Similarly to a great number of plants traditionally used by Eastern herbalists for healing different diseases, Wild Jujube (Zizyphus jujuba) from the Rhamnaceaefamily only now became popular to some extend in the Western world.
This deciduous thorny shrub or a small tree (ranging in height from 4 ft (1.2 meters) to about 40 ft (12 meters)) is often called a Chinese date due to its sweet taste. Wild jujube grows rapidly, quickly developing a taproot and a crown. It has alternate oblong dark-green glossy leaves (about 2.5 inches long) and green or yellow tiny flowers.
The real value of the tree is its multiple fruits, which ripen in autumn, turning from green into deep red. They have quite tough but thin skin and sweet pulp. In general, small oval jujube fruits resemble dates, since they also become wrinkled when ripe. The stone of the fruit usually contains two kernels.
Indian jujube (Jujube mauritiana) is a close relative of Wild jujube with the same properties and only minor differences in the looks (the leaves are more rounded).
Wild jujube originates from China, but now it grows in many parts of the world. It is said to be a kind of tree, which grows well in different areas and it is quite strong to tolerate comparatively low temperatures, although, some myths mistakenly warn about the fragility of the subtropical shrub.
In fact, the best conditions for the tree to thrive are sandy loam, neutral or slightly alkaline, good drainage (although, water-logging is also sometimes tolerated), and full sun for the rich harvest.
The fruits of Wild jujube are the source of health, traditional herbalists claim; however, the leaves of the tree also possess some medicinal properties, thus they are used to eliminate certain diseases along with the fruits. Moreover, some health conditions are treated with Wild jujube heartwood and roots.
The teas of the Wild jujube, its extracts, dried fruits, concentrate juice, and tinctures are available for purchase.
Wild jujube fruits, which are most often used in herbal medicine, contain saponins Jujubosides A and B, which are said to have sedative and hypnotic effects on the human body. Wild jujube also contains fatty acids, flavone glycosides, triterpenes (betulin and betulic acid), sterols, and vitamins B1, B2, and C.
Besides, this healing tree contains oleanolic and ursolic acid, which are suggested to have anti-oxidant properties, thus preventing the aging of the human body. Among the minerals found in Wild jujube potassium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus are available in the largest quantities. Iron, sodium, zinc and copper are also present, but in smaller amounts.
Wild jujube has been known to act as a sedative and hypnotic to induce sleep and reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. It is used to nourish the heart, fight hypertension, excessive sweating, and shortness of breath. Jujube remedies are also capable of toning skin up and brightening complexion. The preparations of the leaves of the tree can eliminate intestinal worms and treat diarrhea.
Wild jujube is famous for reversing the disorders, which cause to lose weight. It can increase flesh, strengthen the muscles, stimulate appetite, and treat stomach and spleen disorders. The fruits are believed to fight infections, rejuvenate the body, and purify blood. Special teas of the jujube tree are used as anti-venom.
Finally, the enhancement of liver function is the job Wild jujube can do as well.