Name : Jujube Berries
Botanical: Zizyphus vulgaris
Other Names : Zizyphus sativa. Brustbeeren. Judendornbeeren. Rhamnus Zizyphus, Lamarck, and Zizyphus Lotus
Family : Rhamnaceae
Parts Used : The ripe, carefully dried fruits, leaves.
Habitat : Southern Europe. Originally a native of Syria, Zizyphus vulgaris was introduced into Italy in the reign of Augustus, and is now naturalized in Provence, and particularly in the islands of HyŠres, where the berries are largely collected when ripe, and dried in the sun.
Constituents :A full analysis has not yet been made, but the berries are valued for their mucilage and sugar.
Description : The trees average 25 feet in height and are covered with a rough, brown bark. They have many branches, with annual thorny branchlets bearing alternate, oval-oblong leaves of a clear green colour, with three to five strongly-marked, longitudinous veins. The small flowers are pale yellow and solitary. The fruit is a blood-red drupe, the size and shape of an olive, sweet, and mucilaginous in taste, slightly astringent. The pulp becomes softer and sweeter in drying, and the taste more like wine. They have pointed, oblong stones.
Safety and Toxicity:
No known drug interactions with jujube, or any reports of toxicity from excessive jujube consumption. However, it should not be used by patients who are suffering from abdominal cramps and bloating, excessive phlegm, or intestinal parasites.
Uses :Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus) is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese traditional medicine, and not without good reason. It is one of the best herbs for treating stress, and encouraging sleep. Jujube has been cultivated and used by Indians, Chinese, Korean, and Eurasian communities for thousands of years, and crossbred into hundreds of cultivars.
Originating from China, the jujube fruit is the plant’s most valuable part. More precisely, its seed found within the fruit is the part that works the magic. A jujube fruit resembles a red date, and hence, it is sometimes called the Chinese Date. The color of the fruit is originally green when immature, but it turns red upon ripening. The texture of the flesh before it ripens is crispy, but soon begins to dry up, soften, and wrinkle afterwards. Dried jujube dates can be found and purchased in almost any Chinese medicinal shop, underlying its importance as a mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine.
The benefits of jujube don’t just end there. Jujube has been claimed to boost the immune system, and protect cells from many kinds of hazards. As well as lowering blood pressure and treating sore throats, jujube is also claimed to be an analgesic, dulling the sensation of pain.
So all in all, jujube really seems to be a most useful herb for treating a large number of health conditions, and not just insomnia alone. Most of its benefits seem to center around its ability to sooth the nervous system though, and help improve the health of cells.
The Jujube is classed with the raisin, date, and fig as a pectoral fruit, being nutritive and demulcent. It is eaten both fresh and dried.
A syrup and a tisane were formerly made from it, but the berries are now little used in medicine.
Jujube paste, or ‘Pâte de Jujubes,’ is made of gum-arabic and sugar. It may be dissolved in a decoction of jujubes and evaporated, but is considered as good a demulcentwithout their addition. It is frequently merely mixed with orange-flower water.
A decoction of the roots has been used in fevers.
An astringent decoction of leaves and branchlets is made in large quantities in Algeria, and seems likely to replace the cachou.
Dosage : Generally, practitioners and herbalists recommend anywhere from 10-30 grams of dried jujube, taken either as a powder or boiled in water for oral use.