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Artocarpus heterophyllus, Artocarpus integer, Artocarpus integrifolia, Artocarpus jaca

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Shivani Kagra* & K.L. Dahiya**


* Pursuing Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgeory; Lal Bhadur Shastri Mahila Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Bilaspur (Yamuna Nagar), Haryana, India

** Kurukshetra Global City, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India


Vernacular name:

Assamese: Kanthal

Bengali: Katal, Kantal, Kanthal, Kathal, Phanas

English: Jackfruit, Jackfruit tree, Indian Jack fruit

Gujarati: Phanus, Phanas

Hindi: Katahal, Kathal, Kathar, Katahala, Panas

Kannada: Halasina hannu, Hebba alasu

Kuki: Lamphong

Malayalam: Chakka

Manipuri: Theibong

Marathi: Phanas, Phanasa

Oriya: Panas, Panasa, Ponoso

Punjabi: Katahala

Sanskrit: Panasam

Tamil: Pala, Palaa

Telugu: Panas, Panasa

Urdu: Katahal

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom: Plantae – plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants

Subkingdom: Viridiplantae

Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – land plants

Superdivision: Embryophyta

Division: Tracheophyta – vascular plants, tracheophytes

Subdivision: Spermatophytina – spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames

Class: Magnoliopsida

Superorder: Rosanae

Order: Rosales

Family: Moraceae – mulberries

Genus: Artocarpus J.R. Forst. & G. Forst. – breadfruit

Species: Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. – Jackfruit, Jackfruit tree – (Syn. Artocarpus integer auct., Artocarpus integrifolius auct., Artocarpus jaca)

Phytogeography: Most probably native of the rain-forests of the Western Ghats. In fact, the name Jackfruit is derived from the malayalam name chakka. It is also found in central and eastern Africa, south-eastern Asia, the Caribbean, Florida, Brazil, Australia, Puerto Rico and many Pacific Islands.

Description: A tree, unique in the fact that it produces huge fruits directly from its stem. The tree is handsome and stately, 30-82 feet tall, with evergreen. All parts contain sticky, white latex. Short, stout flowering twigs emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from the soil-covered base of very old trees.

Leaves: Broad obovate, elliptic, decurrent, glabrous, entire inflorescence solitary axillaries, cauliforous and ramflours on short leafy shoots.

Flowers: This species is monoecious, having male and female inflo­rescences (or "spikes") on the same tree. Tiny male flowers are borne in oblong clusters 2-4 inches in length; the female flower clusters are elliptic or rounded.

Fruit: Largest of all tree-borne fruits, the jackfruit may be 8 inches to 3 feet long and 6-20 in wide, and the weight ranges from 10-50 kg. The "rind' or exterior of the compound or aggregate fruit is green or yellow when ripe and composed of numerous hard, cone-like points attached to a thick and rubbery, pale yellow or whitish wall. The interior consists of large "bulbs" of yellow, banana-flavoured flesh, massed among narrow ribbons of thin, tough undeveloped perianths, and a central, pithy core. Each bulb encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown "seed" covered by a thin white membrane. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odour, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

Seeds: Separated horny endocarpus enclosed by sub-gelatinous exocarpus (1mm thick) oblong ellipsoid in nature. The sweet yellow sheaths around the seeds are about 3-5 mm thick and have a taste similar to that of pineapple, but milder and less juicy.

Propagation: Seeds

Parts used: Fruits, latex, root, roots bark, sapwood, heartwood, seed, leaves, stem, unripe fruits

Phytochemical Constituents: b-sitosterol; Artocarpesin; Artocarpetin A; Artocarpetin; Artocarpine; Artonin A; Artonin B; Cycloartenol; Cycloartenone; Cycloheterophyllin diacetate; Flavonoids; Heterophyllene A; Heterophyllene B; Heterophyllene C; Heterophyllene D; Norartocarpetin; Peracetate; Prenylflavones; Sapogenins; Tannins.

Pharmacological actions: Acrid; Anthelmintic; Anti-angiogenic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Antidiabetic; Antifungal; Antiinflammatory; Antioxidant; Antiviral; Aphrodisiac; Astringent; Chemopreventive; Cooling; Cytotoxic; Diuretic; Hepatoprotective, hepatocuritive; Hypoglycaemic; Immunomodulatory; Laxative; Melanin inhibitor; Nootropic; Suppurative.

Medicinal uses: Abscess; Asthma; Biliousness; Bleeding disorder; Burning sensation; Cancer – colorectal; Diabetes mellitus; Diarrhoea; Glandular swelling; Hepatosis, hepatopathy, hepatitis; Hyperpigmentation; Inflammation; Skin diseases.

Unripe fruit useful in biliousness.

Other uses: It is commonly referred to as "poor man's food" as it is cheap and plentiful during the season. The nutritious seeds are boiled or roasted and eaten like chestnuts, added to flour for baking, or cooked in dishes. The tree is also known for its durable timber, which ages to an orange or reddish brown color, with anti-termite properties. The leaves and fruit waste provide valuable fodder for cattle, pigs and goats. Jackfruit wood chips yield a dye, which is used to give the famous orange-red color to the robes of Buddhist priests.

Dosage and administration: Fruit 50-100 ml decoction.

Leaves: About ½ cup juice of fresh tender leaves is taken once daily.

Root bark: 3-6 gm in powder form

Adverse reactions: Increased consumption of the fruits will result in a rise in allergic reactions.


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Wei B.-L., et al., 2005, “Antiinflammatory flavonoids from Artocarpus heterophyllus and Artocarpus communis,” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry; 53(10): 3867-3871. [Web Reference]

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