Family • Myrtaceae - Syzygium jambos (Linn.) Alston - ROSE APPLE TREE - Pu tao

Scientific names

Caryophyllus jambos Stokes
Eugenia jambos Linn.
Eugenia malaccensis Blanco
Jambosa jambos Millsp.
Jambosa vulgaris DC.

Common names

Balobar (Tag.)
Bunlauan (P. Bis.)
Tampoi (Tag., Bik.)
Tampoy (Tag.)
Tanpul (Ibn.)
Yampoi (Bis.)
Malabar plum (Engl.)
Rose apple tree (Engl.)
Jambrosade (Engl.)
Pu tao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BURMESE: Thabyu thabye.
FRENCH: Jambosier, Pomme rose.
GERMAN: Jambubaum , Rosenapfel, Rosenapfelbaum.
JAPANESE: Futo momo.
KHMER: Châm’puu.
LAOTIAN: Chièng, Kièng.
MALAY: Jambu air mawar (Indonesia), Jambu ayer mawar, Jambu kelampok, Jambu kelampol, Jambu kraton, Jambu mawar (Indonesia), Jambu mawer.
MALAYALAM: Yamu panawa.
NEPALESE: Gulaav jaamun.
PORTUGUESE: Jambo amarelo, Jambo branco, Jambo rosa, Jambeiro.
RUSSIAN: Sizigium iamboza, Sitsigium dzhamboza.
SPANISH: Jambo amarillo, Manzana rosa, Manzanita rosa, Pomarrosa (Puerto Rico), Pomarrosa manzana rosa (Cuba), Pomarrosa pomo (Dominica Rep.), Yambo (Philippines).
COUNTRY: Chomphûu náam dok mái, Ma nom hom.
VIETNAMESE: Bô dào, Ly, Roi.

Tampoi is a small tree growing to about 8 meters high. Leaves are narrowly oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, 12.5 to 20 centimeters long, 2 to 4 centimeters wide, narrowed at both ends. Flowers are large, strongly scented, greenish-white, 5 to 7 centimeters across, borne in groups of 2 to 8 at the ends of twigs. Fruit is rounded, 3.5 to 5 centimeters diameter, dull yellow and tinged with pink.


– Cultivated as a shade tree, in and about towns throughout the Philippines.
– Occasionally naturalized.
– Prehistoric introduction.
– Also occurring in Indo-Malaya and cultivated in other tropical countries.


– Bark contains tannin, 12.4 %.
– Bark yields an alkaloid, jambosine.
– Root bark contains jambosine and oleoresin.
– Fruit contains 3.45% dextrose; the seeds, 3% tannin and 0.019% gallic acid.

– Considered as digestive, stimulant, cooling.
– Flowers considered cooling.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Bioactivity of Syzygium jambos methanolic extracts: Antibacterial activity and toxicity / S Mohanty, I E Cock / Pharmacognosy Research, 2010, Volume : 2, Issue : 1, Page : 4-9

(2) Antinociceptive activity of Syzygium jambos leaves extract on rats / D Avila-Peña et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 112, Issue 2, 13 June 2007, Pages 380-385 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.03.027

(3) Antimicrobial activity of bark extracts of Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston (Myrtaceae) / Corine Djadjo Djipa, Michele Delmee and Joelle Quetin-Leclercq / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 71, Issues 1-2, July 2000, Pages 307-313 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00186-5 |

(4) Dihydrochalcones with radical scavenging properties from the leaves of Syzygium jambos / ULB Jayasinghe, RMS Ratnayake et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 21, Issue 6 May 2007 , pages 551 – 554 / DOI: 10.1080/14786410601132238

(5) ACCION CARDIOVASCULAR DE EXTRACTOS ACUOSOS DE HOJAS DE SYZYGIUM JAMBOS (L.) ALSTON / Minor Romero Jimenez / Departamento de Fisiología. Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica

S. MURUGAN, P. UMA DEVI, N. KANNIKA PARAMESWARI, K.R.MANI / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 2, 2011

(7) Syzygium Jambos / Rose Apple Tree / Top Tropicals

(8) Sorting Syzygium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(9) Antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of an ethanol extract of Syzygium jambos (L.) leaves. / Islam MR, Parvin MS, Islam ME / Drug Discov Ther. 2012 Aug;6(4):205-11.

(10) Study of the aroma compounds of rose apple (Syzygium jambos Alston) fruit from Brazil / Clarissa M. Guedes, Alice B. Pinto, Ricardo F. A. Moreira, Carlos A.B. De Maria / European Food Research and Technology
October 2004, Volume 219, Issue 5, pp 460-464

(11) Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of Syzygium jambos L. (Alston) and isolated compounds on acne vulgaris / Richa Sharma, Navneet Kishore, Ahmed Hussein, and Namrita Lall / Sharma et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:292

(12) Chemical variability in the essential oils from leaves of Syzygium jambos / Wilma P. RezendeI; Leonardo L. BorgesI; Nilda M. AlvesII; Pedro H. FerriIII; José R. PaulaI / Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.23 no.3 Curitiba May/June 2013 Epub May 14, 2013 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2013005000035

Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston, MYRTACEAE

Parts used
Whole plant.

– Fruit is dry, somewhat sweet, with a faint odor of rose.
– Commonly eaten right out, it is also used in making stews, preserves, jellies and jams.
– In Jamaica, sliced fruits are candied by stewing in cinnamon-flavored heavy sugar syrup.

– In Indo-China, all parts are used as stimulant, digestive and as a remedy for tooth problems.
– In Upper Burma, leaves are boiled and used as a remedy for sore eyes.
– Powdered leaves rubbed on the body in smallpox.
– Leaf decoction used as diuretic, expectorant, and treatment for rheumatism.
– In Cambodia, infusion of leaves given for fever.
– In India, used to treat infections. Fruit is used as tonic for the brain and liver; infusion used as diuretic.
– Conserve of flowers considered cooling.
– Seeds used for diarrhea, dysentery and catarrh.
– In El Salvador, pulverized seeds used for diabetes.
– In Columbia, seeds used for its anesthetic property.
– In Cuba, roots used for epilepsy.
– In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated pitta, diarrhea, colic, wounds, ulcers, stomatitis, and general debility.

– Ritual: In Buddhism, the Rose Apple Tree is considered sacred, referred to as the Enlightenment Tree.
– Tanning / Dye: Bark used for tanning and yields a brown dye.
– Timber: Used to make furniture, construction beams, frames for musical instruments.
– Perfumery: Essential oil distilled from leaves used in perfumery.


Study Findings
• Antibacterial: Study of S jambos leaf extract showed inhibition of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, the latter more susceptible than the former.
• Antinociceptive: Study showed Syzygium jambos extract has remarkable analgesic effects on both cutaneous and deep muscle pain not mediated by opioid receptors in an efficacy higher than that shown by diclofenac.
• Antimicrobial / Tannins: Study showSJ extracts showed antibacterial activity against S aureus, Y enterocolitica, Coagulase-negative staph. The activity seemed related to the high tannin content.
• Antidermatophytic / Triterpenoids:Study yielded known triterpenoids – friedelin, ß-amyrin acetate, betulinic acid and lupeol. Results showed antidermatophytic activity against three species: Microsporum audounii, Tricophyton soudanense and T mentagrophytes.
• Radical Scavenging / Dihydrochalcones: Study of leave extracts yielded three dihydrochalcones – phloretin 4′-O-methylester(2’6′-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone, myrigalone G and myrigalone B which showed radical scavenging properties towards the DPPH assay.
• Hypotensive: Study of aqueous fraction of the young boiled leaves extract of Syzygium jambos, treated with ethyl acetate, has an important hypotensive effect.
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial efficacy of S. jambos against 8 different microorganisms, viz., S aureus, B subtilis, E Coli, K pneumonia, P vulgaris, P aeruginosa, S typhi and V cholera. Different extracts showed varying degrees of inhibitory activity. Overall the acetone extract was found to be more effective.
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study evaluated the leaves of Syzgium jambos for antioxidant activity in vitro and hepatoprotective activity in vivo. The extract showed significant dose-dependent antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective activity in CCl4-induced liver damage.
• Aroma Compounds / Fruit: Study evaluated the rose apple fruit for aroma compounds. Results yielded medium and high volatility components. Hexanal, 3-penten-2-one, hexanol, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, linalool, isovaleric acid, benzyl alcohol, 2-phenylethylalcohol and (E)-cinnamaldehyde were potent odorants contributing to the headspace aroma.
• Antibacterial / Anti-Inflammatory / Acne Vulgaris: Acne is considered a chronic skin disorder resulting from the production of reactive oxygen species due to involvement of Propionibacterium acnes in the skin. Study showed S. jambos possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects warranting clinical studies for use as possible alternative anti-acne agent.
• Leaf Essential Oils / Anti-Inflammatory / Acne Vulgaris: Study showed the main factor that influenced the chemical composition of leaf essential oil was the collection period. Results also suggest composition was influenced mainly by foliar nutrients (N, Mn, Co, Fe, S, and Mg) and soil nutrients (Na, Al, S, and H+Al).
• Antioxidant / Ripe and Unripe Fruits: Study showed the rose apple pulp extract in ripe state has lower antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity than that found in unripe state. However, both show benefit as natural antioxidants.