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Plums (Aloo Bukhara): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


Plum is scientifically known as Prunus domestica L. It belongs to the family Rosaceae and comprises about 40 species of the plum tree. It is a small, shrubby deciduous tree and is usually 6–15 metres tall. It is widely found in tropical and temperate regions of West Asia, India, Australia, South America, Pakistan, Europe and Africa. In India, it is cultivated in the areas of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab.1 

plums benefits

The plum tree is used for its beneficial properties and for managing various conditions. The fruit of plum is green, red, purple, yellow in colour and it appears ball-shaped. It is rich in anti-oxidants, polyphenols and carotenoid compounds. The Santa Rosa, Black Amber, Red Beauty, African Rose and Black Beauty are some major varieties of plum fruit.1-3 

Did you know?

  • Regular consumption of plums may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. source: heart.org
  • Plums contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. source: ncbi
  • The antioxidants found in plums may help protect against certain types of cancer. source: cancer.org
  • Consuming plums may help improve bone health due to their high vitamin K content. source: nih.gov

Nutritional Value of Plum: 

The nutritional value of plum is given as follows: 

Nutritional components Value 
Energy 46 kcal 
Protein 0.7 g 
Carbohydrate 11.4 g 
Fat 0.28 g 
Sugar 9.92 g 
Fibre 1.4 g 
Glutamic acid 0.035 g 
Aspartic acid 0.352 g 
Lysine 0.016 g 
Isoleucine 0.014 g 
Table 1: The nutritional value of raw plum per 100 grams2 

Components Value 
Calcium 6 mg 
Iron 0.17 mg 
Potassium 157 mg 
Phosphorus 16 mg 
Zinc 0.1 mg 
Copper 0.057 mg 
Manganese 0.52 mg 
Fluoride 2  µg 
Vitamin C 9.5 mg 
Thiamin 0.028 mg 
Riboflavin 0.026 mg 
Niacin 0.417 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.029 mg 
Vitamin K 64  µg 
Vitamin E 0.26 mg 
Folate 5  µg 
Choline 1.9 mg 
Beta-carotene 190  µg 
Vitamin A 345 IU 
Table 2: Minerals and vitamins of raw plum per 100 grams2 

Also Read: Kiwi: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Plum: 

Plums-the anti-ageing powerhouse. Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, plums can help slow the ageing process and keep you looking young and radiant.

Dr. Smita Barode, BAMS

Plum is considered a medicinal plant and is mainly used for biological activities.1 The therapeutic properties of plum are: 

  • May be a potential anti-oxidant  
  • May have anti-microbial potential  
  • May have anti-inflammatory potential  
  • May have anti-larvicidal (helps to kill insects) potential.1  

Also Read: Pomegranate: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

Potential Uses of Plum: 

Plums are not just delicious seasonal fruits, but have other helpful uses too. They can be used for the management of various diseases due to their numerous helpful properties.1 

1. Potential Uses of plum for diabetes  

Diabetes is a metabolic abnormality occuring due to inadequate or complete lack of insulin production. A study found that the anti-diabetic properties of the plum extract significantly lowered the level of blood glucose during the animal trial conducted in rats. Another study showed the potential of plum puree in controlling the early stages of post-prandial hyperglycaemia (high amount of glucose production after eating).1   

Foods with a low glycaemic (glucose) index (GI) helps to control the rise and fall in post-prandial blood insulin. Thus, low-GI foods are recommnded to   persons with diabetes. A human study confirmed that eating dried plums while fasting could help reduce the levels of insulin and plasma glucose.3 Consuming plums may help people with diabetes, however, you need to contact your healthcare provider before using any fruits or vegetables for severe conditions like diabetes.    

Check out  Accu-Chek Active Glucometer Kit  for accurate blood glucose reading

2. Potential Uses of plum (Aloo Bukhara) for constipation  

Plum may help in relieving constipation and digestive issues such as flatulence, indigestion, bloating and heartburn. Plums have been used as a mild laxative. The jam prepared from dried plums has been shown to increase bowel movement and effectively decrease medication use. Dried plums may also help in softening stool, which helps people with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.3 

Dried plum contains a few phenolic compounds that may help increase movement in the digestive tract, thereby helping in emptying the stomach. Plum contains serotonin, which increases intestinal fluid production and gut motility. They also have a prebiotic effect and high-fibre content that help to maintain helpful bacteria in the colon.3 Despite of these benefits, avoid using them without consulting with your doctor. if you are suffering from digestive issues or disorders, reach out to your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis and treatment.   

3. Potential Uses of plum for cancer  

The extract of plum showed an essential anti-oxidant activity during lab studies. The flesh, pit and peel of plum contain the highest amount of anti-oxidants. The antioxidants in plums may bind to the cancer cells and stop the action of the specific enzyme responsible for the signalling pathway. This signalling pathway is responsible for making cancer cells more resistant to anti-cancer drugs.4 These benefits may help with cancer, however, using any herb or fruit for medical conditions, consult your doctor or physician.  

4. Potential Uses of plum for bones  

In addition to being delicious and nutritious, plums are known to aid in bone quality improvement. They are a great source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, as vitamin K helps in the absorption of calcium.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Plum contains vitamin K, copper, potassium and boron. Vitamin K may help with the mineralisation of bone and potassium helps to maintain bone mineral density. The alcohol extracts of plum have been shown to inhibit the resorption of bone and increase the formation of bone during a lab trial.3 

In animal studies, it has been shown that plum was very effective on the pre-existing loss of bone. The powder of plum resulted in an increased bone mineral density and restored the vertebrae (spine) of rats.3 These benefits have been proven in animal studies and are yet to be observed in human trials. Therefore, avoid using plums for any disease condition of bones without consulting your healthcare provider. 

5. Potential Uses of plum for pregnancy  

Animal studies shave noted that oral administration of extract of plum in pregnant animals resulted in increased development and formation of bone (osteogenesis) in the baby. The extract of plum also helps increase the amount of serum calcium, resulting in higher ratio of new bone formation compared to the existing length of a long bone.5 The benefits have been observed in animal studies, and are yet to be confirmed in humans. You need to exercise precautions before using plums during pregnancy.    

Want to know if you’re pregnant? Check out Prega News Pregnancy Test Kit  

6. Potential Uses of plum for weight loss  

Plum contains polyphenols and bioactive compounds, which play an important role in the regulation of energy in obese people, increase intake of food and enhance insulin-like and heart-protective effects. Plum juice contains low calories, which may contribute to a significant reduction in body weight.6 

In a preclinical study, the consumption of plum juice was useful for the loss of body weight. The low calories in plum juice and higher content of polyphenols also help to reduce body weight. 

7. Other health benefits of plum  

  • Fresh plum fruit contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter tht may help decrease anxiety and neophobia (fear of new food).3 
  • In clinical studies, it has been shown that consumption of plum juice helps to maintain the levels of insulin and glucose in the blood, thereby it may help prevent the risk of heart diseases.6 
  • Plums are a rich source of potassium that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.7 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of beetroot juice in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of beetroot juice on human health.  

Plums are a real blessing when it comes to cognitive health. They contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can protect brain cells from damage and improve cognitive function.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Custard Apple: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Plum? 

Plum can be used in the following ways: 

  • The seeds of plum are rich in lipids and proteins which may be used as a good source for medicines, food and skin.1 
  • Plum fruit can be used in dairy products such as yoghurt, lassi and ice cream. It can also be used in food products such as pies and biscuits. 
  • It is generally used in the form of chunks, pulp, extract or powder that increases the flavour and enhances the nutritional value of food.7 
  • Plum can be used to make alcoholic drinks like wines.4 
  • Dried plums are also used to make snacks, juice, jelly, powder and jam.3,7 

You should always consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming plums for regular use. They will be the best person to prescribe you the correct form and dosage as per your health condition. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Also Read: Can Probiotics Cause Constipation? A Research-Based Examination of Side Effects

Side Effects of Plum: 

The side effects of plum are related to digestive issues and allergic reactions. The most common side effects of plum are: 

  • People having problems with constipation and drinking large quantities of plum juice could experience excessive digestive problems such as flatulence, indigestion and bloating.3 
  • People might experience allergic reactions on eating plums. It contains a component that is considered a potential allergen showing immunoglobulin E (IgE)-specific allergic reactions.8 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to it, immediately contact your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you. They will be able to treat you appropriately.  

Also Read: Lychee: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Precautions to Take With Plum: 

Plum (Aloo Bukhara) is generally considered to be safe if it is taken in the recommended dosages. However, general precautions have to be followed while consuming plum. 

  • Pregnancy: Plums have numerous health-promoting properties. Consumption of plum has shown to be beneficial for the health of both the mother and the baby.5  There is not enough information about the negative impact of plums during pregnancy. However, if any out of usual symptoms appear, immediately consult your Ayurvedic physician.  
  • Children: Plum juice contains a high amount of alcohol that could lead to poor absorption of iron in infants.3  In some people, plums showed IgE-mediated allergic reactions.8  Children are in the developing stages of their immune systems. So, allergic immune responses are often seen. So, precautions are needed if such reactions occur; consult your Ayurvedic physician to avoid any problems related to children’s health.  

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

Various fruit juices contain an unknown amount of phytochemicals and when combined with other medicines, they can lead to food–drug interactions resulting in side effects. Similarly, plum juice also has multiple phytochemicals that can lead to increased exposure to the system, resulting in high blood pressure (hypertension).9 This negative food–drug interaction needs to be considered by your Ayurvedic physician to avoid developing serious health issues. Therefore, it is best to follow the advice of your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed you this herb.  

Also Read: Jackfruit: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is plum good for diabetes?  

Yes. Plums have a low glycaemic index and also contain sorbitol which helps in lowering the levels of glucose in the blood.3 If you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes, avoid using any herb or fruit without consulting your healthcare provider.  

What are the different advantages of plum?  

Plum fruit helps enhance the immune system, improve the power of the eye and prevent conditions like arthritis, asthma, anaemia, hypercholesterolaemia, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart diseases.1 However, avoid using plum for any health condition without having a consultation with the doctor first.  

What vitamins are present in plum and what are the benefits?  

Plum contains vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin E.2 
Vitamin A protects against oral and lung cancers. Vitamin B helps to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. Vitamin C helps in developing resistance to the body towards harmful agents and also scavenges free radicals. Vitamin K acts as a blood-clotting agent, helps in the metabolism of bone and reduces Alzheimer’s disease in elder people.7 

Is plum good for weight loss?  

Yes. Studies have shown that replacing sugary drinks with polyphenol-rich juices like plum juice can prevent obesity, which results in weight loss.6 ccoContact your healthcare provider or nutritioninst before you make any changes to your diet. As it can have conseqquences on your overall health.  

Can we use plum as mosquito repellent?

Yes. The extract of plum shows activity against larvae of mosquitoes and when applied on the skin, it can be used as a mosquito repellent.1 

What are the benefits of plum skin?  

Plum skin contains a high amount of phenolic compounds. It shows high antioxidant activity, which helps in preventing the spread of cancer cells.4 You must consult a qualified doctor for  such a serious condition. 


1. Shukla RK, Kishan. A Review on European Plum (Prunus domestica) for its Pharmacological Activities and Phytochemicals. Res J Pharm Tech. 2021 Feb 1;14(2). Available from: https://rjptonline.org/AbstractView.aspx?PID=2021-14-2-103 

2. United States Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Plums, raw; 2019 Apr 1 [cited 2022 June 2]. Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169949/nutrients 

3. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis M. Dried Plums and Their Products: Composition and Health Effects-An Updated Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 Oct 3;53(12):1277-302. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.563880 

4. Bahrin AA, Moshawih S, Dhaliwal JS, Kanakal MM, Khan A, Lee KS, et al. Cancer protective effects of plums: A systematic review. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Dec 25;146:1-17. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112568 

5. Igwe EO, Charlton KE. A Systematic Review on the Health Effects of Plums (Prunus domestica and Prunus salicina). Phytother Res. 2016 Mar 1;1:5581. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ezinne-Igwe/publication/298899398_A_Systematic_Review_on_the_Health_Effects_of_Plums_Prunus_domestica_and_Prunus_salicina/links/59e936adaca272bc4278504c/A-Systematic-Review-on-the-Health-Effects-of-Plums-Prunus-domestica-and-Prunus-salicina.pdf 

6. Noratto G, Martino HSD, Simbo S, Byrne D, Mertens-Talcott SU. Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease in Zucker rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Jun 1;26(6):633-41. Available from: https://sci-hub.hkvisa.net/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.12.014 

7. Birwal P, Deshmukh G, Saurabh SP, Pragati S. Plums: A Brief Introduction. J Food Nutr Popul Health. 2017 Mar 16;1(1):8. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pragati-Singham/publication/316476857_Plums_A_brief_introduction/links/5a9e65a40f7e9bc35fd01e88/Plums-A-brief-introduction.pdf 

8. Pastorello EA, Ortolani C, Farioli L, Pravettoni V, Ispano M, Borga A, et al. Allergenic cross-reactivity among peach, apricot, plum, and cherry in patients with oral allergy syndrome: An in vivo and in vitro study. J Allergy Clin Immunol.1994 Oct 20;1:699-707. Available from: https://www.jacionline.org/article/0091-6749(94)90177-5/pdf 

9. Petric Z, Žuntar I, Putnik P, Kovačević DB. Food–Drug Interactions with Fruit Juices. Foods. 2020 Dec 24;10(1):33. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/10/1/33/htm 

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