Botanical name: Ziziphus Jujuba
The Chinese Herbs website explains that the ursolic and oleanolic acids found in jujube fruits contain healthy levels of antioxidants. A study in the April 2004 issue of “Transplantation Proceedings” suggests that these antioxidants might protect and rejuvenate the liver. This animal study measured the healing ability of jujube fruits after the liver had been deprived of blood flow for 40 minutes. The results indicated that the jujubes helped alleviate oxidative stress and rejuvenate the liver.
Ancient healers believed that the saponins and flavonoids found in jujube fruits have hypnotic and sedative effects. According to Drugs.com, animal experiments provide some evidence to support this belief. Mice given jujube fruits showed reduced anxiety, impaired coordination and increased sleeping times. While jujubes might be a natural alternative to prescription anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids, clinical trials on humans are needed to confirm this.
Animal tests have shown that giving jujube fruit extract to mice with induced amnesia increased the levels of choline acetyltransferase, a substance that can help with cognitive impairment, according to Drugs.com. This means that jujube fruits might be beneficial to people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The Chinese Herbs website adds that jujube fruits might also help patients with hypertension and shortness of breath. Because of their high vitamin C content, jujube fruits can be made into tea and used to soothe sore throats, according to the California Rare Fruit Growers.