Veterinarian Reviewed on June 5, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Red Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus)
The Red Jujube or Ziziphus zizyphus is also referred to as Red Date or Chinese Date. As the alternative name implies, it is derived from the sweet Date fruit. Red Jujube has become increasingly popular in the market as a dietary supplement and as a natural cure for various illnesses.
The use and domestication of Red Jujube has been recorded in as early as 9000 B.C. This fruit tree is known to grow all throughout Asia, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Korean Peninsula, South and Central China and even in some parts of Europe. Because it has already been a widely cultivated plant since the early times, it is now very difficult to trace the real origins of the plant. It was most popular in China where it was used both as a food and as medicine.
The Red Jujube fruit is mostly used as an ingredient for cooking. It is either dried or smoked. They were also a popular snack treat in China and Korea. But aside from that, the fruit is also popularly used for traditional medicine. The Chinese have long been using the herb for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Aside from that, Jujube is also used as a natural contraceptive in much higher doses. In the Himalayas, the herb’s sweet-smelling flowers are used by men to entice and attract the women of the tribe. Chinese and Koreans consume Red Jujube to help them combat the effects of stress on their body by either eating it as a sweet or consumed as a tea.
Modern Western Uses
Modern technology now allows people to examine and characterize the active components in the plant and fruit, and researchers have shown that it actually helps cure chronic constipation and has an anti-obesity property. Today, Red Jojoba is a popular dietary supplement or drink. In fact, the round fruit is still being used as a food and as a cooking ingredient in many countries, from Lebanon to China.
What Form It Is Available In
Today, Red Jujube products take in several forms. The fruit extracts are made into concentrates and juices, while the whole fruit itself can be dried or smoked and served as fruits, treats or snacks. Jujube concentrate comes as a dark brown liquid that can be mixed with water or taken as it is. Jujube is also sold in powdered form, which is considered to be a rich source of dietary fiber. There is also the Jujube honey which is produced in Morocco’s Altas Mountains.
Side Effects or Cautions
Because actual scientific studies are still to be conducted, there are no specific claims just yet on any harmful side effects and contraindications associated with the use of Red Jujube. But to be on the safe side, pregnant or breastfeeding women are recommended not to take the products just yet until further studies are made. Consumers, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, are also recommended to consult medical professionals first before using the product.
The Red jujube is one of the most promising wonder fruits in the market. Their demand and use by old civilizations is a good sign of the many benefits that modern society can reap from the herb.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan