COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)
Zizyphus Seed (Suān Zǎo Rén)
Zizyphus jujube, Semen Ziziphi Spinosae (SZS)
Zizyphus seeds are obtained from the herb Zizyphus jujube. The seeds are used both as food and herbal remedy for a wide range of health benefits. It contains bioactive compounds including flavonoid, fatty acids, β-Tocopherol, polysaccharides, and triterpene acid that provides neuro-beneficial effects, improves restlessness, and calms the spirit. It can also help relieve symptoms of insomnia and anxiety, and it supports the heart’s optimal functioning.
Studies have reported that Zizyphus jujube is among the herbs that improve quality of life and longevity via nourishing the blood, supporting healthy digestion and sleep quality. Moreover, seeds have antioxidant activity that relieves oxidative stress by removing free radicals and may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsonism.
Zizyphus seeds support the immune system against pathological agents by modulating the immune response and providing an anti-inflammatory action. Also, it protects nerves against neurotoxins, shows neurotrophic activity, and prevents neurodegeneration.
The presence of flavonoids and saponins in the Zizyphus seeds has been reported with sedation and hypnosis. Thus, the seeds can calm the nerves, induce sedation, and enhance sleep duration. Medical studies have also reported that it improves learning capacity, repair memory impairment, and support cognition. Plus, skincare products can be used to relieve swelling and redness, improve skin texture, and provide protection against sunburn.
Chinese herbal decoction such as Gan Mai Da Zao Tang and Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang contains Zizyphus seeds as a key ingredient used to treat depressive disorders. Also, the constituents in seeds can stimulate apoptosis of cancerous cells and arrest the progression of cervical and breast cancer.
In Chinese Medicine ZIsiohus is believed to calm the Spirit by nourishing the Heart, hence its effect on depressive disorders. It is sour and sweet and addresses deficiency-type insomnia in Chinese Medicine terms.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Jujube seeds are available for formulating extract for decoction or pills (capsule) intended for oral administration. They can also be used as whole fruit or incorporated into soup for medicinal purposes.
Jujube seeds usually do not cause any side effects; however, it should be used with caution and you should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking. Don’t exceed the recommended dose.
Also, it should be used with caution during severe medical conditions. Avoid its use in case of hypersensitivity to it. Individuals who are allergic to latex might show an allergy to Zizyphus, so avoid its consumption.
Due to a lack of studies, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Also, stop its use two weeks before a scheduled surgery because it not only interferes with blood sugar but might also affect the activity of the central nervous system.
Jujube seed may interact with certain classes of medications, including anti-seizure drugs, intravenous aminoglycosides, and antidepressants so, do not use them concomitantly.
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Al-Reza, Sharif M et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of seed essential oil from Zizyphus jujuba.” Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association vol. 48,2 (2010): 639-43. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2009.11.045
Benammar, Chahid et al. “Zizyphus lotus L. (Desf.) modulates antioxidant activity and human T-cell proliferation.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 10 54. 24 Sep. 2010, doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-54
Changhong Gu, ZhengLin Zhao, Xiaodong Zhu, Tong Wu, Bong Hyo Lee, Yu Jiao, Chul Won Lee, Dae Hwa Jung, Chae Ha Yang, Rongjie Zhao, Sang Chan Kim, “Aqueous Extract of Semen Ziziphi Spinosae Exerts Anxiolytic Effects during Nicotine Withdrawal via Improvement of Amygdaloid CRF/CRF1R Signaling”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2018, Article ID 2419183, 12 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/2419183
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 vol. 2017 (2017): 3019568. doi:10.1155/2017/3019568
Mishra, Tulika et al. “Anticancer Potential of Aqueous Ethanol Seed Extract of Ziziphus mauritiana against Cancer Cell Lines and Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2011 (2011): 765029. doi:10.1155/2011/765029
Peng, W H et al. “Anxiolytic effect of seed of Ziziphus jujuba in mouse models of anxiety.” Journal of ethnopharmacology vol. 72,3 (2000): 435-41. doi:10.1016/s0378-8741(00)00255-5