Ziziphus

 

Botanical Name: Zizyphus Jububa
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ziziphus
Species: Z. jujuba
Kingdom: Planta
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Z. sativa. Z. vulgaris. Z. zizyphus. (L.)Karsten. Rhamnus zizyphus.

Common Names: jujube ( sometimes jujuba), red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date

English Name :Indian Jujube
Bengali Name : Boroi

Habitat : Ziziphus is native to   E. Asia – China, Japan.   It grows on  dry gravelly or stony slopes of hills and mountains.

DESCRIPTION:

Ziziphus is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5–12 metres (16–39 ft), usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2–7 centimetres (0.79–2.76 in) wide and 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.18 in) broad, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5 millimetres (0.20 in) wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.18 in) deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.

It is one of the most hardy fruit tree.These deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs are natives of the warmer climates. Some are found in California, Texas and Mexico. The most popular is Z. jujuba, commonly known as the Jujube or Chinese Date. The Chinese Date isn’t a true date tree, but the 1- to 2-inch, edible fruits resemble dates and can be eaten fresh, dried or preserved. This tree ultimately grows from 15 to 25 feet high and provides a light, filtered shade. Its spiny branches are clothed with ¾- to 2½-inch, dark green leaves that are quite pest-resistant. In early summer, the Chinese Date produces clusters of tiny, yellow flowers, followed by the fruits, which ripen in late fall. This tree ordinarily begins to produce fruit the first year it is planted. The wood of this tree is hard and heavy and is widely used in some
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture

 

Ziziphus is a genus of about 40 species of spiny shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, distributed in the warm-temperate and subtropical regions throughout the world. The leaves are alternate, entire, with three prominent basal veins, and 2-7 cm long; some species are deciduous, others evergreen. The flowers are small, inconspicuous yellow-green. The fruit is an edible drupe, yellow-brown, red, or black, globose or oblong, 1-5 cm long, often very sweet and sugary, reminiscent of a date in texture and flavour.

Ziziphus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix zizyphella (which feeds exclusively on the genus) and Endoclita malabaricus.

The Jujube (Z. zizyphus) is the best known species. Other species include Z. spinachristi from southwestern Asia, Z. lotus from the Mediterranean region, and Ber (Z. mauritiana), which is found from western Africa to India. Ziziphus joazeiro grows in the Caatinga of Brazil.

Potting: The Chinese Date should be grown in milder climates; it does better where the summers are long and hot. It can be grown in full sun or light shade in almost any soil, though the better the soil the more valuable the fruits will be.

Propagation: These trees are increased by rooting cuttings or by grafting named varieties on understocks raised from seeds.

The Mineral & vitamin contents of Zizyphus are: calcium,phosphorous,iron,carotene,thiamine,riboflavin,niacin and vitamin-C. Its calorific value is 74. The fruit contains zizyphic acid and tannins.
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Mealy and sweet. A sourish-sweet flavour. The fruit can be eaten fresh, dried like dates or cooked in puddings, cakes, breads, jellies, soups etc. The dried fruit has the nicest taste. The fruits are often left to become wrinkled and spongy, which increases their sweetness, and are then eaten fresh or cooked. The dried fruit can also be ground into a powder. This powder is used in the preparation of ‘kochujang’, a fermented hot pepper-soybean paste that resembles miso. Fruits are about 13mm in diameter and contain one or two seeds. Average yields from wild trees in the Himalayas are 9.5kg per year. The fruit contains about 8.7% sugars, 2.6% protein, 1.4% ash, 1.7% pectin and 1.3% tannin. The fruit is about 25mm long, though it can be larger in cultivated varieties. The fruit can be used as a coffee substitute. Leaves – cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails. A nutritional analysis is available.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Dry weight)

*350 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 7.3g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 84g; Fibre: 4g; Ash: 3g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 130mg; Phosphorus: 168mg; Iron: 3.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 12mg; Potassium: 1050mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 125mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.1mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.18mg; Niacin: 2.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 300mg;
*Reference:
*Notes: The figures given here are the median of a range given in the report.

Medicinal Uses :

Jujube is both a delicious fruit and an effective herbal remedy.  It aids weight gain, improves muscular strength, and increases stamina.  In Chinese medicine, jujube is prescribed as a qi tonic to strengthen liver function.  Mildly sedative and antiallergenic, it is given to reduce irritability and restlessness..  It is also used to improve the taste of unpalatable prescriptions, as a buffer to improve synergy and minimize side effects.  In Japan, jujube has been shown to increase immune-system resistance.  In China, laboratory animals fed a jujube decoction gained weight and showed improved endurance.  In one clinical study, 12 patients with liver ailments were given jujube, peanuts, and brown sugar nightly. In 4 weeks, their liver function had improved.  The fruit is also used for chronic fatigue, diarrhea, anemia and hysteria; the seeds for palpitations, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration.  Long term use reputedly improves the complexion.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), suan zao ren (Ziziphus spinosa) is considered to be sweet and sour in taste, and neutral in action. It is believed to nourish the heart yin, augment the liver blood, and calm the spirit (TCM medical terms). It is used to treat irritability, insomnia and heart palpitations.

Zizyphus is beneficial in the treatment of mental retardation.A handful of dry fruit is boiled in half litre of water and should be taken daily at night before retiring.It increases functioning of brain by releasing more glutamic acid into the bloodstream. The bark made from zizyphus is useful in arresting secretion and bleeding.

Stomach disorders:The bark can be used for treating diarrhoea,dysentary and colic.The infusion of the inner cover of the bark is used as a purgative in constipation.

Influenza and colds: Zizyphus is useful in preventing frequent attacks of cold and influenza. A teaspoonful of fresh fruit juice extracted from the fruit can be taken with a pinch of papper once daily as preventive.

Conjunctivitis:An infution of the leaves can be used as an eye lotion in case of conjunctivitis.

Scalp disorderss: A paste of its leaves can be applied over the scalp to prevent scalp disorder.It also lengthens the hair besides darkening them.

Mouth disorders: Infusion of the fresh and tender leaved,mixed with salt is a useful gargle for sore throat, inflammation onf the mouth, bleeding from gums and cracked tongue due to excessive consumption of sour fruits.

Other different uses: Fresh baked leaved are useful for piles. Those baked leaves are pounded with some castor oil. This worm poultice can be applied over piles.The process should be repeated twice daily for a week. A paste of leaves and small branches of the herb can be applied with excellant result over boils, carbuncles and abcesses to promote suppuration.It can be applied beneficially over painful boils and styes.This paste mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice , can also be applied as a poultice in the treatment of scorpion sting. Infusion of its leaves can be applied as a lotion to wash the wounds and other ulcers.

The mythological lotus tree is often equated with Z. lotus, though the Date Palm is also a possible candidate. The Indian name of Ziziphus is ber (or bor).

Known Hazards  : Caution in diabetics on allopathic medication

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

Miracle of Herbs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziziphus
http://www.botany.com/zizyphus.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jujube

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ziziphus+jujuba

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