Zizyphus always sounds like an adorable, oversized, fuzzy monster to me 😜 but it's a delicous, medicine fruit commonly consumed here in China. How common? This photo is from Walmart here in Beijing (!). The jujube fruit from the Zizyphus jujuba tree is used in traditional Chinese medicine  to nourish digestion and as a Qi and blood tonic.  The fruit, Da Zao (black fruit) or Hong Sao (red fruit), and the Seed, Suan Zao Ren, have separate properties but are often used together as food.  The fruit is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, nutritive, and a nervine.  It is used as a bulk laxative and to calm the mind.  It is especially used for those who are frail or depleted.  Caution should be used with those with high blood sugar, as it is a hyperglycemic agent.  The seed is used for anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and to calm the spirit.  It moderately lowers blood pressure, reduces abnormal perspiration such as night sweats and hot flashes, and it is a sedative to aid in sleep.

Jujube can be added to grain dishes or stews, but it is best to crush the seed first to obtain the full medicinal value.  A tea of fruit and seed may be made by first crushing the seed with pliers, decocting the fruit and seed for 30 minutes, then steeping for a further 45 minutes.

Bevin Clare