Anyone who has been to Asia, or a Chinese supermarket, will probably have come across this sweet dried fruit. Jujubes, or Chinese red dates, are a popular snack and can also be used as a tea or put into soups for their therapeutic and medicinal properties. In TCM they are said to strengthen blood and yang energy, benefit stomach and spleen, calm the nerves and soothe sore throats. Jujubes are beneficial for people with weak digestion with diarrhea. High in vitamin C, minerals and fiber, they help reduce cholesterol, aid flexibility of blood vessels, and are good for the immune system. Three jujubes per day are sufficient for most purposes.
Varieties of jujubes include:
This dark red Chinese date is most commonly used in TCM to increase energy and aid digestion. It is nutrition-dense and contains more vitamin C per unit than apples and peaches. However, it should be avoided by those with blood sugar problems because of its high sugar content.
This variety is used to help prevent the hardening of blood vessels and arteries.
The Ziziphus jujube is neutral in energy and helps soothe nerves and nourish the heart. It is often prescribed for insomnia and night sweats. It is rich in vitamins A and C, calcium and phosphorous, and is recommended for growing children. It is considered an anti-aging food, and helps reduce blood fat and prevent hardening of the arteries.
These black jujubes are fresh Chinese dates that have been smoked. They are considered to be more effective in strengthening blood than fresh jujubes. Eating a few each day nourishes yin energy and is beneficial to kidneys and liver.
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