Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as Katahal or Ceylon Jack tree and belongs to the Moraceae family, is an important and widely found tree in the home gardens of India and Bangladesh. According to historical accounts, the jackfruit tree is originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats in India’s south-western region. However, the trees have now spread to other areas of India and tropical places throughout the world. The term jackfruit is taken from the Portuguese word Jaca, which is derived from the Malayalam word ‘Chakka’ (a regional Indian language). The jackfruit tree has the world’s biggest tree-borne fruits and a mature tree can yield anywhere from ten to two hundred fruits. These fruits, which include many hard cone-like points, may weigh up to 45 kg and measure up to 36 inch in length and 20 inch in diameter. In India, trees can be seen growing constantly in regions with abundant rainfall and irregularly in areas with low rainfall. Jackfruit is a popular cuisine in South India, ranking third in total yearly output after mango and banana. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh and is revered by the locals as an incredibly significant tree.Phytochemistry: Carotenoids, flavanoids, volatile acids, sterols, tannins, flavones, coloring matters, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, iron, salt, zinc and niacin are just a few of the nutrients found in jackfruit. Jackfruit has a low caloric content: 100 g has just 94 calories. Jackfruit is high in potassium, with 303 mg detected in 100 g of jackfruit. Potassium-rich foods have been shown in studies to help decrease blood pressure. Another advantage of eating jackfruit is that it is high in vitamin C. The human body does not make vitamin C so one must eat food that contains vitamin C to reap its health benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals, improves the immune system and maintains our gums healthy. Niacin, commonly known as vitamin B3, is found in jackfruit and is required for energy metabolism, neuronal function and the production of some hormones. As a result, the phytonutrients present in jackfruit can prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body, decrease blood pressure, combat stomach ulcers and slow down the degradation of cells that make the skin seem young and healthy.Traditional use: The leaves can be used to treat fevers, boils, wounds and skin disorders. The immature fruits are astringent, bitter and carminative. The ripe fruits are delicious, laxative, aphrodisiac and brain tonic. The seeds have diuretic and constipating properties. The wood has nervine, anti-diabetic and sedative properties and it can help with convulsions. Latex is beneficial in the treatment of dysopia, ocular diseases and pharyngitis, as well as an antibacterial agent. In the event of ulcers, the ash of jackfruit leaves is utilized. The dried latex contains artosterone, a chemical with strong androgenic properties. When mixed with vinegar, latex improves abscess, snakebite and glandular edema recovery. The root is used to treat skin diseases and asthma. In instances of fever and diarrhoea, an extract of the root is taken. Warmed leaves are applied to wounds. Latex is used to treat inflammation.Pharmacology: Experimental research indicates that jackfruit has a wide range of medicinal properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antifungal and antineoplastic.The presence of different phytochemicals may be responsible for the reported pharmacological effects. Artocarpesin, a jackfruit component, may offer a possible treatment strategy for inflammation-related diseases. It also possesses antifungal properties, as Lectins from jackfruit have been shown to suppress the development of Fusarium moniliforme and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as hemagglutination activity against human and rabbit erythrocytes. Roasted seeds of Artocarpus heterophyllus have aphrodisiac properties, according to a Sri Lankan medicinal plants book. The hot water extract of Artocarpus heterophyllus leaves increased glucose tolerance in both normal and diabetic individuals.The plant also has substantial antibacterial activity, with butanol fractions of the root bark and fruits being the most active. The shoots exhibited nematicidal activity against Rotylenchulus reniformis, Tylenchorhynchus brassicae, Tylenchorhynchus filifofmis, and Meloidogyne incognita. Because of the presence of phenolic groups, methanolic extracts of katahal were found to have anticancer effects against breast cancer cell lines.The seeds of katahal were shown to have considerable cytotoxicity against lung cancer. To summarize, we must consume jackfruit because of its significant health advantages.(The authors are from SKUAST-Jammu)
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