Red Jujubes

Red Jujubes (Da Zao)

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.

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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.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

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. The fruit is harvested in the early autumn when the fruit is ripe. Native to Southeastern China.

Red Jujubes (Da Zao) 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.

Key Constituents:

High in Vitamin C, A, B1, B2, Protein, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Magnesium.

Did you know?


Jujubes are used in China to decorate buns, conge, stews, and desserts.


King of Nuts

In China, jujubes are the “King of Nuts.”

Fun fact!

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.


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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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