Jujube plum – nutrition, proven benefits, uses


The scientific name of the jujube plum is Ziziphus jujuba Mill.

Scientific names Common names
Paliurus mairei H.Lév. Mansanitas ( Tag.)
Rhamnus jujuba L. Jujuba (Engl.)
Rhamnus soporifera Lour. Jujube plum (Engl.)
Rhamnus zizyphus L. Red date (Engl.)
Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Lam. Sour Chinese date (Engl.)
Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Gaertn.
Ziziphus jujuba Mill.
Ziziphus mairei (H.Lév.) Browicz & Lauener
Ziziphus nitida Roxb.
Ziziphus orthacantha DC.
Ziziphus rotundata DC.
Ziziphus sativa Gaertn.
Ziziphus soporifera (Lour) Stokes
Ziziphus tomentosa Poir.
Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) H.Karst.
Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) Meikle
Zizyphon jujubum St.-Lag.
Ziziphus jujuba Mill. is an accepted name
Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Dum, Nabq, Tsal, Sadr, Sidr, Zufzuuf.
CATALAN: Ginjoler.
CHINESE: Zao shu, Zao zi, Hong zao, Da tian zao, Ji, Suan zao shu, Jiao zhen, Ying zao, Shan zao shu.
ESTONIAN: Kreektürn.
FRENCH: Jujubier commun, Jujube de Chine, Jujubier de Chine.
GERMAN: Brustbeere, Brustbeerbaum, Chinesische Dattel, Domjujube, Jujube, Judendom.
GREEK: Zizifia, Zizyfon.
HINDI: Badara, Badari, Ber, Beri.
ITALIAN: Giuggiole, Giuggiolo.
JAPANESE: Sanebuto natsume.
PERSIAN: Anab, Annab, Sidr.
RUSSIAN: Zizifus, Zizifus zhozhoba, Zizifus obyknovennyj, Jujuba kitaiskaia, Zhozhoba, Zhuzhuba.
SANSKRIT: Badara, Suphala.
SPANISH: Azofaifa, Azofaifo, Azofeifo, Azufaifa, Azufaifas, Achifaifa , Azufaifo, Azufaifo común, Azufaifo chino, Azufeifo, Gínjol, Ginjolero, Jijolero, Jinjol, Jínjol, Jínjolera, Jinjolero, Jinjoles, Jujuba, Zofaifo.
SWEDISH: Jujubär.
TAMIL: Ilantai, Irantai.
TELUGU: Regu, Gangarenu.
THAI: Phutsaa cheen.
TURKISH: Hünnap.

Jujube plum  is a small tree 5 to 10 meters high. Branches are armed with short, sharp spines. Leaves are elliptic-ovate, 5 to 8 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, rounded at the base, green and smooth on the upper surface and densely covered with woolly, pale hairs beneath. Flowers are greenish white, about 7 millimeters in diameter, borne on axillary cymes 3 centimeters in diameter or less. Fruit is fleshy and mealy, smooth, orange or red, ovoid or somewhat rounded, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter, with a bony and irregularly furrowed stone within.


– Widely scattered in many tropical countries as a semi-cultivated tree.

– Introduced from tropical Asia.


– Bark contains much tannin and a crystalline principle, ziziphic acid.

– Tannin in the bark is called ziziphotannic acid.

– Fruit contains mucilage, fruit acids and sugar.

– Bark contains 4.1 % tannin; the root 2.6 to 9.3% tannin.

– Studies have yielded various chemical substances like Mauritine-A; Amphibine-H; Jubanine-A; Jubanine-B; Mucronine-D and Nummularine-B. Sativanine-E. Frangufoline, Ziziphine-A to Q, betulinic acid colubrinic acid, alphitolic acid, 3-O-cis-p-coumaroylalphitolic acid, 3-O-transp­coumaroylalphitolic acid, 3-O-cis-p-coumaroylmaslinic acid, 3-O-trans-pcoumaroylmaslinic acid, oleanolic acid, betulonic acid, oleanonic acid, zizyberenalic acid and betulinic acid, jujubosides A, B, A1 B1 and C and acetyljujuboside B and the protojujubosides A, B and B1, saponin, ziziphin, from the dried leaves of Z. jujube – 3-O-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl (1-2)-a­arabinopyranosyl-20-O- (2,3)-di-O-acetyl-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl jujubogenin.

– Study evaluating leaves and bark of ZJ for catechins and proanthocyanidin isolated 16 compounds, including 8 monmeric catechins—
(−)-epiafzelechin, (−)-epicatechin, (−)-epigallocatechin, (−)-epicatechin gallate, (−)-epigal-locatechin gallate, (+)-catechin, (+)-catechin gallate, and (+)-gallocatechin; 4 dimeric proanthocyanidins — (−)-epiafzelechin-(4β-8)-(−)-epicatechin, proanthocyanidin B-2, (−)-epicatechin-(4β-8)-(−)-epigallocatechin, and (−)-epiafzelechin-(4β-8)-(−)-epigallocatechin; and 4 oligomeric proanthocyanidins consisting of epiafzelechin, epigallocatechin, catechin, and epicatechin. (see study)


– Bark is bitter.

– Root is considered purgative.

– Fruit of wild variety is acid and astringent; cultivated fruit is less acid.

– Fruit is considered anodyne, nourishing, mucilaginous, pectoral, styptic, digestive and blood purifying and tonic.

– Considered tonic, aphrodisiac, anxiolytic, hypnotic-sedative, anticancer, antifungal, anti-ulcer.

– Studies on fruit have suggested anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, immunostimulating, antioxidant, hepatoprotective and gastroprotective properties.

Parts used

Bark, leaves, fruit, roots.

Edibility / Culinary

Fruit is edible; used in a variety of recipes.

Folkloric traditional medicine remedies, benefits and uses

– In the Philippines, a decoction of the bark and leaves is an effective astringent in dysentery and diarrhea. Also, used in all kinds of bowel problems.

– Root, taken in excess, is a drastic purgative.

– In Angola, used to promote menstruation.

– Decoction used for fevers.

– Powdered root used for ulcers and wounds.

– Juice of root bark used as purgative; externally, for gout and rheumatism.

– Bark is emetic in larger doses. Sometimes, used for colic.

– Bark, powdered or in decoction, is astringent and used for diarrhea.

– Powdered bark used as dressing for old wounds and ulcers.

– In Cambodia, bark is used for dysentery and gingivitis.

– Some Benue tribes use the leaves as ingredient in a prescription for gonorrhea.

– Pounded leaves are applied as dressing to wounds. Leaves, in plaster form, used in strangury. Paste made from tender leaves and twigs applied to boils, abscesses and carbuncles to promote suppuration.

– Dried and ripe fruit used is mildly laxative; also, used as expectorant.

– In China, fruit used for coughs. Also, used for insomnia and anxiety.

Other uses

Cosmetics / beauty benefits:

Extracts used in a variety of skin care products, anti-wrinkles, moisturizers, and sunburn lotions.

– Tanning: Used for tanning in India.

– Fishing: In Abyssinia, fruit used to stupefy fish.

Scientific proven health, beauty benefits and uses of Jujube plum

Anxiolytic / anxiety control /Sedative:

Study showed the ethanolic extract of seed of ZJ possessed anxiolytic effect at lower dose and sedative effect a higher doses.

Treatment for Chronic Constipation:

Study showed jujuba extract to be an effective and safe treatment for chronic constipation.

Anti-Diabetic / Hypolipidemic:

Study evaluating the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of a hydro-alcoholic extract of ZJ leaves in rats showed significant reductions of glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride and elevation of HDL. LDL reduction was not as significant.

Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / Fruits:

Study investigating the hepatoprotective effect of methanolic extract of Zizyphus jujuba fruits in rat models of paracetamol- and thioacetamide-induced hepatic damage showed significant inhibition of biomarker elevation. Histopathological studies supported the biochemical findings. Study concludes a hepatoprotective activity probably due to its antioxidant effect.


Study showed the fruit extracts from Zizyphus jujuba had higher antioxidant activity than Hydrangea paniculata leaf extracts.

Spatial Memory Improvement / Antioxidant :

Study showed the co-treatment of Z. jujuba extract ameliorates ethanol-induced memory deficits, both in the acquisition process and retrieval process of spatial memory performance in rats. The improvement is attributed to the antioxidant properties of flavonoids present in the extract.

Rat Testes Reproductive Benefits:

Study in male Wistar rats evaluated the antioxidant effects of aqueous fruits extracts of Ziziphus jujuba on ethanol-induced oxidative stress. Results showed beneficial effects on ethanol-induced sperm toxicity, with enhancement of sperm motility and plasma membrane integrity.

Essential Oil / Hair-Promoting Effects:

Study evaluated the efficacy of essential oil from seeds of ZJ for hair growth. Applied to rats over shaved skin at different concentrations, results concluded ZJEO possesses hair growth promoting activity.

Weight-Reducing / Hypolipidemic / Hypophagic:

Study of hydroalcoholic extract of ZJ leaves showed the leaf extract to possess significant weight reducing, hypophagic and hypolipidemic properties in sucrose-induced obese rats.

Neurodegenerative Disease Preventive:

Study evaluated the role of jujube in bran benefits, its effect on neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells. Results showed jujube water extract induced neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells, induced phosphorylation of cAMP responsive element binding protein on PC12 cells. Results support the use of jujube as food supplement for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases in which neurotrophin deficiency is involved.


Study evaluated an aqueous-ethanol extract of jujuba seeds for antimicrobial activity against six bacterial strains. Results showed the extract is potent in inhibiting both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Benefits in Dyslipidemia in Obese Adolescents:

Study evaluated the effect of ZJ fruit in controlling dyslipidemia in obese adolescents. A triple-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial of 86 obese adolescents aged 12–18 with dyslipidemia. Results showed the fruits to be generally well tolerated, with potential favorable effects on serum lipid profile.

Antimicrobial / Fruits:

Study of crude extract of ZJ fruits showed a wide antimicrobial activity against tested microbes, with E. coli showing to be the most susceptible. Results suggest potential used for microbial infections, especially pediatric infectious diseases.

Hypolipidemic / Antiobesity:

Study of Z.. jujuba powder showed hypolipidemic and anti-obesity properties and did not show any negative impact on liver function as measured by ALT and AST.

Antipyretic / relieves fever / Leaves:

Study evaluated Z. jujuba for antipyretic activity in Brewer’s yeast induced pyrexia in rats. The antipyretic activity of the extract was comparable to paracetamol.

Anticancer / Human Hepatoma Cells:

Study evaluated the anti-cancer activity of ZJ and its mechanisms of action in human hepatoma cells (HepG2). Results showed the extract decreased the viability of the cells. The chloroform fraction was most effective, inducing a concentration dependent effect on apoptosis and a differential cell cycle arrest in HepG2 cells.

Antidiarrheal / Leaves:

Study evaluated the anti-diarrheal activity of an aqueous extract of leaves of ZJ in a castor oil and MgSO4 induced diarrhea model. Results showed significant inhibitory activity against castor oil and magnesium sulfate induced diarrhea. There was significant reduction in gastrointestinal motility by charcoal meal test in rats.

Antitumor / Breast Cancer / Fruit:

Study evaluated the beneficial effects of an aqueous extract of ZJ fruit on proliferation of breast cancer cells. Treatment caused dose- and time-dependent cytotoxic effect against an MDA-MB-468 cell line and significantly increased the total antioxidant capacity. In some groups, there was a preventive effect against anemia, lymphocytosis, and neutrophilia or significant decreased in enzyme markers. Results suggest ZJ ameliorates the adverse effects of NMU carcinogenesis and suggests potential in the treatment of mammary tumors in humans.

Immunomodulatory / Fruit:

Study investigated the role of jujube in regulating immune response. The IL-1ß and IL-6 cytokines in LPS-induced macrophages were suppressed by jujube water extract in both mRN and protein levels. In parallel, the inhibition on transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-kappa B was revealed in LPS-induced macrophages. Results showed bidirectional immunomodulatory activity by regulating expressions of proinflammatory cytokines in macrophages.

Cell-Mediated Immune Stimulation / Effect on Neutrophil Phagocyte Function / Leaves:

Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of Ziziphus jujuba leaves on its effect on different in vitro methods of phagocytosis such as neutrophil locomotion and chemotaxis test, and in vitro immunostimulant activity by slide method and nitro blue tetrazolium test using human neutrophils. Results showed the extract stimulated cell-mediated immune system by increasing neutrophil phagocytic function.

Alpha-Amylase Inhibition / Anti-Diabetic Effect / Antioxidant:

Study investigated the inhibitory effect of H. persicum and Ziziphus jujuba on the activity of alpha-amylase. The methanolic extracts of HP and ZJ showed high inhibitory effect on alpha-amylase enzyme with IC50 of 307 and 867 µg/mL, respectively. The effect was comparable to acarbose in lowering the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Both plants showed high polyphenolic content suggesting a potent capacity in clearing of oxidants.

Effect on Peripheral Blood Cells / Fruit Extract:

Study evaluated the effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of the fruit of ZJ on peripheral blood cells in male Balb/c mice. Results showed a significant reduction in percentage of monocytes and neutrophils and an increase in the percentage of lymphocytes.



Tinctures, extracts and capsule in the market.

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