Red Jujube (Da Zao)
Botanical Name: Zizyphus vulgaris, Z. Jujubae, Z. sativa, Z. mauritania
Red jujubes are delicious! They can be eaten raw, added to soups, teas and decoctions. They are an excellent herb for counterbalancing herbal remedies that contain strong Yang herbs such as ginseng. In China, red jujubes have long been revered as an excellent longevity tonic herb.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™, about Red Jujube (Da Zao), A Powerhouse Adaptogen!
Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.
Below is an overview of red jujube, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of red jujube.
Also Known As: Red Dates, Chinese Dates, Korean Dates, Indian Date
Organs/Systems: Stomach, Heart, Recovery
Key Actions: Adaptogen, Detoxify, Tonic, Stimulates White Blood Cells Function, Enhance Immunity, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Mild Laxative, Sedative, Cardiotonic, Hypotensive, Restorative
Medicinal Uses: Constipation, weight loss, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, insomnia, anxiety, stress, inflammation, lowers blood sugar.
Also Known As: Hong Zao, Big Date
Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, All Meridians
Key Actions: Builds Yang Qi, Strengthens Spleen, Nourishes Blood and Qi, Calms the Mind, Moderates and Harmonizes the Harsh Properties of Other Herbs, Tonic Nutrient Cleanser
Medicinal Uses: Weakness, shortness of breath, reduced appetite, loose stools due to weak Spleen Qi, irritability, severe emotional lability due to restless Organ disorder, anxiety, constipation, insomnia, regulate blood pressure, regulate blood circulation, regulate blood sugar, dry itchy skin conditions, fevers, seizures, asthma, diabetes, cancer, obesity, reduce cholesterol, anemia, lung disorders, eye diseases, sore throat, coughs, malaria.
Red dates are actually classified as drupes, a category of fruit that includes mangoes, olives and coffee. They are a member of the Rhamnaceae family, which contains buckthorn. The fruit is harvested in the early autumn when the fruit is ripe.
Native to Southeastern China and parts of Australia. They are also now cultivated in many places and can be found growing in Southern Europe and parts of the Southern United States.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Fruit, Seeds, Leaves
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Neutral to Slightly Warm
Caution: Edible. Very safe.
Key Constituents: Vitamin C, A, B1, B2, Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Fatty acids, Saponins, Jujuboside A and B, Flavonoids, Sanjoinine, Fluorine, Spinosin, Polysaccharides
History/Folklore: They are fresh in the autumn, when they are crisp and green as apples. As they dry and ripen 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 an “elixir of life.” A common slogan on supermarket packages of jujubes in China is, “Three red dates a day keep you young forever.” They have a long history of being considered excellent at building strength and extending life. 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 an important adjunct herb used in many formulas as they are also able to enter all 12 meridians. Red jujubes are also said to “Clarify the Nine Openings” (the eyes, ears, sinuses, nose, throat, bowels, and urinary tract).
In China they are considered able to tonify the Heart, Lung, and Stomach functions. They are also said to dry up mucus while simultaneously moistening the tissues.
Jujubes help maintain healthy blood, hormonal function, strong bones, muscles, skin, and hair. They support enzyme function and neurotransmitter function as well.
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. For example, 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.
A Chinese legend, “Journey to the West” tells the story of an ailing king who encounters the god of longevity and asks for the secret of life. The god says he didn’t bring any of his medicine along as he was simply searching for his lost horse, but he did give the king three jujubes that he had been planning on giving the god of heaven. The king ate the jujubes and felt instantly refreshed.
Jujubes can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, stewed, and boiled. However, eating them boiled releases three to four times their natural healing compounds compared to other preparations. Extract made from the berries containing the seeds have antalgic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and bronchodilator properties.
Jujube seeds, also called sanjoins, contain flavonoids that are being studied in China and Korea for their antiseizure, calming, and sedative properties.
Jujubes contain 20% more vitamin C than most citrus fruits.
Jujube leaves are commonly used in Asia as plasters for infected or uninfected wounds. Especially in areas where antiseptics are not available. A daily infusion, or tea made from the leaves, can help treat mild type 2 diabetes. It can also be used as a mouthwash or to help clean a wound or burn. The leaves are commonly eaten by goats and cattle and are considered nutritious for them.
Honey made from the flowers is considered to have aphrodisiac properties.
The trees are highly water efficient and can survive periods of drought. They are often planted in arid areas to help prevent desertification. Planted tightly together they create impenetrable hedges. The wood is sought after for cabinet making and making charcoal.
King of Nuts
High in Vitamin C and Iron
How to use Red Jujubes to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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