Family • Moraceae - Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. - JACKFRUIT - Mu bo luo

Scientific names

Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.
Artocarpus jaca Lam.
Artocarpus philippensis Lam.
Polyphema jaca Lour.
Artocarpus maxima Blanco
Saccus elasticus OK.
Saccus integer OK.
Saccus heterophyllus OK.
Radermachia integer Thunb.
Artocarpus integer Merr.
Bo luo mi (Chin.)

Common names

Lanka (Ilk.)
Langka (Ilk., Tag., Bis.)
Nangka (Bis. Tag., Ibn.)
Nanka (Bis., Sul.)
Jack fruit (Engl.)
Mu bo luo (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Konthal, Konto phol, Kontok phol, Kontoki. MALAY: Nangka (Indonesia, Bali), Nangka bubor, Keledang (Timor).
CHINESE: Shu bo luo, Niu du zi guo, Mang ca MARATHI: Phanas.
DANISH: Jackfrugttrae. NEPALESE: Rukh kutaherr.
DUTCH: Nangka. ORIYA: Panasa.
FRENCH: Jacquier. PERSIAN: Derakhte nan.
GERMAN: Indischer Brotfruchtbaum, Jackfrucht, Jackfruchtbaum. PORTUGUESE: Jaca.
GUJARATI: Phannasa. SANSKRIT: Panasah, Panasam.
HINDI: Cakki, Katahal, Kathal, Kanthal. SINHALESE: Jak, Kos.
ITALIAN: Falso albero del pane. SPANISH: Arbol del pan, Fruta del pobre, Jaca, Jaka, Jaqueiro.
JAPANESE: Nagami pannoki, Paramitsu. SWAHILI: Fenesi.
KANNADA: Halasina hannu, Halasu, Panasero. SWEDISH: Jacktrad.
KHMER: Khnor. TAMIL: Palaa, Palavu.
KOREAN: Baramil THAI: Khanun, Makmee, Maak laang.
LAOTIAN: Mai mi, Mak mi, Mi. VIETNAMESE: Mit.

Langka is a smooth tree reaching a height of 8 to 15 meters. Leaves are alternate, leathery, elliptic-oblong to obovate, entire or sometimes 3-lobed, 7 to 15 centimeters long, the apex and base both pointed. Female heads are embraced by spathaceous, deciduous, stipular sheaths, 5 to 8 centimeterslong. Sepals are two. Spike is 5 to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is green to greenish-yellow when ripe, fleshy, hanging on short stalks from the main stem or from large branches in old trees, oblong with pyramidal projections, 25 to 60 centimeters long. Seeds are numerous, oblong, 2.5 to 4 centimeters long. The testa is thin, coriaceous, surrounded by an edible luscious pulp.


– Cultivated throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes.
– In some regions, spontaneous.
– Prehistoric introduction from Malaya or tropical Asia.
– Also occurs in India to Malaya, and is now cultivated in most tropical countries.

· Jackfruit contains morin and a crystalline constituent, cyanomaclurin.
· Cyanomaclurin reported to contain a phoroglucinol group and is probably isomeric with catechins.
· Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, tannins, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and saponins.
· Chemical analysis yields moisture 28.50%, sugars (saccharose, fructose, glucose) 5.48%, fixed oil 6.64%, essential oil 0.15%, other extracts 22.39%, protein 18.85%, cellulose 14.47%, inorganic matter 3.52%.
· Pulp (lamukot) of the fruit contains vitamin C.
· Good source of provitamin A carotenoids.
· Of the components of essential oil, piperonal is noted.
· Study yielded a new flavonone, a new prenylflavone, a novel phenolic compound, heterophylol and nine known flavonoids.


· Root is considered antiasthmatic.
· Ripe fruit is sweet, cooling, demulcent, nutritive, laxative, aphrodisiac.
· Unripe fruit is acrid, astringent, carminative and tonic.
· Pulp or flesh surrounding the seed is aromatic, cooling and tonic.
· Seeds are sweet, diuretic, aphrodisiac.
· Bark is considered sedative.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antiinflammatory Flavonoids from Artocarpus heterophyllus and Artocarpus communis. / Bah-Luh Wei, Jing-Ru Weng et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2005, 53 (10), pp 3867–3871 / DOI: 10.1021/jf047873n

(2) Structure-Activity Relationship of Prenyl-Substituted Polyphenols from Artocarpus heterophyllus as Inhibitors of Melanin Biosynthesis in Cultured Melanoma Cells 

(3) Multibeneficial natural material: Dye from heartwood of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lamk 

(4) Analysis of carotenoids in ripe jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) kernel and study of their bioconversion in rats / UG Chandrika et al / Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture . Volume 85 Issue 2, Pages 186 – 190 / DOI 10.1002/jsfa.1918

(5) Inhibitory effect of prenylated flavonoid in Euchresta japonica and Artocarpus heterophyllus on lipid peroxidation by interaction of hemoglobin and hydrogen peroxide

(6) Screening of traditional antidiabetic medicinal plants of mauritius for possible a-amylase inhibitory effects in vitro / Kotowaroo M.I. et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research. 2006, vol. 20, no3, pp. 228-231 / DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1839

(7) HYPOGLYCAEMIC ACTION OF THE FLAVONOID FRACTION OF ARTOCARPUS HETEROPHYLLUS LEAF / Chandrika U. G., Wedage W.S. et al / Research Paper / Afr. J. Trad. CAM (2006) 3 (2): 42 – 50

(8) Flavonoids from Artocarpus heterophyllus / Chun-Nan Lin et al / Phytochemistry • Volume 39, Issue 6, August 1995, Pages 1447-1451 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00135-T

(9) Scavenger and Antioxidant Properties of Prenylflavones Isolated From Artocarpus Heterophyllus / Feng N Ko, Zhi J Cheng et al / Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Vol 25, Issue 2, 15 July 1998, Pages 160-168 /

(10) A study of traditional mother care plants of rural communities of South Kerala / NP Rajith, M Navas, N Anish et al / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9 (1), Jan 2010, pp 203-208.

(11) Sorting Artocarpus names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(12) Antioxidant activity of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (Jack Fruit) leaf extracts: remarkable attenuations of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. / Omar HS, El-Beshbishy HA, Moussa Z, Taha KF, Singab AN. / ScientificWorldJournal. 2011 Apr 5;11:788-800.

(13) Jacalin: a jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) seed-derived lectin of versatile applications in immunobiological research. / Kabir S. / J Immunol Methods. 1998 Mar 15;212(2):193-211.

(14) Isolation and Evaluation of Starch of Artocarpus heterophyllus as a Tablet Binder / Narkhede Sachin B*, Atul R. Bendale, Anil G. Jadhav, Khushbu Patel, G. Vidyasagar / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol. 3, No.2, pp 836-840, April-June 2011

(15) Antimicrobial activity of a 48-kDa protease (AMP48) from Artocarpus heterophyllus latex. / Siritapetawee J, Thammasirirak S, Samosornsuk W. / Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Jan;16(1):132-7.

(16) Nutritional assessment of a jackfruit (Artocarpu / s heterophyllus) meal / UPK Hettiaratchi, S Ekanayake, J Welihinda / Ceylon Medical Journal > Vol 56, No 2 (2011) > de Zoysa

(17) Polyphenol analysis and Antitumor activity of Crude extracts from Tegmen of Artocarpus heterophyllus. / N Rajendran, J Ramakrishnan / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2008 Volume 7 Number 2.

(18) Cytotoxic activity of methanolic extract of Artocarpus heterophyllus against A549, Hela and MCF-7 cell lines / Rajesh M.Patel and Sahil K.Patel / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (07); 2011: 167-171

(19) Wound healing properties of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. / Nilesh Gupta, U.K. Jain, A.K. Pathak /

Parts utilized 
· Leaves, fruit, seeds

Nutrition / Edibility
– The young fruit is also a vegetable.
– Fruit has a high carbohydrate content.
– Seeds are very rich in starch, but a poor source of calcium and iron.
– The pulp or flesh (lamukot) surrounding the seeds is rich, yellow, sweet and aromatic, rich in vitamin C, eaten fresh or cooked or preserved.
– The seeds are boiled or roasted.
– The unripe fruit can be pickled.
– In India, the unripe fruit used in the preparation of pickles.

· Skin diseases, ulcers and wounds: Ash of burnt leaves applied on wounds and ulcers as cicatrizant.
· Burnt ashes of leaves (preferably fresh) with coconut oil, and as ointment, also used for ulcers and wounds.
· Diarrhea, fever and asthma: A decoction of the root (preferably chopped into small pieces before boiling) of the tree, three to four cups daily.
· Glandular swelling and snake bites: Apply the milky juice of the tree.
· When mixed with vinegar, it is especially beneficial for glandular swelling and abscesses, promoting absorption and suppuration.
· Leaves used for fever, wounds, abscesses,
· The ripe fruit is laxative; in large quantities, it produces diarrhea.
· The roasted seeds believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
· Pulp envelopes or arils of seeds considered cooling, tonic and nutritious China.
· In India, the leaves and bark of Artocarpus heterophyllus and Mangifera indica, boiled in water, are used as postpartum bath, to rejuvenate the mothers after delivery.
· Starch of seeds given in bilious colic.
· In China, roasted seeds used as aphrodisiac.
· Root extract used for asthma , fever and diarrhea.
· Bark is considered sedative.
· In Sri Lanka and India, extracts of mature leaves used for treatment of diabetes.
· In China, pulp of fruit also considered useful in suppressing alcohol in the body.
· In Indian medicine, bark used in fever, boils, wounds, skin diseases.
· In Mauritius, used for diabetes.
· In Ayurvedic medicine, hot water extract of mature leaves used for treatment of diabetes.

· Fruit used to flavor and age lambanog; locals believe it increases alcohol potency.
· Tree latex is used as bird lime; and when heated makes a good cement for china.
· Bark sometimes used for making rope and cloth.
· Wood has limited use as source of yellow dye.


Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study isolated flavonoids including: 1-cycloartomunin, 2-cyclomorusin, 3- dihydrocycloartomunin, 4- dihydroisocycloartomunin, 5- cudraflavone A, 6- cyclocommunin, 7-artomunoxanthone, 8- cycloheterohyllin, 9- artonin A, 10- artonin-B, 11- artocarpanone, 12- artocarpanone A, 13, 14, 15 -heteroflavanones A, B and C. Many of the compounds exhibited varying degrees of antiinflammatory activities–inhibitory effects on chemical mediator release from mast cells, neutrophils and macrophages.
• Inhibition of Melanin Biosynthesis / Artocarpanone: Study showed the extract of AH to be one of the strongest inhibitor of tyrosinase activity. Study isolated Artocarpanone, which inhibited both mushroom tyrosinase activity and melanin production in B16 melanoma cells and presents as a potential as a remedy for hyperpigmentation in human skin.
• Inhibition of Melanin Biosynthesis / Melanoma Cells: Structure-Activity Relationship of Prenyl-Substituted Polyphenols from Artocarpus heterophyllus as Inhibitors of Melanin Biosynthesis in Cultured Melanoma Cells: Study isolated flavone-based polyphenols which were found to be active inhibitors of the in vivo melanin biosynthesis in B16 melanoma cells.
• Antibacterial: Multibeneficial natural material: Dye from heartwood of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lamk: Material isolated could be used as a direct dye for wool and silk; with antibacterial activity against B. subtilis, B. cereus, S. aureus, E coli, K pneumonia.
• Source of Provitamin A carotenoids:Analysis of carotenoids in ripe jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) kernel and study of their bioconversion in rats: Study showed jackfruit to be a good source of provitamin A carotenoids (not as good as papaya).
• Antioxidant activity / Scavenging Activity: Study showed prenylated flavonoid with more antioxidant than non-prenylated flavonoid. Study isolated prenylflavones cycloheterophyllin and artonins A and B which inhibited iron-induced lipid peroxidation and also show radical scavenging activity.
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: Screening of traditional antidiabetic medicinal plants of mauritius for possible -amylase inhibitory effects in vitro: Of several medicinal plants studied in Mauritius, only Artocarpus heterophyllus significantly inhibited a-amylase activity in vitro indicating that AH could act as a starch blocker to decrease post-prandial glucose peaks. Study in male Wistar rats showed the flavonoid fraction of the leaf of AH to have a higher hypoglycemic effect than the sulfonylurea drug tolbutamide with no significant effects on the liver, kidney and heart.
• Sexual Competence Inhibition: Study sought to resolve the conflicting beliefs on the roasted seeds of AH – its aphrodisiac activity vs the claim that use of the seeds prior to coitus disrupts sexual function. Study in rats utilizing a seed suspension markedly inhibited libido, sexual arousal, sexual vigor and performance while also causing mild erectile dysfunction. The results suggest that AH seeds do not have aphrodisiac activity, at least, in rats.
• Cytotoxicity / Anti-Tumor: Study showed the methanol extract to have maximum cytotoxicity on HEp2 cells with cell aggregation, cell rounding and cell death. Results suggest a potential use of the crude extract from the tegmen of AH as an antitumor agent.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Bark: Study of a methanolic extract of A. heterophyllus on a carrageenan-induced model in albino rats showed dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Leaves: Study of ethyl acetate fraction of A. heterophyllus leaves in STZ-induced diabetic rats showed significant lowering of serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Study concludes the EA fraction contains one or more hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic principles with a potential for further development for diabetes treatment.
• Improved Glucose Tolerance / Type-2 Diabetes: Study showed the extracts of both Artocarpus heterophyllus and Asteracanthus longifolia significantly improved glucose tolerance in both normal subjects and diabetic patients.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant Pathway: Ethanol and butanol extracts showed hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in STZ-diabetic rats through an oxidative pathway that may be attributed to flavonoid contents.
• Jacalin / Seed-Derived Lectin / Immunobiologic Applications: Jacalin, a major lectin protein from the jackfruit seed has been found strongly mitogenic for human CD4+ T lymphocytes. It has been found to have diverse applications: as a tool for evaluation of immune status in HIV-1, isolation of hum plasma glycoproteins, investigation of IgA -nephropathy, and detection of tumors.
• Seed Starch Binding Property: Study showed the starch obtained from A. heterophyllus fruit seeds showed comparable binding properties.
• Latex / Protease / Antimicrobial: A protease isolated and purified from crude latex of a jackfruit tree, designated as antimicrobial protease-48 kDa or AMP48 inhibited the growths of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC27853 and clinical isolated Candida albicans.
• Nutritional Assessment of Jackfruit Meal/ Protease / Antimicrobial: In Sri Lanka, the jackfruit is consumed either as main meal or supplement. A nutritional assessment of a meal composed of flesh (80% available carbohydrate) and seeds (20% available carbohydrate) showed it to be a good source of starch (22%) and dietary fiber, and categorized as a low GI meal.
• Antitumor / Tegmen: Study evaluated crude extracts from the tegmen of Artocarpus heterophyllus for in vitro antitumor activity. A methanol extract yielded the maximum polyphenol content and showed maximum cytotoxicity on HEP2 cells, with cell aggregation, cell rounding, and cell death. Results suggest a potential as an antitumor agent.
• Cytotoxicity / A549 Cell Line: A methanolic extract of A. heterophyllus showed excellent cytotoxicity against A549 cell line, but had no activity against HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines. Results showed potential cytotoxicity against lung cancer, with no toxicity to normal cells (HEK293 cell line) as compared to methotrexate.
• Wound Healing: Study of a methanol leaf extract on excision would healing model showed significant wound healing activity, comparable with standard (Betadine). The period of epithelization of the extract treated group was higher than the control group.

Commercial fruiting.