Jackfruit Uses, Remedies, Research, Side Effects

Jackfruit – Artocarpus heterophyllus is an Ayurvedic  tree used for the treatment of wounds, Bell’s palsy, increasing sperm count, improve the body strength, diarrhea, skin diseases and cases of poisoning. 

Latin name- Artocarpus integrifolia Linn., Artocarpus heterophyllus, Artocarpus integer.
Family- Moraceae

Jackfruit Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Katahal, Chakki
English name- Jackfruit
Assamese name- Kathahal, Kathal
Bengali name- Kantal, Kanthal,  Kathal
Guajarati name- Panas, Phanas, Katahal
Kannada name- Halasu, Halasina Hannu, Halasina mara. Bigger variety is called heb halasu
Marathi name- Panas, Kathhal, Phanas
Malayalam name- Chakka, Pilavoo, pilavu
Oriya name- Panash
Tamil name- Murasabalam, Chakka, Palamaram , Pilapalam
Telugu name- Panasa chettu
Burmese name – Penine
Konkani name – Ponas

Morphology of Artocarpus integrifolia:
Panasa is a big and wide tree, growing to a height of up to 15 to 20 meters. It is found and cultivated all over India in the temperate climate. The bark is thick and broken. Milky latex is found in the tree. The leaves are thick, round to oval in shape, 4-6 inch long and shiny at the upper surface. The flowers are small and are often hidden. The fruits are big, growing to a length of 2-3 feet, having spike like structures at the outer layer. Ripened fruit is sweet, yellow in color. The seeds are oval to round in shape, covered with a thin layer. Fruits are seen in the month of April to June. Over 100 varieties of Jackfruit are found all over the world and grown for its commercial purpose. The fruits and the seeds are used in many cuisines all over the world.

Medicinal properties of Jack fruit: 
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Slimy)
Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Ripened fruit is Vata pitta shamaka (reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha)

Part used- Fruit, Leaf, Bark, Latex
Dosage-
Decoction- 50 to 70 ml

Chemical composition of Artocarpus heterophyllus:
The leaves and stem have sapogenins in them. The leaves have cycloartenone, cycloartenol and beta- sitosterol. The heartwood of the tree contains flavonoids, artocarpesin and norarto- carpetin. Fruits are rich source of carbohydrates beta carotene and sucrose. Latex contains cycloartenone, cycloartenol, β-sitosterol, butylospermol; leucine, isoleucine, tyrosine and valiene. Root of the tree contains β- sitosterol, ursolic acid, cycloartenone and artoflavonone.

Uses of Panasa:

  • The ripened fruits of Panasa provide good nourishment and strength to the body: hence can be consumed moderately by persons in need of body strength.
  • The latex of the jackfruit helps in wound healing and reduces inflammation near the wounds.
  • The leaves of jackfruit are heated slightly after applying with sesame oil and are applied over the cheek region as part of treatment in Bell’s palsy and Trigeminal neuralgia.
  • The ripened fruits acts as blood coagulant and is useful to control bleeding in wounds.
  • The ripened Jackfruit can be consumed to increase sperm count.
  • Decoction of the bark of Panasa is given in a dose of 40- 50 ml to treat diarrhea and skin diseases.
  • Decoction of the root and leaf is consumed in a dose of 40-50 ml to treat skin diseases and cases of poisoning due to insect bite.
  • Latex from the leaves are applied over the mouth ulcers to as part of treatment.
  • Latex from Panasa tree is mixed with vinegar and applied over the area affected with glandular swelling.
  • Unripe and ripened fruits of jackfruit along with the seeds are used in many cuisines all over the world.
  • Bark of jack fruit is made decoction along with Bhunimba (Andrographis paniculata) and Cumin. This decoction is administered along with Dhanwantaram gulika for the treatment of cough, cold, asthma etc.

Traditional Ayurvedic uses of Jack Fruit:
Tuvara – astringent
Swadu – sweet taste
Guru – heavy to digest
Vishtambi – causes constipation
Vatala – increases Vata Dosha
Picchila – Sticky, Slimy
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Balakrut – improves strength and immunity
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea, IBS
Durjara – takes a long time to undergo digestion

Indicated in –
Shrama – tiredness, fatigue
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Shosha – emaciated

Flower of jack fruit –
Tikta – bitter
Guru – heavy to digest
Vaktra Vishodhana – cleanses oral cavity

Unripe fruit –
Kapha Vardhana – increases Kapha
Medo Vardhana – incrases fat
Vishtambhi – causes constipation
Vatala – increases Vata Dosha
Tuvara – astringent
Dahaghna – relieves burning sensation
Madhura – sweet
Guru – heavy to digest

Ripe Jack fruit –
Sheetala – coolant
Swadu – sweet taste
Tarpana – nourishing
Brimhana – improves weight
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Mamsala – improves muscle strength
Shleshmala – increases Kapha Dosha
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Vatahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc

Indicated in –
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Kshata – injury, bleeding
Kshaya – depletion of body tissues, weight loss, tuberculosis

Jack fruit seed uses:
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Madhura – sweet
Ishat kashaya – slightly astringent
Vatala – increases Vata Dosha
Guru – heavy to digest
Baddha Varchas – causes constipation
Srushtamutra – diuretic
Jack fruit Seed pulp:
Pittaghna – balances Pitta
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor

Jack fruit side effects:
No adverse effect is known or reported after the normal use of Panasa. But excess intake of fruit can cause increased intestinal movement and diarrhea.
Contra indicated in people suffering from Gulma, Ajeerna (Mandagni – low digestion strength)

Research articles related to Artocarpus integrifolia:
Anti- inflammatory action: The antiinflammatory activities of the isolated flavonoids, including cycloartomunin, cyclomorusin, dihydrocycloartomunin, dihydroisocycloartomunin, cudraflavone A, cyclocommunin, and artomunoxanthone  and cycloheterohyllin ,artonins A and B , artocarpanone, artocarpanone A and heteroflavanones A , B, and C from Artocarpus communis and A. heterophyllus, were assessed in vitro by determining their inhibitory effects on the chemical mediators released from mast cells, neutrophils, and macrophages.

Anti- oxidant action: The four different extracts of Artocarpus heterophyllus and Manilkara zapota seeds were undertaken and studied for their total phenolics and flavonoids contents, reducing power and antioxidant activity. The antioxidant capacity was studied using DPPH radical scavenging assay and ABTS radical scavenging assay method. . The results revealed that the extracts showed high flavonoids content and reducing potential.

Anti- coagulant effect: The current study focuses on the anticoagulant and antiplatelet activities of aqueous seed extract of Jackfruit (AqSEJ). Anticoagulant effect of AqSEJ was tested using plasma recalcification time, mouse tail bleeding time, Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) and Prothrombin Time (PT). Antiplatelet activity was examined by platelet aggregation studies using agonists such as ADP, Collagen and Epinephrine. The AqSEJ enhanced the clotting time of citrated human plasma from control 200±10 s to 740±14 s. The anticoagulant activity of AqSEJ was further strengthened by in-vivo mouse tail bleeding assay.

Anti- microbial study: We evaluated the antibacterial activity of the organic extracts (n-hexane, acetone and methanol) from the fruit of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. against Staphylococcus aureus,(methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus [MSSA]). The extract that demonstrated the greatest activity was that of acetone, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.375 mg/ml against S. aureus MSSA.

Classical categorization:
Astanga Samgraha- Madhura skandha – sweet tasting herbs
Bhavaprakasha- Amradi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadhi varga
Raja Nighantu- Amradi varga
Saligrama Nighantu- Phala varga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Artocarpeae
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. heterophyllus

Sanskrit Synonyms of Katahal – Jack fruit: 
Kantaki phala- The fruit has numerous small spikes. – “ Kanta khaha santi asya phalesu ithi’’
Ashaya phala – big  fruit
Amashaya Phala- Fruit effect the gastrointestinal tract
Mahasarja, Atibrihat phala- The fruit is big in size
Mridanga phala- Shape of fruit is like mridanga (a musical instrument)
Apushpa phala – Fruits are seen without flowers.
Skanda phala- Fruit is seen in the stem of the tree
Shleshmataka Sadruk patra – The leaves resemble to those of Lasoda – Cordia dichotoma
Garbhakantaka – full of thorns
Phala Vrukshaka – tree yields numerous fruits
Apushpaphala – no flowers, only fruits
Pootaphala – the ripe fruit has peculiar odor
Panasa –  “Panyathe sthuyate ithi panasa  Parna vyavahare panayate sthuyate  ithi va’’
The one which possess many qualities and is praised by many is panasa.

SKANDA PHALA –  “ Skande phalani jayanthe asya ithi’’
This tree gives fruit on its stem itself .

LAKUCHA:- “ Lakyate aasvadyate ithi lakuchah’’
Due to its sour and sweet taste people like it very much.

AAMASAYA PHALA:- “ Aamaasaya sadrasha phala yukta”
The fruit resembles like that of aamasaya.
ATHIBRHAT PHALA :- Fruits are very big .
MRIDABGA PHALA:-  Fruit resembles like that of mridanga in shape

Ancient references:

  • In Atharva Veda in Atharva parisista ( 5.2.1-5) reference of panasa is found .
  • It is mentioned in Mahabhasya(1.1.7) and Bana bhatta’s Kadambari 119 and
  • Varahamira also mentioned about panasa .
  • In Charaka samhitha sutra sthana 25th ; 26th ; 27th  chapter properties of panasa and its uses are mentioned.
  • In Charaka samhitha there is mentioning of  Phalasava prepared from panasa .
  • In Susrutha Samhitha sutra sthana 46th chapter properties of panasa  is mentioned , also mentioned in sutra sthana 9th chapter 4th sloka and in Susrutha Samhitha Chikistha sthana 31st chapter 5th sloka .
  • In Astanga Sangraha sutra sthana ,18th chapter while explaining about madhura skandha he mentioned panasa as one among them.
  • In Astanga Hridaya 10th chapter of sutra sthana 23rd verse and in 6th chapter 119th verses mentioned panasa.

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com
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Comments

  1. Thanks for the well-written article. I am confused by “Due to its ushna qualities it destroys sukra and netra ” this statement. Isn’t it contrary to what is written in Ayurveda ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Thanks for pointing out. It is controversial and contradictory. Hence have removed it.

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