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(Bge) Rend., 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(Bge) Rend., 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.var.inermis(Bge)Rend.


 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bge Rend.:fruiting tree Botanical description: The Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis(Bge)Rend is a plant of the Rhamnaceae family (buckthorn family) and Ziziphus genus, deciduous shrubs or small trees, the tree grows up to 10 meters. There are long branches, short branches and new branches, long branches are smooth, glabrous, young branches are slender and slightly "curved", purple or taupe, with 2 lobed thorns, long thorn is up to 3 cm, rough, short prickle bend, length is 4~6 mm; spur is short, oblong, issued from the old branch; when the annual branchlets are green, drooping, solitary or 2~7 clusters grows on short branches. Leaves are alternate, papery, petiole length is 1~6 mm, long branches are up to 1 cm; leaf blade is ovate, oval-shaped oval, length 3~7 cm, width 2~4 cm, apex is obtuse or rounded, with a small tip head slightly oblique at base, suborbicular, margin is serrulate, dark green at upper part, glabrous, light green at lower part, glabrous or pubescent along veins; base with three veins. Flowers are yellow-green, bisexual, often 2~8 flowers grow on leaf axils into cymes; calyx is 5-lobed, lobes are ovate-triangular; 5 petals, obovate, base is with paws; 5 stamens, opposite petals grow on the edge of the disk; disk is thick, succulent, round, 5 cracked; 2 ovary rooms. Coincident with the disc, 2 styles are half-cleft. Drupe is oval or oblong, 2~3.5 cm long, 1.5~2 cm in diameter, red when mature, then reddish-purple, mesocarp is fleshy, thick, sweet, nuclear sharp ends. Seeds are flat oval, about 1 cm long. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from August to September.

 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bge Rend.:fruits and leaves Ecological Environment: the Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis(Bge)Rend grows in the mountains below 1,700 meters altitude, hills or plains, widely cultivated throughout China, many cultivars. Geographical distribution: This species is native to China, and cultivated in most areas of China, mainly from provinces the north, northwest, the middle reaches area of the Yellow River, southwest, and other areas of China. It is now cultivated in many areas of Asia, Europe, and America.

 Ziziphus jujuba Mill.var.inermis Bge Rend.:fruits on tree Growth characteristics: The Ziziphus jujuba Mill prefers dry cold climate, like light, resistant to cold, drought, salt, and alkali, can withstand -31.3 °C (Celsius, or -24.34 degrees Fahrenheit) low temperature, also can withstand 39.3 °C (Celsius, or 102.74 degrees Fahrenheit) high temperature. It can be cultivated on sunny and dry slopes, hills, wasteland, plain, and roadside. It is most suitable to be cultivated on broken soil or sandy loam, but not for low-lying and waterlogged land.

 Jujube,Chinese Date:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruit is oval or spherical, 2~3.5 cm long, and 1.5~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is dark red, slightly glossy, with irregular wrinkles. The base is concave, with short fruit stalks. The epicarp is thin, the mesocarp is tan or light brown, fleshy, soft, rich in sugar, and oily. The kernel is spindle-shaped, with sharp ends, 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 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", or "Jujube without thorn", the main difference of it from the original variant is: long branches are without prickles; young branches are without thorns. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from August to October.

 Ecological Environment: The Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis (Bunge) Rehder. grows in the areas with an altitude 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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