Introduction of Da Zao:Jujube Fruit,Chinese Date or Fructus Jujubae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Jujube, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis (Bunge) Rehd., and its varietas ②.Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Jujube, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Jujubae(Jujube,Chinese Date).

Fructus Jujubae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Dà Zǎo.
 English Name: Jujube, Chinese Date.
 Latin Name: Fructus Jujubae.
 Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Jujubae is the dried ripe fruit of Ziziphus jujuba Mill., it is used to replenish the middle Qi, nourish the blood and induce tranquilization, and also used to moderate herb medicine actions. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Jujubae, Jujube, Chinese Date, Dà Zǎo.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Jujube Fruit (Da Zao) as the ripe fruit of the plant species (1). Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis (Bunge) Rehd., and one varietas (2). Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder. They are plants of the Ziziphus Mill. Genus, the Rhamnaceae family (buckthorn family) of the Rosales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Ziziphus jujuba Mill.


 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bunge Rehd.:fruiting tree Botanical description: The plant, Ziziphus jujuba Mill is a plant of the Rhamnaceae family (buckthorn family) and Ziziphus genus, it is also known as Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis (Bunge) Rehd., commonly known as Zǎo or Zǎo Shù (means jujube tree). A deciduous shrub or small tree, the tree grows up to 10 meters. It has long branches, short branches, and new branches, long branches are smooth, and glabrous, young branches are slender and slightly "zigzag" curved, prunus (violet-red) or taupe (dust color), has 2 stipule thorns, the long thorn is up to 3 cm long, stout and straight, short thorn is recurved, length is 4~6 mm; short branches are short and stout, oblong, grow out from the old branch; the branchlets (twig) of the same year are green, pendulous, solitary or 2~7 cluster and grow on short branches. Simple leaves are alternate, chartaceous (papery), petioles are 1~6 mm long, petioles of long branches are up to 1 cm long; leaf blades are oval (egg-shaped), ovate-elliptic, length is 3~7 cm, width is 2~4 cm, apex is blunt or circular (rounded), has a small pointed tip, base is slightly deflective, orbicular, margin is serrulate (minutely serrated), the upper surface is dark green, glabrous, the under surface is pea green (pale green), glabrous or pubescent along leaf veins; ternate veins grow from the base.

 Flowers are flavovirens (yellowish-green), hermaphroditic, often 2~8 flowers grow in leaf axils and compose cymes; calyx is 5-lobed, lobes are ovate-triangular; 5 flower petals, obovate, base has claws; 5 stamens, opposite with petals and inserted on the edge of the floral disc (flower disc); floral disc is thick, succulent, circular (rounded), 5-lobed; ovary is 2-loculed, connate with floral disc, style is half-cleft.

 Drupes (drupe fruits) are oblong, long oval, or rectangular-circular, 2~3.5 cm long, 1.5~2 cm in diameter, red at maturity, then turns reddish violet, mesocarp is pulpose, thick, sweet, both ends of stone (nut) are sharp-pointed. Seeds are oblate elliptic, about 1 cm long. Its flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bunge Rehd.:fruits and leaves Ecological Environment: The plant, Ziziphus jujuba Mill grows in mountainous regions, hills, or plains at altitudes of below 1,700 meters above sea level, widely cultivated throughout China, many cultivars. Geographical distribution: This species is native to China, and it is cultivated in most areas of China, mainly in the northern, northwest, the middle reaches of the Yellow River, southwest, and other areas of China. It is now cultivated in many areas of Asia, Europe, and America continent.

 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bunge Rehd.:fruits on tree Growth characteristics: The plant, Ziziphus jujuba Mill prefers dry, cold, and cool climates, like light, tolerant to cold, drought, saline and alkaline, can withstand -31.3 °C (Celsius, or -24.34 degrees Fahrenheit) low temperature, also is tolerant to 39.3 °C (Celsius, or 102.74 degrees Fahrenheit) high temperature. It can be cultivated on sunny and dry hillsides and mountain slopes, hills, barren land (wasteland), plains, and roadsides. It is appropriate to choose sandy soil or sandy loam for optimal cultivation, but should not choose low-lying and waterlogging land for cultivation.

 Jujube,Chinese Date:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruit is elliptic or spherical (globular shape), 2~3.5 cm long, and 1.5~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is dark red (dull red), slightly glossy, and has irregular wrinkles. The base is concave and has a short carpopodium (fruit stalk). The epicarp (exocarp) is thin, the mesocarp is tan (brownish yellow) or hazel (pale brown), pulpose, soft, rich sacchariferous, and oily. The stone (nut) is fusiform (spindle-shaped), both ends are sharp-pointed, and the texture of the fruit is firm and hard. The herb has a slight fragrance and tastes sweet.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.enhancing immunity; ②.increasing muscle strength; ③.lowering cholesterol level; ④.protecting liver; ⑤.anti-oxidation; ⑥.inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, anti-tumor and anti-mutation; ⑦.anti-allergic reaction; ⑧.stronger inhibition of S180 sarcoma than that of 5-fluorouracil.

 Medicinal efficacy: Invigorating spleen-stomach and replenishing Qi, invigorating the spleen and harmonize the stomach, replenish Qi and generate body fluid, replenish Qi and blood, nourishing the blood and tranquilization, regulate Yingqi and Weiqi, regulating herbal property, detoxify prescription toxicity. It is indicated for spleen deficiency and poor appetite, weakness of the spleen and the stomach, feeble and loose stools (lack of strength, loose stools), weakness of spleen and loose stools, poor appetite and loose stools, insufficiency of Qi and blood, insufficiency of Qi blood and body fluids, disharmony between Ying and Wei (disharmony between nutrient Qi and defensive Qi), lassitude and feeble (tiredness, lack of strength), palpitation and severe palpitation, palpitation and insomnia, the hysteria of woman, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Jujubae (Dà Zǎo): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Jujubae (Dà Zǎo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 6~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 3~6 qian (about 9~18 grams); or mashed and prepare to pill. Externally:wash with water decoction, or charred the herb with its property retained,prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 9~15 grams.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Fructus Jujubae should better not be used in conditions tooth disease, parasitie disease, infantile malnutrition, jaundice, swelling, etc.

(2).Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder.


 Ziziphus jujuba var.inermis Bunge Rehder.:fruiting tree Botanical description: The plant, Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder is a plant of the Rhamnaceae family (buckthorn family) and Ziziphus genus, and identified as one varietas of the Ziziphus jujuba Mill., it is commonly known as Wu Ci Zao (means anacanthous Ziziphus jujuba), the main difference of it from the original variant is: long branches are anacanthous (stingless); young branches are anacanthous. Its flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is from August to October.

 Ecological Environment: The plant, Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder grows in the areas at altitudes below 1,600 meters above sea level, it is extensively cultivated.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Da Zao:Jujube Fruit,Chinese Date or Fructus Jujubae.

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