- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: wild jujube
Other Names: Chinese jujube, Ziziphus jujuba, Zizyphus spinosa, Ziziphus mauritania, suan zao ren
Drug Class: Herbals
What is wild jujube, and what is it used for?
Wild jujube is a thorny shrub of the Ziziphus genus, with edible fruit, the size of an olive and with texture and flavor of an apple. There are many species of Ziziphus, and of these, Ziziphus jujuba, also known as red date or Chinese date native to China, and Ziziphus mauritania native to India are the most studied.
Wild jujube fruit, seed, and leaf have been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine systems for years in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, gastrointestinal and other ailments, however, scientific research to back most of the uses is lacking.
Wild jujube fruit is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, gastrointestinal protective, sedative, and neuroprotective properties. The pharmacological properties of jujube may come from the various nutrients that it contains, including vitamins, flavonoids, amino acids, organic acids, and polysaccharides. Wild jujube also appears to lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
Wild jujube fruit is eaten raw and is used to make jams, preserves, and other products. The fruit, seed extracts, and powders of leaf, bark, and stem have been used traditionally for medicinal purposes. Some suggested uses of wild jujube include:
- Wild jujube may lower blood sugar. Use with caution if you are diabetic and taking antidiabetic drugs.
- Stop taking wild jujube at least 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery because it may:
- Interfere with anesthesia and other medications
- Reduce the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels during and after surgery
- Check with your physician before taking jujube if you are taking antidepressants. Concurrent use with certain antidepressants, although rare, may cause serotonin syndrome, a life-threatening reaction.
What are the side effects of wild jujube?
Common side effects of wild jujube include:
- Decrease in blood glucose level (hypoglycemia)
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of wild jujube?
There are no established standard doses for wild jujube.
- Seed extract: 10-18 g decocted in water orally once daily
- There is no information on wild jujube overdose, however, it is unlikely to cause any serious symptoms. Overdose may be treated with symptomatic and supportive care
What drugs interact with wild jujube?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Wild jujube has no listed severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Wild jujube consumed as a fruit in small quantities during pregnancy is likely acceptable. Avoid the medicinal use of wild jujube products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Avoid taking any herbal product including wild jujube, without first checking with your healthcare provider, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What else should I know about wild jujube?
- Wild jujube fruit is possibly safe for most adults. Medicinal use of wild jujube seed, leaf, or fruit in recommended doses for a short period is possibly safe.
- Take wild jujube supplements exactly as per label instructions. Natural products are not necessarily safe always and following suggested dosing is important.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement, including wild jujube, particularly if you have any health conditions or taking regular medications.
- Herbal products often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the wild jujube product you choose.
- Wild jujube is marketed as a dietary supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
- Store wild jujube safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.
Wild jujube fruit, seed, and leaf have been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine systems for years in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, gastrointestinal and other ailments, however, scientific research to back most of the uses is lacking. Wild jujube may lower blood sugar. Use with caution if you are diabetic and taking antidiabetic drugs. Stop taking wild jujube at least 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery. Common side effects of wild jujube include drowsiness and decrease in blood glucose level (hypoglycemia). Avoid the medicinal use of wild jujube products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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