21 Amazing Benefits Of Jujube, How To Use It, & Side Effects

Harness the natural goodness of these Chinese dates in your wellness routine.

Medically reviewed by Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN Alexandra Dusenberry Alexandra DusenberryMS, RDN twitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Aparna Mallampalli BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Experience: 5 years

The many benefits of jujube fruit make it a must-have. For centuries, the jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) fruit has been used in Chinese medicine. It contains saponin and is beneficial for reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. Jujube is also known as red dates, Chinese dates, Korean dates, and Indian dates.

Mary Sabat, RD, LD, says, “Jujube is considered a superfood due to its high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.” It can relieve congestion caused by gastrointestinal issues. Aside from polysaccharides and flavonoids, it is full of nutrients. Jujube has shown promise in managing neurocognitive disordersi  A group of disorders linked with reduced mental function due to a disease other than a psychiatric illness. and cardiovascular disorders.

This article discusses the benefits of jujube fruit, its nutritional profile, how to consume it, and any potential side effects. Take a look.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Jujube

What Is It?
Oval fruit from the buckthorn plant family that turns purplish-brown and wrinkled when mature and tastes like an apple or dates.

What Are Its Benefits?
Its saponin content may help improve sleep and may aid in digestion as it has high fiber content.

Who Can Consume It?
Anyone can consume it except individuals who are taking anti-diabetic drugs and sedatives.

How Often?
It can be consumed daily in moderation.

Excessive intake may cause drowsiness, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.

What Is Jujube?

Whole and sliced jujube fruit in a bowl
Image: Shutterstock

Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) is a member of the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) of plants. It is a small deciduous shrub with shiny green leaves and yellowish-green flowers. The fruit is oval and green when unripe and purplish-brown and wrinkled (like a date) when mature. Though it has the consistency and taste of an apple when ripe, it tastes a lot like dates when mature.

protip_icon Trivia
Jujube tree produces fruits two times a year. One jujube tree produces around 5000 to 30000 fruits annually.

History Of Jujube Fruit

The earliest mention of jujube can be found in the Classic Of Odes, a Chinese anthology of poems dating back to the 6th century BC. It has also been used medicinally in China and other parts of Asia for at least 2500 years.

Jujube is thought to have originated from Syria and North Africa at least 3000 years ago. It then moved east towards southern Asia and, eventually, to China, where it is still widely grown. It is also found in Madagascar, Bulgaria, some  other parts of Europe, and in the islands of the Caribbean.

Though it had over 400 cultivars in China, an inferior range of jujube seedlings was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the Christian era. This eventually found its way to the United States in 1837. It wasn’t until 1908, though, that a better cultivar of jujube from China was brought to the US by the USDA.

Today, the jujube fruit is consumed for its important health benefits. We will explore them in the next section.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Jujube Fruit?

The jujube fruit is rich in calcium, potassium, saponins, flavonoids, betulinic acid, and vitamins A and C. It provides a line of defense from small aches and pains to chronic diseases.

1. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

Jujube extract is filled with phenolics that boost its antioxidant activity. This means that the antioxidant enzymes found in jujube work more swiftly to get rid of free radicalsi  Unstable oxygen-containing molecules that can harm body cells, lead to premature aging, and may trigger chronic diseases. and reduce cancer risk.

There are quite a few in-vitro studies that have proven the ability of jujube extract in preventing the spread of cancer cells. One study done at the University of Calabria showed that it could effectively slow down the spread of, and even kill, malignant breast cancer cells (1).

Another study done in Iran exhibited the ability of jujube extract in inhibiting the spread of cancerous tumor cell lines, especially that of leukemia (2).

2. May Treat Insomnia

Barbara Kovalenko, a nutrition consultant, says, “Jujubes have been used as a natural remedy for insomnia due to their calming effect on the body. The fruit is rich in compounds like serotonin and melatonin, which can help regulate sleep patterns and promote relaxation.”

Jujube has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve sleep and treat insomnia. The fruit contains saponins that have a sedative and hypnotic effect. Rat studies show that these compounds help induce sleep (3).

Having a cup of warm jujube tea right before you go to bed could give you restful sleep and help in the treatment of insomnia.

3. May Improve Heart Health

Woman smiling with her hands on her chest implying a healthy heart
Image: Shutterstock

Jujubes are loaded with potassium and are low in sodium. Potassium relaxes your blood vessels and helps regulate blood pressure levels (4).

The fruit has also been found to work as an antiatherogenic agent. It prevents fat from getting deposited in and clogging your arteries (5).

Jujube was also found to have helped lower the amount of lipids in the blood of obese adolescents. It could reduce the risk of heart disease in adolescents (6).

4. May Enhance Gastrointestinal Health

Consuming at least 40 milligrams of jujube a day may promote gastrointestinal health. It can improve the overall environment of your gastrointestinal region. The fruit also has important phytochemicalsi  Chemical compounds in food that prevent cell damage and eliminate the risk of cancer, heart attack, and other health conditions. that can benefit overall health (7).

In rat studies, jujube fruit extracts were found to have the potential to prevent gastric ulcers (8). Further studies are warranted to understand these effects in humans as well.

5. May Relieve Chronic Constipation

A study conducted by the Meir Medical Center in Israel found that consuming jujube extracts not only relieved the symptoms of chronic constipation but also improved the quality of life (9).

6. May Regulate Circulation

Optimum blood circulation means your organs are thoroughly oxygenated, and you feel generally fresher and full of energy. Consuming a few jujubes a day is a great idea as it is known to nourish blood (10).

The iron and phosphorus in the fruit may have a role to play in this regard. However, more research is warranted.

7. May Boost Immunity

This little fruit is packed with vitamins A and C that are powerful antioxidants. These essential nutrients fight free radical damage that can otherwise compromise the immune system and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and rapid aging. These nutrients achieve this by regulating the production of inflammatory cytokinesi  Small proteins that play a central role in controlling the growth and activity of other blood and immune system cells. (11).

In studies on rodents, jujube extracts were found to suppress the release of histamine. Histamine is a compound released by cells as a response to inflammatory reactions. The fruit possesses anti-allergic and anti-anaphylactic (preventing hypersensitivity) properties, which also improves respiratory health (12).

8. May Reduce Inflammation

Sabat says, “Studies suggest that jujube may reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain, which could be beneficial for those with arthritis.” The topical use of jujube extract may help relieve a number of muscle aches and joint pains. The seed oils of jujube were found to have anti-inflammatory properties (13).

9. May Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Traditionally, jujube has been used to treat the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. The fruit has a calming effect on the mind and body.

A study done on mice showed that jujube reduced anxiety when taken in lower doses and had a sedative effect when taken in higher doses (14). There are no studies done on humans that provide conclusive evidence for the same. But there is no harm in eating a handful of jujubes when you are feeling particularly stressed.

10. May Improve Bone Strength

Jujube fruit can be beneficial for the elderly or those with brittle bones. It has a high concentration of minerals needed for the formation of bones. This little fruit is filled with calcium and phosphorus that promote bone health (15), (16).

11. May Aid In Digestion

The jujube fruit contains fiber that helps regulate digestion. The nutrient ensures smooth and regular bowel movements. The fruit also has antibacterial properties. It acts against H. pylori, bacteria that are responsible for digestive ailments like peptic ulcersi  A gastrointestinal medical condition with open sores inside the upper portion of the small intestine and the stomach lining. and acidity (17).

12. May Help Maintain Weight

Jujube fruits are low in calories and have absolutely no fat. Additionally, they have a high fiber and protein content. Foods rich in protein and fiber are known to increase satiety and potentially help with weight maintenance/weight loss (18). The fruit could fill you up fast and keep you from indulging in unhealthy snacks between meals. Kovalenko says, “Additionally, the antioxidants in jujube can help reduce inflammation and support metabolism, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.”

13. May Help Detoxify Blood

Jujube has anti-inflammatory properties (13). These may help detox blood. However, there is no research to support this. Fighting inflammation could be a way to flush out toxins and boost immunity. But more information is needed in this regard.

14. May Protect Against Brain Damage

The brain cells start degenerating with age. This increases the risk of a number of neurological disorders. Jujube is capable of calming the mind. Studies state that the fruit could be a potential candidate in the treatment of neurological diseases (19).

Jujube also may improve the functioning of astrocytes that are responsible for protecting the neurons (20).

15. May Improve Cognitive Function

Mice studies show that jujube extract may boost memory (21). Jujube extract also boosted nerve cell growth and development in the dentate gyrus area in mice. The dentate gyrus is one of the two areas in the brain where new nerve cells develop (22).

16. May Protect Against Seizures

An experimental study done on seizure-induced mice showed some promising effects of jujube extract on them. The study found that mice that had been treated with jujube extract before being induced with seizures exhibited improved learning and memory and reduced oxidative stress as compared to the control group. Hence, jujube extract may significantly reduce brain damage caused by seizures (23).

17. May Exhibit Antimicrobial Properties

Jujube fruit can help fight infections since it is rich in immune boosting phytochemicals. The flavonoids found in jujube have been proven to be potent antimicrobial agents (24). In fact, the ethanolic extract of this fruit has been found to help in treating infections in children (25).

Also, the betulinic acid found in jujubes has been found to fight HIV and influenza virus infection in experimental studies (26), (27).

18. May Benefit Skin Health

Woman with healthy skin
Image: Shutterstock

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of jujube may help in treating acne, blemishes, and scars. However, direct research is lacking in this area.

Jujube has been found to relieve the itchiness caused by eczema (28). It has also shown the potential to inhibit the spread of melanoma (skin cancer) (29).

19. May Increase Hair Growth

The application of jujube essential oil on shaved mice for 21 days resulted in their hair growing back longer and thicker as compared to the control group (30). The oil may possess hair growth-promoting activity. However, more studies are needed to understand the same effects in humans.

20. May Improve Ovarian Health

A study conducted by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran) used a herbal product of jujube, called Shilanum, to treat ovarian cysts. At the end of the study, they found this natural formula to be just as effective in treating ovarian cysts as birth control pills (they are usually prescribed for this condition). The formula also caused relatively fewer side effects (31). However, more studies with larger sample sizes are recommended.

21. May Help Remove Breast Milk Toxins

In a study conducted in Iran, lactating mothers were made to eat 15 grams of fresh jujubes a day for two months to test its effect on the levels of lead and cadmium in their breast milk. At the end of the trial, they found that the women who had eaten jujubes had lower levels of these toxic elements in their milk as opposed to the control group (32).

22. Boosts Fertility And Fetal Health

In certain Asian cultures, the sweet scent of the jujube fruit is believed to ignite love. The fruit has been used as a symbol of fertility for newlyweds too. Beyond these legends, jujubes also provide benefits for fertility. They are rich in folic acid that may support blood cell generation and fetal development. Additionally, they contain zinc that is crucial for fetal brain development and cognitive function (33). They have key active components, like vitamin C, phenolics, flavonoids, triterpenic acids, and polysaccharides, that provide nutrition. The jujube fruit also has anticancer, antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and gastrointestinal-protective protectives that improve overall health (34).

However, it’s important to consume jujubes in moderation during pregnancy, as excessive intake can be harmful. Some pregnant women turn to jujubes for relief from morning sickness and abdominal discomfort, but it’s advisable to consult with a doctor.

Now that we know the various ways Indian jujube benefits your health. In the following section, we will take a look at its nutritional profile.

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy22 Kcal1%
Carbohydrates5.66 g2%
Total Fat0.06 g0%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary FiberNilNil
Vitamin A11.12 IU0%
Vitamin C19.3 mg32%
Thiamin0.0 mg0%
Riboflavin0.0 mg1%
Vitamin B-60.0 mg1%
Vitamin B-120.0 mcg0%
Calcium6 mg1%
Iron0.13 mg mg1%
Magnesium3 mg1%
Phosphorous6 mg1%
Potassium70 mg2%
Sodium1 mg0%
Zinc0.01 mg0%
Water21.80 g
Ash0.1 g

Jujube could be a new fruit to some of you. Though it can be eaten like any other fruit, it can also be included in your diet in other ways.

How To Use Jujube

Dried jujube as a snack
Image: Shutterstock

From culinary to medicinal and cultural, there are many ways jujube is used by people around the world. Here’s a rundown of some of its most important uses:

  • Fresh and dried jujubes are eaten as a snack all over the world.
  • Jujube flavored tea syrup and teabags are widely consumed in China and Korea.
  • In some parts of India, jujube is also used to make pickles.
  • Croatians use jujube fruit to make marmalades and juices.
  • Jujube is majorly used in the Chinese medicine practice of Kampo for its anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The leaves of the jujube plant are dried and used as potpourri in Bhutan.
  • Koreans use the wood of jujube plant to make a wide variety of things like bowls, beads, violin parts, and a double reed instrument called taepyeongso.

Nurul, a blogger, shares his personal experience of eating jujube fruit and sheds light on her extreme fascination for the fruit. He adds, “By far my favourite way to eat them is by squashing them in Bamboo (i).” He further adds, “I remember eating them directly from the trees ripe. Even with worms-we would just bit the part with the wormhole off (and hopefully not discover half a worm… :-)) and gobbled them up!!”

protip_icon Trivia
The pigment extracted from jujube is used to dye silk in Myanmar (formerly Burma).

You may also try the following jujube recipe.

Jujube Fruit Recipe

Jujube Butter Oatmeal Bars

  • 2 cups jujube fruit (chopped)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks butter (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 9×9 pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Pour the jujubes and apple cider into a saucepan and heat them until they start boiling. Lower the flame and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Puree the cooked jujubes until you get a smooth paste.
  4. In a big bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix them with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the butter and stir the mixture until it starts coming together like a dough, without any dry patches.
  6. Separate half of the dough and keep it aside for later.
  7. Combine the pecans with the rest of the dough.
  8. Grease the bottom and sides of your pan with butter.
  9. Pat the dough you reserved earlier (without the nuts) into the bottom of the pan.
  10. Spread the jujube butter evenly on top of the dough.
  11. Add and pat down the rest of the dough (with the nuts).
  12. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top has slightly browned.

Let it cool before cutting it into bars or squares.

How To Select And Store Jujube Fruit

Jujube is available from July to November. If you are looking to buy fresh jujubes, make sure you pick ones that are light green and firm. Dried jujubes are usually sold in packets.

Store fresh jujubes on the counter if you mean to consume them within 3-4 days. They will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Dried jujubes can be stored and used for several months. However, the fruit may have certain side effects you want to be aware of.

What Are The Side Effects Of Jujube?

Woman experiencing constipation after eating jujube
Image: Shutterstock

As per anecdotal evidence, consuming large amounts of jujubes may cause drowsiness, diarrhea, reduced appetite, constipation, bloating, and malaise in rare cases. Hence, consult your doctor.

Fortunately, jujube does not have any side effects that are a major cause of concern. However, those with diabetes may have to avoid this fruit. Jujube’s carbohydrate content may affect blood sugar levels.

Infographic: Nutrients And Benefits Of Jujube

Jujube or jujuba fruit is a small purplish-brown fruit known for its unique taste. It is also known as Chinese date or red date. If included as part of the diet, this fruit offers an array of health benefits that can be attributed to its beneficial nutrients.

Learn more about the nutrients and benefits of jujube from the infographic below.

nutrients and benefits of jujube (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Jujube is a fruit native to Africa, that tastes like dates when ripe. Rich in calcium, potassium, flavonoids, and vitamins, the benefits of jujube are significant and many. It not only helps reduce inflammations and improve your cardiac and gastro-intestinal health but may also play a role in cancer prevention and cognitive disorders. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help improve your skin and hair health as well. You can consume it as it is or make it into tea, jams, and marmalades to reap its many benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to eat jujube fruit?

You can eat jujube just as you would eat an apple – either by cutting it into slices or whole. Just make sure you remove the seed in the center.

What does jujube taste like?

Fresh jujubes taste like sweet apples, while dry jujubes taste similar to dates.

What is jujube tea good for?

Jujube tea is good for treating constipation and insomnia and reducing anxiety.

What is jujube extract?

Jujube extract that people usually refer to is the extract taken from the seed of jujube. It is also known as Semen Ziziphi Spinosae.

Is jujube good for pregnant women?

Yes, women can eat jujube when they are pregnant as it is rich in folate and antioxidants. However, they should limit its consumption as may cause constipation when overeaten.

How long does it take for jujube plant to bear fruit?

The plant starts bearing fruits within 12 months.

Can those with diabetes eat jujube fruit?

The research on the effect of jujube on those with diabetes is not conclusive. Since jujube is rich in nutrition and fiber, it may be beneficial for people with diabetes. However, the high sugar content in it could be a reason unsupervised consumption is not encouraged.

Is jujube good for chronic kidney disease?

An animal study indicated that jujube derivatives may improve kidney function and symptoms of anemia (36). However, human studies are warranted to support this claim.

How many jujubes can I eat a day?

You may eat a handful of fresh 5-7 jujubes each day. However, limit your intake of dried jujubes as they are higher in calories and carbohydrates.

Key Takeaways

  • Jujube contains carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and protein.
  • It may treat cancer and insomnia, improve heart and gastrointestinal health, and enhance bone density.
  • It also maintains weight, detoxifies the blood, and protects against brain damage and seizure.
  • Store jujube in the refrigerator and consume it within 3-4 days.
  • Overconsuming Jujube may cause bloating, nausea, drowsiness, diarrhea, and increased blood sugar.
benefits of jujube

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn about jujube fruit’s amazing nutrition facts and health benefits! Dive into this video to discover why this superfood is a must-have in your diet.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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Alexandra Dusenberry is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a certified personal trainer based in San Diego, California. She has 6 years of experience and works with clients around the world to help them reach their health and fitness goals. She believes that food is medicine and proper nutrition is healing and essential for wellbeing and quality of life. Alexandra enjoys...read full bio

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