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Indian Jackfruit


Botanical Name Artocarpus integrifolia Linn.
Common NameIndian Jackfruit tree , Kathal (Hindi), Pala maram (Tamil), Panasa (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Deciduous forest of the Western ghats

Religious association

The fruit is associated with Lord Bala Ganapathi, one of the 32 forms of Lord Ganesha. Ganesha in this form is depicted as a child with four arms. In each of his four hands, he holds four things - banana, sugarcane, mango and jackfruit – all of which represent the earth’s abundance and fertility. The fruit is also associated with Lord Vishnu.

Uses

The jackfruit tree has many uses. The green, immature fruit is used as a vegetable, while the pulp of the ripe fruit is eaten fresh, dried or preserved in syrups. The seeds are also consumed - either cooked or roasted. The latex is used to cure night blindness. Various parts of the plant are used in treating toothache, caries, stomach ailments, sores, small pox, swelling and infection.

The yellow heartwood is highly durable and of good quality. The wood is used to make the musical instrument, Veena, associated with Goddess Saraswati.

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