Jujube (scientific name: Ziziphus jujuba, also known as jujuba, red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date; Chinese Pinyin: Hong Zao, Simplified Chinese: 红枣, 大枣), is a species of deciduous tree or shrub with shiny-green leaves, yellowish-green flower and edible green to red fruits in genus Ziziphus in the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. The plant can grow up to12 m tall. The jujube flavor is generally described as similar taste like an apple. Habitats of jujube include hillsides, fields, village margins, shrubland and along the roadsides (usually from between 0 to 1,700 meters in elevation). It is also used as a shade tree. Native to China with a history over 8,000 years, the plant has extensive cultivation in the world. Characteristics of jujube include tolerance for drought and flooding. The fruit of jujube is used as anti-aging drug, discutient, tonic, secretory, stomachic and anticancer drug in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and kidney deficiency.
2. Odour, Properties And Channels
The fruit of jujube is considered to have sweet, warm and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the spleen and stomach meridians.
3. Uses, Health Benefits of Jujube & Medical Formulas
3.1 Enhancing Immune System
Jujubes contain a range of nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. The fruit contains 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, which helps to enhance the immune system, fighting different infections and prevent various diseases.
3.2 Prevent Heart Attacks
Extract from jujubes contain rutin which is well-known as vitamin P. Research demonstrates that rutin is able to soften blood vessel, prevent the formation of blood clots in certain animals which suggests rutin may possibly reduce the risk of blood clots. Avoiding the formation of blood clots can help lower the chances of developing life-threatening situations including heart attacks, stroke and pulmonary embolisms (nutraceuticalasia.com 2017).
Extracts of jujube can also fight against cancer. Its rich phytochemical content – specifically, phenolics – can enhance the antioxidant activity. The phenolics do this by boosting mRNA and protein expression of antioxidant enzymes.
3.4 Cold, Flu, Fever And Coughing
A decoction of fresh licorice root, Angelica root, fresh ginger, white onion, red date and fermented soybean is taken to treat typhoid fever without sweating.
A decoction of Hyoscyamus niger seeds, butter and red dates is taken orally to treat coughing up blood (hemoptysis).
Pounded castor bean and red dates can be used externally to treat snuffles as well as migraine.
3.5 Reducing Inflammation, Swelling And Relieving Pain
Red dates and blue vitriol are to calcined and pounded into powder, the powder can be applied externally to cope with swollen gums.
Pills made with platycodon root and red dates can be used externally to mitigate swelling and aching of gums.
A decoction of white atractylodes rhizome and red dates can be a therapy for edema (swelling caused by fluid retention).
3.6 Building Up Vital Energy, Nourishing Blood And Kidney
A decoction of ginseng, white atractylodes rhizome, poria cocos, Zhi Gan Cao (Processed Licorice Root, Radix Glycyrrhizae Preparata), ginger and red dates can be taken before meal to cope with deficiency of vital energy.
A mixture of cistanche, pilos deer horn, Chinese yam, white poria and rice paste can be made into pills for oral taking (taken with red date soup) to treat gonorrhea and deficiency of the kidney.
Pills made with atractylodes powder and red dates can be taken orally to cope with spleen and kidney deficiency.
Pills made with psoralea corylifolia seeds, nutmeg, red dates and fresh ginger is taken to treat lack of appetite due to insufficiency of the spleen and kidney.
A decoction of eupatorium fortunei, ginseng, white atractylodes rhizome, root of white peony, fresh rehamnnia root, poria with hostwood, cinnamon, Zhi Gan Cao (processed licorice root, radix glycyrrhizae preparata, 炙甘草, 灸甘草) and red dates is taken to treat excessive nocturnal emissions in men.
Pills made with dried Euphorbia helioscopia and red dates are is taken orally with water to treat edema (swelling caused by fluid retention).
3.7 Skin Health
A decoction of wild chrysanthemum roots and jujube wood is used externally to cope with eczema.
Red dates (pits removed), ferrous sulfate and sesame oil can be used to heal ear blisters.
A decoction of amomum kravanh fruits, processed radix aconiti carmichaeli, ginger and red dates is taken orally to cope with a malignant malaria.
3.9 The Excretory System
A decoction of realgar, red dates and melted lead powder can be taken to heal blood in stool.
A mixture of stalactites, nutmeg and red dates can be processed into pills for oral taking to treat diarrhea with watery stool.
Powdered white atractylodes rhizome, cooked sticky rice and red dates can be taken internally to deal with chronic diarrhea.
3.10 Pregnancy Health
Pills made with cynanchum atratum root, bamboo shavings, licorice root and red dates can be taken with rice soup to reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
3.11 The Digestive System
Ash from burning Trichosanthes cucumeroides root, red dates, atractylodes, Mangnolia officinalis, dried tangerine peel and licorice root are processed and taken orally with wine to treat nausea and vomiting.
3.12 Eye Health
A decoction of seeds of celosia argentea and smoked jujubes is used in treating nyctalopia (night blindness).
A decoction of seeds of celosia argentea (15g), sodium sulfate (4.5g), seed of wild jujube (12g), butterflybush flower (9g), semen cassiae (9g), white lablab bean (15g) is taken orally to treat chronic uveitis.
A decoction of red dates (pits removed), ferrous sulfate, water, peach pit, fruits of willow can be used externally to heal ocular Inflammation (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of eye).
A decoction of Lophatherum gracile root, rhizomes of coptis chinensis, Cyclocarya paliurus, Chinese dates and gardenia jasminoides is taken to treat red painful eyes.
Calcined and vinegar-quenched amethyst powder, angelica sinensis, polygala tenuifolia, red date seeds, fritillaria cirrhosa, poria cocos, platycladi seed and coptis are to be made into pills for oral taking in the morning to treat dysphoria and insomnia.
4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions
Administration with caution for people experiencing diabetes.
List of reference
nutraceuticalasia.com 2017 Rutin for Blood Vessel Health [online] link: https://nutraceuticalasia.com/2017/04/23/rutin-for-blood-vessel-health/
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.