Devouring the sweet, spicy and slightly tangy snack elantha vadai is a common practice among Tamilians.

Made out of elantha pazham, known as ber in Hindi and Indian jujube in English, the fruit is a host of sourness and many health benefits.

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Current Research and Review, the plant “pacifies vitiated pitta and kapha [doshas as per Ayurveda], obesity, fever, burning sensations, cough, wound, skin diseases etc.”

The paper further suggests that the fruit also has anti-cancer and anti-diarrheal properties.

In the book ‘Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention’, the seed of the fruit is said to have anxiolytic (helps in reducing anxiety) and sedative properties.

The anxiolytic and sedative properties of the seed help Alzheimer’s patients and in the treatment of tuberculosis, cancer, and HIV.

Additionally, the roots of the plant help to treat coughs and headaches, the book suggests.

A multi-benefit plant, “The leaves are antipyretic (used to treat fever), whilst the fruit has been used to assist digestion and to treat tuberculosis,” it says in the book.

A paper published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Research also suggests that the flower is used to treat skin ulcers, eye disease, and jaundice.

And a paper published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences in March 2015 found that the extract of the plant protects against toxicity caused by high blood sugar. The fruit pulp can prevent diabetic neuropathy, which damages nerves in the leg and feet.