Jambu (Spilanthes oleracea)
PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL DATA AND APPLICATIONS
The vegetable jambu has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. It´s main components are spilanthol, a fatty acid amide (N-isobutylamides), stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a number of triterpenes. The active ingredient spilanthol is proposed to be responsible for most of its biological activities. Spilanthol has a strong pungent taste; it may produce local astringency and anesthetic effects. Its economic potential includes its use in pharmaceuticals, as a nutritional supplement and beauty care cosmetics.
Topical application of the jambu extract can reduce muscle tension and decrease facial wrinkles, being used as a non-injectable, cheap and easy-to-apply herbal Botox replacement; used in the treatment of rejuvenation; also with deodorizing properties and as a local anesthetic for depilation. It is reported to be an effective treatment for hair loss
Jambu and is widely used in Pará cuisine and is indispensable in the dishes of “pato no tucupi” and “Tacacá”. Its consumption produces a lot of salivae and causes a tremor in the tongue and lips.
Traditional medicine recommends the preparation of its leaves and flowers for infusions to treat oral diseases (toothache) and throat, as well as for its antibiotic and anesthetic properties. Due to the presence of iron and vitamin C, it is indicated to treat anemia and scurvy.
The jambu is an Amazonian leaf vegetable, has a 45-70 day cycle, requires little technology for its planting and is widely grown by small farmers.
BARBOSA, A. F. et al (2016): Spilanthol: occurrence, extraction, chemistry and biological activities; Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.26 no.1 Curitiba (2016) - 128–133 http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-695X2016000100128 .