Red Jujubes (Da Zao)
Botanical Name: Zizyphi Jujubae
Red jujubes are delicious! They can be eaten raw, added to soups, teas and decotions. They are an excellent herb for counterbalancing herbal remedies that contain strong Yang herbs such as ginseng. In China they have long been revered as an excellent longevity tonic herb.
Below is an overview of red jujubes, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of red jujubes.
Western Name: Red Jujubes
Also Known As: Red Dates
Organs/Systems: Stomach, Heart, Recovery
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Detoxify, Tonify, Superfood, Stimulate White Blood Cells, Enhance Immunity, Antioxidant, Mild Laxative, Sedative, Cardiotonic, Hypotensive.
Pin Yin: Da Zao
Also Known As: Hong Zao, Big Date
Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, All Meridians
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Builds Yang Qi/Strengthens Spleen: weakness, shortness of breath, reduced appetite, and loose stools due to weak Spleen Qi. Nourishes Blood and Qi/Calms the Mind: irritability, and severe emotional lability due to restelss Organ disorder. Moderates and Harmonizes the Harsh Properties of Other Herbs/Tonic Nutrient Cleanser: important adjunct herb in formulas, jujubes are also able to enter all meridians.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Fruit
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Neutral
Caution: Edible. Very safe.
History/Folklore: They are fresh in the autumn, when they are crisp and green as apples. As they dry they become red and sweet. Their high nutritional content makes them excellent for treating people recovering from illness. Red dates are especially prized by women for their beauty and health effects. As they are very nourishing to the blood they are often eaten by women during their menses and after giving birth. Jujubes are considered and “elixir of life.” A common slogan on supermarket packages of jujubes in China is, “Three red dates a day keep you young forever.” Good quality red jujubes are thick, full and have very small, if any, pits.
It is said to purify the twelve Organ meridians, especially the Stomach, which is the body’s “center” and represents the Earth Element in the Five Phase System. Red jujubes are also said to “clarify the nine openings” including the eyes, ears, sinuses, nose, throat, bowels and urinary tract. They have a long history of being considered excellent at building strength and extending life. In China they are considered able to tonify the Heart, Lung and Stomach functions. They are also said to dry up mucous while simultaneously moistening the tissues.
It is often used in Chinese herbalism as a Yin counterpart to strong Yang herbs such as Ginseng. Because the herb is good at removing obstructions to the free of flow of Qi it can help prevent Yang herbs from building up and blocking Qi. Consuming too much ginseng can cause shoulder pain or headaches, by adding red jujubes, this “side-effect” of excess ginseng is minimized while simultaneously gaining the benefits that red jujubes have to offer as a tonic herb.
High in Vitamin C, A, B1, B2, Protein, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Magnesium.
Jujubes are used in China to decorate buns, conge, stews, and desserts.
King of Nuts
In China, jujubes are the “King of Nuts.”
High in Vitamin C and Iron
Red dates are 70-80% higher in Vitamin C than grapes and apples. Ten red dates provide the same amount of iron as a palm-sized piece of beef.
References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!