Chinese Name: Ding xiang
Medical Name: Flos Caryophylli
Latin Name: Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb., or Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. et Perry, of the family Myrtaceae.
Origin: Flower buds, hand-picked in late summer and again in winter and then sun-dried.
Taste: Strong, hot, pungent

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

OPINIONS ON THE PROPERTIES OF HERBS: "Treats abdominal pain due to cold."

RI HUAZI MATERIA MEDICA: "Treats halitosis, regurgitation, sensations of gas uprush from the lower abdomen to the throat, and vaginal pain by regulating kidney-qi, strengthening yang and warming the loins and knees."

Western Research

Toxicol Lett. 2002 Jun 7;132(1):19-25
Syzygium cumini (Jamun) reduces the radiation-induced DNA damage in the cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes: a preliminary study.
Jagetia GC, Baliga MS.
Department of Radiobiology, Kasturba Medical College, 576 119, Karnataka, Manipal, India. gc.jagetia@kmc.manipal.edu
The effects of various concentrations (0.0, 1.56, 3.125, 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 microg/ml) of the leaf extract of Syzygium cumini Linn. or Eugenia cumini (SC; black plum, Jamun, family Myrtaceae) was studied on the alteration in the radiation-induced micronuclei formation in the cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Treatment of lymphocytes to various concentrations of SC resulted in a dose dependent increase in the micronuclei-induction, especially after 25-100 microg/ml extract. The exposure of human lymphocytes to various concentrations of SC extract before 3 Gy gamma-irradiation resulted in a significant decline in the micronuclei-induction at all the drug doses when compared with the non-drug treated irradiated cultures. A nadir in MNBNC frequency was observed for 12.5 microg/ml drug concentration, where the MNBNC frequency was approximately fourfold lower than that of the non-drug treated irradiated cultures. Therefore, this dose may be considered as an optimum dose for radiation protection. Our study demonstrates that the leaf extract of S. cumini, a plant traditionally used to treat diabetic disorders protects against the radiation-induced DNA damage.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Jun;81(1):81-100
Medicinal plants of India with anti-diabetic potential
Grover JK, Yadav S, Vats V.
Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110049, India.
Since ancient times, plants have been an exemplary source of medicine. Ayurveda and other Indian literature mention the use of plants in treatment of various human ailments. India has about 45000 plant species and among them, several thousands have been claimed to possess medicinal properties. Research conducted in last few decades on plants mentioned in ancient literature or used traditionally for diabetes have shown anti-diabetic property. The present paper reviews 45 such plants and their products (active, natural principles and crude extracts) that have been mentioned/used in the Indian traditional system of medicine and have shown experimental or clinical anti-diabetic activity. Indian plants which are most effective and the most commonly studied in relation to diabetes and their complications are: Allium cepa, Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Cajanus cajan, Coccinia indica, Caesalpinia bonducella, Ficus bengalenesis, Gymnema sylvestre, Momordica charantia, Ocimum sanctum, Pterocarpus marsupium, Swertia chirayita, Syzigium cumini, Tinospora cordifolia and Trigonella foenum graecum. Among these we have evaluated M. charantia, Eugenia jambolana, Mucuna pruriens, T. cordifolia, T. foenum graecum, O. sanctum, P. marsupium, Murraya koeingii and Brassica juncea. All plants have shown varying degree of hypoglycemic and anti-hyperglycemic activity.