk/health-and-high-cholesterol

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