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Jujube

Jujube | Hong Shao
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Jujube (Da Zao)

BOTANICAL NAME

Ziziphus Jujuba

USES

Jujube fruit derives its benefits from its high-fiber, high vitamin C content. These fruits are described as moisturizing, mildly protective of the liver, sweet, nervine, and nutrititious.  They contain etulin, calcium, iron, jujubogenin, jujuboside (saponin), sugars, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, and zizyphusine, an alkaloid.  

Jujube dates are categorized in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an herb used to tonify qi and blood which is believed to help provide a boost to those with low energy and anemia. They are classified as sweet and warm and especially affect the Spleen and Stomach meridians which means they are believed to help digestion.  Some people choose to eat the whole fruit (not the seeds) for greater digestive comfort due to improved regularity, healthier intestinal lining, and more balanced gut bacteria.

Jujube fruit supplements also show significant promise for supporting brain health, though there is currently not sufficient formal study to say for sure that they improve and protect cognitive function (especially in response to aging and oxidative stress). Fresh/immature and dried/matured jujube fruits appear to have had different historic medicinal uses related to cognitive health and decline, as more mature and aged fruits tend to display greatly increased neuroprotective properties.

Aside from its potential effects on brain health and aging, the jujube fruit may improve sleep quality, while extracts made from jujube seeds may increase the length of users’ sleep cycle. Jujube seed extracts may also have additional potential uses as antimicrobial and anti-diarrheal treatments.

PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION

Jujube fruits themselves — both fresh and preserved — are sold whole for oral use. They can be decocted or used in medicinal soups. The seeds are also often separated from the fruits and used for concentrated extracts.

PRECAUTIONS

Jujube supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of anti-seizure medication and antidepressants (including SSRIs). In diabetics, blood sugar levels may increase. Otherwise, jujube is generally safe for use and free of side-effects.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Jujube.

REFERENCES

Chen, Jianping, et al. “Fruit of Ziziphus Jujuba (Jujube) at Two Stages of Maturity: Distinction by Metabolic Profiling and Biological Assessment.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 63, no. 2, Dec. 2015, pp. 739–744., doi:10.1021/jf5041564.

Chen, Jianping, et al. “A Review of Dietary Ziziphus Jujuba Fruit (Jujube): Developing Health Food Supplements for Brain Protection.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi, 2017,

Holscher, Hannah D. “Dietary Fiber and Prebiotics and the Gastrointestinal Microbiota.” Gut Microbes, vol. 8, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 172–184., doi:10.1080/19490976.2017.1290756.

Mesaik, Ahmed M., et al. “In Vivo Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Diarrhoeal Activity of Ziziphus Jujuba Fruit Extract.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 6, no. 5, 2018, pp. 757–766., doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.168.

Pahuja, Monika, et al. “Interaction Profile of Zizyphus Jujuba with Phenytoin, Phenobarbitone, and Carbamazepine in Maximal Electroshock‐Induced Seizures in Rats.” Epilepsy & Behavior, vol. 25, no. 3, 2012, pp. 368–373., doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.08.014.

San, A, et al. “Appropriate Extraction Method for High Contents of Total Phenolics, Total Flavonoids and Free Radical Scavenging Properties of Ziziphus Mauritiana Seed Extracts.” Planta Medica, vol. 79, no. 13, 2013, doi:10.1055/s-0033-1352440.

Huang, W., Wang, Y., Jiang, X., Sun, Y., Zhao, Z., & Li, S. (2017). Protective Effect of Flavonoids from Ziziphus jujuba cv. Jinsixiaozao against Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury by Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Mice. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 22(10), 1781. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101781

Yue, Yuan, et al. “Wild Jujube Polysaccharides Protect against Experimental Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Enabling Enhanced Intestinal Barrier Function.” Food & Function, vol. 6, no. 8, 2015, pp. 2568–2577., doi:10.1039/c5fo00378d.

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