Ziziphus jujuba Mill

Last updated: 15 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Ziziphus jujuba Mill


Paliurus mairei H. Lév., Rhamnus jujuba L., Rhamnus soporifera Lour., Rhamnus zizyphus L., Ziziphus mauritiana Lam., Ziziphus muratiana Maire, Ziziphus nitida Roxb., Ziziphus orthacantha DC., Ziziphus poiretii G.Don [Illegitimate], Ziziphus rotundata DC., Ziziphus sativa Gaertn., Ziziphus sinensis Lam., Ziziphus soporifera (Lour.) Stokes, Ziziphus tomentosa Poir., Ziziphus trinervia Roth [Illegitimate], Ziziphus vulgaris Lam., Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) H.Karst. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bedara China, jujube [2][3], bedara, bidara, epal Siam, jujub, langkeng [3]
English Jujube, Indian jujube, Malay jujube, Indian plum, Indian cherry [4], Chinese date, Chinese jujube, common jujube, Chinese plum, Chinese red date, jujube tree [2][3][5]
China Da zao, hei zao, nan tsao, pei tsao, suan tsao, suan zao ren, tsao, zao [2]
India Ber, beri (Hindi); bor, yalaci, elanij (Kannada); ilanta, lantappalam, ilantappalam, peruntutali (Malayalam); badarah, kolah, koli (Sanskrit); ilanati, ilantappalam (Tamil); gangaregu, regu (Telagu) [5]
Sudan Nabbag, nabk, nabak, nebbek, siddir sidr [4]
Nigeria Ekanesi, ekanesi-adie, magariya, kusuru, kusulu [2], nabag [4]
Tanzania Mkunazi [4]       
France Jujubier [4]
Spain Yugube afim [4].

Geographical Distributions

No documentation.

Botanical Description

Ziziphus jujuba is a member of the Rhamnaceae family. It is a low much branched evergreen or semi-deciduous tree reaching up to 12 m high. It is a wide spreading shrub or small tree with thorny trunk having a diameter reaching up to 0.3 m. [4][6][7]

The leaves are simple and alternate, oblong-elliptic, ovate or suborbicular with minute serrulate or apex distinctly toothed. There are three prominent nerves. [4][6][7]

The flowers are cream or greenish yellow, in dense clusters in leaf axil. [4][6][7]

The fruit is a drupe, oblong, globose or ovoid in shape; measuring 2-5 cm x 1-3 cm. The stone is with a single kernel. [4][6][7]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

Roots, barks, leaves, fruit and seeds [4][7]

Traditional Use

The roots of Z. jujuba is bitter, cooling, anodyne and tonic. It also has drastic purgatives. The juice of the roots in a dose of 2 teaspoons daily is a remedy for indigestion and peptic ulcer in Nepal [4][7]. The roots are used to treat epilepsy and the seeds are considered a sedative.  For infectious diseases like leprosy and scrofula, the roots are given. Paste of the roots is applied to the back for lumbago [6][7]. The roots of Z. jujuba is believed to promote menstruation and in Nepal the juice is given for menstrual disorders [7].

The bark is astringent, constipatin and tonic. The juice of the bark is a remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. [4][7]

The dried wood is used to fumigate hair probably as a measure for removing lice. [6][7]

The Z. jujuba leaves are bitter, cooling, astringent, anthelminthic, diaphoretic and antipyretic. Juice of the leaves on the other hand is given for liver complains and diarrhoea [4][7]. The leaves are used to treat fever. The leaves are given to treat gonorrhoea and for typhoid in children. The liquid made by macerating leaves in water is made use of in wound and ulcer treatment. Chewing on the leaves will help arrest gum bleeding. Juice of the leaves is dropped into the eyes to treat conjunctivitis [6][7].

The Z. jujuba fruits are sweet, cooling, anodyne, purgative, mucilaginous, pectoral, styptic, aphrodisiac, invigorating, depurative, appetiser and tonic while the seeds are acrid, sweet, astringent, soporific and tonic [4][7].  The pulp is given for fever [6][7].

The seeds are used to treat abdominal pain during pregnancy [7]. Ash of the seeds mixed with coconut oil is applied over burns scars to remove it [6][7].

The roots, bark, leaves and seeds are used by different African societies to treat gastrointestinal disorders. The astringent properties of these parts make them suitable in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and mouth ulcers. [4][7]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

Studies found that by pre-treating of rats with aqueous extracts of the leaves of Z. jujuba could reduce the toxic effects of alcohol on the liver. This is believed to be due to the antioxidant activities present in the leaves as evidenced by the significant reduction of ALT, AST, ALP and TP level while at the same time there was increase in catalase, glutathione preoxidase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase. There was also reduced morphological changes in the liver as observed on histopathological examination. This effects was presumed to be due to the presence of tannins, saponins and pheonlic compounds in the extract. [8]

It also found that the fruits of Z. jujuba have antioxidant activities due to the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. [9] 

Antidiabetic activity

Aqueous extract of the leaves of Z. jujuba was found to have significant hypoglycaemic activity when given to Wistar rats made diabetic by glucose loading and induction by injection of alloxan. The effects were comparable to those of glibenclamide [10]. Extracts of the seeds were also found to have hypoglycaemic activity [11].

Anticancer activity

The seed extract of Z. jujuba when tested against various cancer cell lines (HL-60, Molt-4, HeLa and normal cell line HGF and Ehrich Ascites carcinoma), showed marked inhibition of proliferation of HL-60 cells. There was apoptosis induction, prominent increase in Go population and DNA fragmentation in the HL-60 cells. The treatment of Ehrich Ascites carcinoma with various concentrations of the extracts showed reduction in tumour volume and viable tumour cell count and an improved haemoglobin content, RBC count and mean survival time, tumour inhibition and percentage life span. There was also enhanced antioxidant status in extract-treated animals as evidenced by the decline in levels of lipid peroxidation and increased levels of glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase. [11]

Immunomodulatory activity

Immunomodulatory effects of the seed extracts of Z. jujuba has been studied against both humoral and cell-mediated immune response. The results showed up-regulation of cell-mediated, humoral immune respons and Th-1 mediated cytokine IFN-gamma and decline in Th-2 mediated cytokine IL-4. [11]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Ziziphus jujuba Mill. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Aug 10]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2470699
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 843-844.
  3. Lim TK. Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants: Volume 5, fruits. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2013; p. 579.
  4. Booth FEM, Wickens GE. Non-timber uses of selected arid zone trees and shrubs in Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1988; p. 164-167.
  5. Hanelt P, editor. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops: (except ornamentals). Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2001; p. 1147.
  6. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramakutty C. Indian medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 5. Chennai: Orient Longman. 1996; p. 439
  7. Manandhar NP. Sanjay Manandhar, plants and people of Nepal. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2002; p. 486.
  8. Dahiru D, Obidoa O. Evaluation of the antioxidant effects of Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. Leaf extracts against chronic ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity in rat liver. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2007;5(1):39-45.
  9. Lamien-Meda A, Lamien CE, Compaoré MM, et al. Polyphenol content and antioxidant activity of fourteen wild edible fruits from Burkina Faso. Molecules. 2008;13(3):581-594.
  10. Cisse A, Ndiaye A, Lopez-Sall P, Seck F, Faye B, Faye B. [Antidiabetic activity of Zizyphus mauritiana Lam (Rhamnaceae)]. Dakar Med. 2000;45(2):105-107. French.
  11. Bhatia A, Mishra T Hypoglycemic activity of Ziziphus mauritiana aqueous ethanol seed extract in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Pharm Biol. 2010 Jun;48(6):604-610.