Jujube Fruit

Ziziphus is a genus of shrubs and small trees used in herbal medicine. The edible fruit resembles a date and is rich in fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, and some fatty acids.

Extracts from the fruit of several species of Ziziphus (including Ziziphus jujuba, Ziziphus mauritiana, and Zizyphus spinosa) are available in dietary supplement form. The supplements are used for a broad range of conditions ranging from constipation to hypertension. There is little high-quality scientific evidence to support medicinal uses.

Also Known As
Ziziphus is known by many different names, including:

Black Jujube
Chinese Date
Date Seed
Red Date
Datte Chinoise
Sour Date
Suan Zao Ren
Ziziphi Spinosae
Health Benefits
Although research on the health effects of plants within the Ziziphus genus is limited, there’s some evidence that a number of these plants may offer health benefits. But the studies are limited in scope and they tend to provide wide-ranging and scattered data about the potential uses of Ziziphus.

In a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2013, for instance, researchers looked at the available studies on Ziziphus jujuba and found that it may help reduce inflammation, fight obesity, stimulate the immune system, improve gastrointestinal health, and boost antioxidant capacity.

Another study found that Ziziphus jujuba was effective at treating hypertension in rats. And yet one more research review found that the supplement may have the potential for use as a supplement for the prevention or treatment of neurological diseases.

Other studies have investigated specific health benefits that the herbal supplement may provide. Most, however, are performed on rodents or in vitro (on cells in a laboratory) rather than on humans so it is unclear if consumers would gain these benefits.

Ziziphus jujuba shows promise in the treatment of anxiety, according to a preliminary study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2000. In tests on mice, the study’s authors observed that compounds extracted from Ziziphus jujuba may have sedative effects. Human studies have not confirmed this benefit.

Some species within the Ziziphus genus may aid in diabetes control. For example, a mouse-based study published in Pharmaceutical Biology in 2010 determined that Ziziphus mauritiana may help manage diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.

Additionally, a preliminary study published in Natural Product Communications in 2013 found that Ziziphus mucronata may have anti-diabetic benefits. In tests on cells in culture, scientists found that Ziziphus mucronata may fight diabetes by helping cells to properly utilize blood sugar and, in turn, protect against elevated blood sugar levels.

A 2015 report published in Pharmacognosy Review examined the potential anticancer activities of Ziziphus jujube fruit. Study authors concluded that the bioactive compounds present in the fruit (triterpenic acids and polysaccharides) have anticancer potential on various cancer cell lines. However, more high-quality independent studies are needed to determine if the benefit has any potential in humans.

Ziziphus is also used as a folk remedy for the following health issues:

High blood pressure
In alternative medicine, Ziziphus jujuba is also said to increase strength, stimulate appetite and enhance liver health. When applied directly to the skin, Ziziphus jujuba is thought to promote wound healing, treat dry skin, ease sunburn, and reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.

In addition, plants within the Ziziphus genus are sometimes used in the treatment of such health problems as insomnia and to help manage menopausal symptoms.

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