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Scientific Name(s): Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) Karst.
Common Name(s): Annab, Ber, Chinese date, Daechu, Hei zao, Hongzao, Jujube, Natume, Red date, Semen Ziziphi Spinosae, Sour date, Suanzaoren

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 12, 2021.

Clinical Overview


The seeds, fruit, and bark of jujube have been used in traditional medicine for anxiety and insomnia, and as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid. Experiments in animals support the presence of anxiolytic and sedative properties. However, evidence from epidemiologic and clinical studies is largely lacking.


Information is lacking.


Information is lacking.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use of jujube bark preparations.


An interaction with venlafaxine has been reported.

Adverse Reactions

Information is lacking.


Information is lacking.

Scientific Family

  • Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn)


Z. zizyphus is a small deciduous tree or shrub with thorny branches that grows 5 to 10 m tall. It is native to many parts of Asia, requiring hot summers and sufficient water for fruiting; however, the plant can tolerate colder temperatures and can survive in desert habitats. It has 2 to 7 cm long shiny, green, ovate leaves with 3 conspicuous veins at the base of the leaves. The flowers are small with yellow-green petals. The edible oval fruits are green when immature, turn dark red to purple-black and wrinkle when ripe, and contain a single hard seed.PLANTS 2009, Vahedi 2008


Traditional use of jujube dates back 2,500 years in original Chinese materia medica records. The fruit, seed, and bark are described in Korean, Indian, and Japanese traditional writings, as well. They are used to alleviate stress and insomnia and as appetite stimulants, digestive aids, antiarrhythmics, and contraceptives. The sweet smell of the fruit is said to make teenagers fall in love. The fruit is eaten fresh or dried and made into candy; tea, syrup, and wine are also made from the berries.Gupta 2004, Jiang 2007, Vahedi 2008


Composition of the plant parts varies geographically, as well as on the processing technique used.Guil-Guerrero 2004 The fruit is high in carbohydrates, especially fructose and glucose, which accounts for about 77% of the weight. Vitamins C, B complex, and A, as well as calcium, potassium, and other mineral elements, have been identified.Guil-Guerrero 2004, Huang 2008

Glycoside saponins, including jujuboside A and B, have been identified, as well as flavonoids, triterpenes, and short-medium chain fatty acids (eg, stearic, oleic, palmitic, linoleic).Huang 2008, Jiang 2007, Lee 2003, Lee 2004, Singh 2008, Zhang 2003, Zhao 2006 Reviews of the chemical constituents have been published.Gao 2013, Rodríguez Villanueva 2017

Uses and Pharmacology


Animal data

Jujube is used traditionally as an anxiolytic and sedative. Animal experiments using the saponin jujuboside and flavonoids from the fruits, as well as the seed extract, showed reductions in anxiety, impaired coordination and responses, and enhanced barbiturate-induced hypnotic effects.Jiang 2007, Peng 2000, Shou 2002

In a plant screening exercise, oleamide from a jujube extract given for 3 weeks attenuated scopolamine-induced amnesia in mice. A role in cognitive impairment disorders, such as that seen in Alzheimer disease, was suggested, as the jujube extract appeared to increase the activation of choline acetyltransferase.Heo 2003

A hydroalcoholic extract of Z. jujube has been shown to possess antiepileptic effects against induced seizures in rodents.Pahuja 2012

Clinical data

A role in the management of insomnia has been suggested in a review of pharmacological effects of the jujube seed, based on 2 small clinical studies.Rodríguez Villanueva 2017


Animal data

Studies using specific saponins, as well as ethyl acetate and water extracts of the fruit and bark, have explored the potential cytotoxicity of jujube. Apoptosis and differential cell cycle arrest are suggested to be responsible for the dose-dependent reduction in cell viability. Activity against certain human cancer cell lines has been demonstrated in vitro.Huang 2007, Lee 2004, Tahergorabi 2015, Vahedi 2008

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical studies evaluating the effect of jujube in cancer.


An ethylacetate extract of the plant bark arrested the normal estrus cycle of adult female mice and reduced the weight of the ovaries. The antisteroid action was reversed upon cessation of extract supplementation.Gupta 2004


Animal data

Jujube fruit has traditionally been used as a paste, puree, or soup to enhance digestion. In animal experiments, jujube extract decreased GI transit time and increased fecal moisture content. Increased fatty acid concentration in the cecum and decreased fecal ammonia and bacterial enzyme activity in the feces were also measured.Huang 2008

Clinical data

In a small (N = 50) clinical trial, the symptoms of patients with chronic idiopathic constipation improved with daily consumption of jujube extract (average, 20 drops per day) versus placebo. Because of practical issues, GI transit times were not measured in the study.Naftali 2008 Jujube extract may offer a safe natural laxative option.

A clinical study evaluated consumption of jujube fruit as a powder (5 g taken 3 times a day for 1 month) among 86 obese adolescents (12 to 18 years of age) with dyslipidemia. Decreased serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were reported, with no effect on other lipid indices, blood glucose, or BMI.Sabzghabaee 2013


In vitro experiments in sheep and human blood suggest anticomplementary action of the tripenoids of ethylacetate fruit extracts.Lee 2004, Chan 2005

Z. jujube (3.9%) is an ingredient in the Chinese multi-preparation CKBM-A01 studied for immunological effect.Maek-a-nantawat 2009


Information on dosages for clinical applications is lacking. Bacterial contamination of imported jujube products remains an issue for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Stewart 2004

In a clinical trial, up to 40 drops of extract per day were used in chronic idiopathic constipation.Naftali 2008 For traditional GI uses, up to 50 g of dried fruit per day (equivalent to 4 g of extract) have been used.Huang 2008 A clinical study evaluated consumption of 5 grams jujube fruit as a powder taken three times a day for one month in adolescents with dyslipidemia.Sabzghabaee 2013

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. A contraceptive action of a bark extract has been demonstrated in mice.Gupta 2004


There has been a case report of a severe, acute serotonin reaction of venlafaxine with coadministration of jujube. Jujube 0.5 g/day was consumed regularly, and the reaction occurred after a single dose of venlafaxine 37.5 mg.Stewart 2004

Potentiation of effect of phenytoin and phenobarbitone in rodents has been reported. No effect on carbamazepine was noted.Pahuja 2012

Adverse Reactions

Information is lacking. A clinical trial using extract of jujube reported no adverse effects and no changes to liver or kidney laboratory indices.Stewart 2004 Immunoglobulin E–mediated allergy with angioedema, generalized urticaria, asthma, and hypotension has been reported. A cross-reactivity with latex is also suggested.Lombardi 2005

A hepatoprotective effect (reduction of serum bilirubin levels) has been reported in a review of pharmacological effects.Rodríguez Villanueva 2017


Information is lacking. In mice, the suggested median lethal dose for the fruit is 14 g/kg body weight intraperitoneally; for the bark extract, the dose is 2.5 g/kg.Gupta 2004, Naftali 2008


Chan AS, Yip EC, Yung LY, et al. Immuno-regulatory effects of CKBM on the activities of mitogen-activated protein kinases and the release of cytokines in THP-1 monocytic cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005;28(9):1645-1650.16141532
Gao QH, Wu CS, Wang M. The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) fruit: a review of current knowledge of fruit composition and health benefits. J Agric Food Chem. 2013;61(14):3351-3363.23480594
Guil-Guerrero JL, Díaz Delgado A, Matallana González MC, Torija Isasa ME. Fatty acids and carotenes in some ber (Ziziphus jujuba Mill) varieties. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2004;59(1):23-27.15675148
Gupta M, Mazumder UK, Vamsi ML, Sivakumar T, Kandar CC. Anti-steroidogenic activity of the two Indian medicinal plants in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;90(1):21-25.14698503
Heo HJ, Park YJ, Suh YM, et al. Effects of oleamide on choline acetyltransferase and cognitive activities. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003;67(6):1284-1291.12843655
Huang X, Kojima-Yuasa A, Norikura T, Kennedy DO, Hasuma T, Matsui-Yuasa I. Mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of Zizyphus jujuba in HepG2 cells. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(3):517-532.17597510
Huang YL, Yen GC, Sheu F, Chau CF. Effects of water-soluble carbohydrate concentrate from Chinese jujube on different intestinal and fecal indices. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(5):1734-1739.18251499
Jiang JG, Huang XJ, Chen J. Separation and purification of saponins from Semen Ziziphus jujuba and their sedative and hypnotic effects. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007;59(8):1175-1180.17725862
Jiang JG, Huang XJ, Chen J, Lin QS. Comparison of the sedative and hypnotic effects of flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides extracted from Semen Ziziphus jujube. Nat Prod Res. 2007;21(4):310-320.17479419
Lee SM, Min BS, Lee CG, Kim KS, Kho YH. Cytotoxic triterpenoids from the fruits of Zizyphus jujuba. Planta Med. 2003;69(11):1051-1054.14735446
Lee SM, Park JG, Lee YH, et al. Anti-complementary activity of triterpenoides from fruits of Zizyphus jujuba. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004;27(11):1883-1886.15516743
Lombardi C, Mistrello G, Roncarolo D, Senna G, Passalacqua G. Latex-jujube cross-reactivity: case report and immunological study. Allergy. 2005;60(7):971-972.15932393
Maek-a-nantawat W, Phonrat B, Dhitavat J, et al. Safety and efficacy of CKBM-A01, a Chinese herbal medicine, among asymptomatic HIV patients. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2009;40(3):494-501.19842434
Naftali T, Feingelernt H, Lesin Y, Rauchwarger A, Konikoff FM. Ziziphus jujuba extract for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation: a controlled clinical trial. Digestion. 2008;78(4):224-228.19142004
Pahuja M, Kleekal T, Reeta KH, Tripathi M, Gupta YK. Interaction profile of Zizyphus jujuba with phenytoin, phenobarbitone, and carbamazepine in maximal electroshock-induced seizures in rats. Epilepsy Behav. 2012;25(3):368-373.23103312
Peng WH, Hsieh MT, Lee YS, Lin YC, Liao J. Anxiolytic effect of seed of Ziziphus jujuba in mouse models of anxiety. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;72(3):435-441.10996283
Rodríguez Villanueva J, Rodríguez Villanueva L. Experimental and clinical pharmacology of Ziziphus jujuba Mills. Phytother Res. 2017;31(3):347-365.28084039
Sabzghabaee AM, Khayam I, Kelishadi R, et al. Effect of Zizyphus jujuba fruits on dyslipidemia in obese adolescents: a triple-masked randomized controlled clinical trial. Med Arch. 2013;67(3):156-159.23848030
Shou C, Feng Z, Wang J, Zheng X. The inhibitory effects of jujuboside A on rat hippocampus in vivo and in vitro. Planta Med. 2002;68(9):799-803.12357390
Singh AK, Pandey MB, Singh VP, Pandey VB. Xyloprine-C, a new cyclopeptide alkaloid from Zizyphus xylopyra. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2008;10(8):725-728.18696323
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Tahergorabi Z, Abedini MR, Mitra M, Fard MH, Beydokhti H. "Ziziphus jujuba": A red fruit with promising anticancer activities. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(18):99-106.26392706
Vahedi F, Fathi Najafi M, Bozari K. Evaluation of inhibitory effect and apoptosis induction of Zyzyphus jujube on tumor cell lines, an in vitro preliminary study. Cytotechnology. 2008;56(2):105-111.19002848
Zhang M, Ning G, Shou C, Lu Y, Hong D, Zheng X. Inhibitory effect of jujuboside A on glutamate-mediated excitatory signal pathway in hippocampus. Planta Med. 2003;69(8):692-695.14531016
Zhao J, Li SP, Yang FQ, Li P, Wang YT. Simultaneous determination of saponins and fatty acids in Ziziphus jujube (Suanzaoren) by high performance liquid chromatography-evaporative light scattering detection and pressurized liquid extraction. J Chromatogr A. 2006;1108(2):188-194.16458908
Ziziphus zizyphus. USDA, NRCS. 2008. The PLANTS Database (, March 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490.


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