Jujube Fruit - Da Tsao

Common Names

Jujube, Chinese Date, Tsao.


Related Specie

Indian Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana).


Distant Affinity

Purple Haw (Colubrina texensis), Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis).



The jujube originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and where there are over 400 cultivars. The plants traveled beyond Asia centuries ago and today are grown to some extent in Russia, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and the southwestern United States. Jujube seedlings, inferior to the Chinese cultivars, were introduced into Europe at the beginning of the Christian era and carried to the U. S. in 1837. It wasn't until 1908 that improved Chinese selections were introduced by the USDA.


Medicinal Use of Jujube

Jujube is both a delicious fruit and an effective herbal remedy. It aids weight gain, improves muscular strength and increases stamina. In Chinese medicine it is prescribed as a tonic to strengthen liver function. Japanese research has shown that jujube increases immune-system resistance. In one clinical trial in China 12 patients with liver complaints were given jujube, peanuts and brown sugar nightly. In four weeks their liver function had improved. Antidote, diuretic, emollient, expectorant. The dried fruits contain saponins, triterpenoids and alkaloids. They are anodyne, anticancer, pectoral, refrigerant, sedative, stomachic, styptic and tonic. They are considered to purify the blood and aid digestion. They are used internally in the treatment of a range of conditions including chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, pharyngitis, bronchitis, anaemia, irritability and hysteria. The seed contains a number of medically active compounds including saponins, triterpenes, flavonoids and alkaloids. It is hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of palpitations, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration. The root is used in the treatment of dyspepsia. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of fevers. The root is made into a powder and applied to old wounds and ulcers. The leaves are astringent and febrifuge. They are said to promote the growth of hair. They are used to form a plaster in the treatment of strangury. The plant is a folk remedy for anaemia, hypertonia, nephritis and nervous diseases. The plant is widely used in China as a treatment for burns.

Other Uses of the Herb

Plants can be grown as a hedge. Wood - dense, hard, compact, tough. Used for turnery, agricultural implements etc. It makes an excellent fuel and a good charcoal.


Health Banefit

Jujube fruit benefits are mainly offered by the nutrients present in it.

  1. The unripe fruit increases thirst, lessens expectoration and biliousness.
  2. Because of mucilaginous property of the fruit, it acts as herbal medicine to treat sore throat. 3. As this fruit is high in vitamin A, C and potassium, it strengthens the immune system of the body. Thus it helps in prevention of common colds and cough.
  3. It helps in the formation and maintenance of the blood stream, body hormones, bones, muscles, skin, hair, body enzymes and neurotransmitters.
  4. It is also loaded with 18 out of the 24 important amino acids. It helps in the formation of more than 50,000 proteins of the body. All this, actually triggers the wound healing process.
  5. It has soothing effect on the nervous system and acts as a natural sedative.
  6. It relieves stress and anxiety.
  7. Jujube fruit helps lower blood pressure.
  8. Jujube fruit boosts your immune system.
  9. Jujube helps cure some of the liver diseases. It is found that the jujube offers protection against liver injury by acting as an antioxidant.
  10. Jujube fruit is used to treat anemia and purpura.
  11. It has anti-oxidant properties. So it helps in delaying the process of skin aging.
  12. One of the most important jujube fruit benefits is that it inhibits the growth and movement of free radicals. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant and helps to control the growth of the tumor causing cells and cells that can lead to cancers.
  13. The berries are blood purifier and an aid to digestion.
  14. The ripe fruit is sweet, sour, and has flavor, not good for digestion; causes diarrhea in large doses.
  15. When jujube extract is combined with certain herbs like ginger, licorice, and mint, it soothes achy throat muscles.
  16. The jujube extract is useful in control of cold and flu (fever).
  17. It has anti-carcinogenic properties.
  18. According to the recent study, water extract of the jujube fruit was found effective for inhibiting the tumor causing cells and cells that can lead to leukemia.
  19. Jujube extracts are also used to manufacture skin care products to reduce wrinkles, dryness, redness, swelling and for relief from sunburn.


Information on dosages for clinical applications is lacking. Bacterial contamination of imported jujube products remains an issue for the Food and Drug Administration.

In a clinical trial, up to 40 drops of extract per day were used in chronic idiopathic constipation.  For traditional GI uses, up to 50 g of dried fruit per day (equivalent to 4 g of extract) have been used.

Adverse Reactions

Information is lacking. A clinical trial using extract of jujube reported no adverse effects and no changes to liver or kidney laboratory indices. Immunoglobulin E–mediated allergy with angioedema, generalized urticaria, asthma, and hypotension has been reported. A cross-reactivity with latex is also suggested.