Since a blood test early this year showed that I have very low blood count, I have been consuming red dates and black dates every day. To recap, I have a uterine fibroid (submucosal) that causes me heavy menstruation every month. As a result, I am anemic.
My mil would boil a pot of red dates and black dates tonic every other day. This dates tonic nourishes the blood and is popularly consumed by mothers in confinement and those recuperating from a surgery. On days when there is no dates tonic, I would eat about 4-5 organic red dates (pits removed) and a handful of organic goji berries.
Black jujubes are fresh Chinese dates that have been smoked. This is a “warm” (yang) food that helps nourish yin and reinforce blood; it is more effective in blood reinforcement than fresh jujubes. Eating a few every day is very beneficial for the kidneys (which control the reproductive system) and liver.
In China, where jujube originated, practitioners of traditional medicine have long prized the jujube for its medicinal properties. Once confined largely to China, the fruit now grows in many areas of the world, including southern Europe and the southern United States. Consult your doctor before using dried jujube or any herbal remedy.
So why are jujubes (Chinese red dates) good for women? The main biologically active components of jujubes are vitamin C, phenolics, flavonoids, triterpenic acids, and polysaccharides. It also contains 18 out of the 24 important amino acids which helps in the formation of more than 50,000 proteins of the body. Jujubes are also rich in carotene, B vitamins, flavonoids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and other nutrients.
- Jujubes contain 70 to 80 times more vitamin C than in apples and grapes and 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit. Vitamin C is the nutrient responsible for creating and maintaining collagen. This antioxidant strengthens blood vessels and gives skin its elasticity and strength.
- The powerful antioxidants and organic compounds found in jujube is why this fruit has been labeled as the herbal elixir of life as people claimed it guarantees youthful looking skin.
- The calcium, phosphorus and iron play an important role in preventing osteoporosis and anemia, both common in women.
- Jujube is rich in cyclic adenosine monophosphate, one of essential substances in the body’s energy metabolism. It enhances muscle strength, eliminates fatigue, dilates blood vessels, and prevents and treats of cardiovascular diseases.
- Polysaccharides in jujubes can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and increase calcium absorption. Polysaccharides also supports positive mood, stops the effects of fatigue and acts as an anti-inflammatory by supporting the body’s anti-inflammatory processes.
A team of Iranian researchers at the Vaccine and Serum Research Institute in Mashhad conducted in vitro tests to evaluate the ability of dried jujube extract to inhibit growth or induce cell death in a variety of human tumor cell lines. Scientists used the MTT colorimetric assay to measure the degree to which water extract of dried jujube reduced the proliferation of tumor cells. Although the jujube extract inhibited tumor cell proliferation in all lines, it displayed the greatest effect against Jurkat leukemia cells. In a report in the February 2008 issue of “Cytotechnology,” researchers said their findings confirm dried jujube’s cytotoxic properties against a variety of cancer cell lines and urged further study to identify the mechanisms through which jujube works.
Diabetics can benefit from jujube fruit when it is used as a medicinal rub for cuts and sores. Many diabetics suffer from poor circulation and neuropathy, which causes nerve damage, especially in the legs and feet. A study published by the “Journal of Natural Medicines” and conducted at the I.S.F. College of Pharmacy found that jujube fruit can be a therapeutic anti-inflammatory agent. Using jujube fruit as a medicinal rub for cuts may help heal the wound because of its anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Popular jujubes related Chinese herbal formulas
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that it is sweet and warm in properties. It covers two meridians, including spleen and stomach. Its basic functions are to tonify middle-Jiao and Qi and nourish blood for tranquillization. Main jujube fruit uses and indications are diarrhea due to insufficiency of the spleen, palpitations, insomnia, night sweats, anemia and so on. Dried jujube also reinforces energy, nourishes the blood, soothes the nerves and neutralizes toxic side effects of some medicine.
Try buying organic jujubes or those without sulfur. Buy them from a trusted seller and ask if sulfur is used.
Before consuming jujubes, consult a medical professional if you are suffering or are at risk of diabetes as the fruit contains fructose which can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels.