5 Incredible Benefits of Rose Apples

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The health benefits of rose apples include controlling diabetes, improving digestion, reducing toxicity, promoting heart health, and boosting immunity. It also has anti-cancer potential.

What are Rose Apples?

Despite the name, rose apples are not related to roses or apples. In fact, rose apples are closely related to guava, and although there are multiple species, the most commonly eaten variety has the scientific name Syzygium jambos. The plant is a shrub or a small tree that is actually native to Southeast Asia, but it was spread throughout the world as an ornamental plant. However, it is now considered an invasive species, as it can grow and propagate very quickly, overtaking local flora. It has many names, depending on which country you find yourself in. For example, Jambu is a popular name for this fruit, which is very similar to Jamun, which is a different fruit in many areas of India.

While rose apples resemble guavas, they have a very different texture, flavor, and odor altogether. Also, unlike guava that has numerous seeds, this fruit only has one or two large, unarmored seeds in an open, central cavity.

Rose apples, which are bell-shaped in appearance, can either be eaten raw, like apples or can be used to prepare a variety of dishes and desserts.

A basket of fresh ripe rose apples with leaves on a wooden table

Nutrition Facts

Rose-apples, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]93
Energy [kcal]25
Protein [g]0.6
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.3
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]5.7
Calcium, Ca [mg]29
Iron, Fe [mg]0.07
Magnesium, Mg [mg]5
Phosphorus, P [mg]8
Potassium, K [mg]123
Sodium, Na [mg]0
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.06
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]22.3
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.8
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]17
Vitamin A, IU [IU]339
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Nutritional Value of Rose Apples

Rose apples are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin A, calcium, thiamin, niacin, iron, sulfur, and potassium. In terms of organic compounds, rose apples contain jambosine, betulinic acid, and friedelolactone.

Health Benefits of Rose Apples

Although research is limited, some very important health benefits have been associated with this unusual fruit. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Control Diabetes

Jambosine is a type of alkaloid, found in rose apples, that has shown promising results in blocking or regulating the conversion of starch into sugar. This could be a very important development for someone already living with diabetes and those at risk of developing this condition. Further research is ongoing about the impact of jambosine on blood sugar control. Traditionally, an infusion of roasted seed powder was said to be helpful against diabetes.

Aid in Digestion

The high fiber content of rose apples makes them very good for regulating the passage of food through your digestive tract, relieving constipation, and more serious health conditions. Also, in traditional medicine, the seeds of rose apples have been used to prevent diarrhea and dysentery.

Reduce Toxicity

For hundreds of years, rose apple decoctions have been used as a diuretic substance, which helps clear out liver and kidney toxicity, while also boosting the overall health and metabolic efficiency of the body.

Anti-cancer Potential

Early traditional texts have claimed that rose apples have anti-cancer potential because of their high vitamins A and C content. However, there has been no study to support these claims.

Cholesterol and Heart Health

The fiber and nutrient combination in rose apples have shown significant effects on cholesterol levels, leading to a lower risk of atherosclerosis, thereby preventing cardiovascular complications like heart attacks, strokes, and coronary heart diseases.

Boost Immunity

The active and volatile components in rose apple have been linked to having antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects. Research has shown that it can protect the skin from developing various infections and can boost the strength of the immune system against infectious diseases.

Other Benefits

Although research is still being conducted, rose apples can potentially benefit other health concerns like epileptic seizures, smallpox, inflammation in the joints, sore or strained eyes, and help in increasing the cognitive ability.

Word of Caution: The stems, seeds, and leaves of certain cultivars can be highly toxic and contain trace amounts of cyanide. Consume rose apples from trusted markets and avoid excessive consumption of other parts of the fruit besides the flesh and the skin.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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