The Chinese date or jujube, zao,
is also called da zao (great date) and hong zao (red date). (Whenever dates
are mentioned in Chinese traditional medicine the reference is to this
It is a deciduous tree that can reach a height of 10 meters. The fruit is
oval, and slightly rectangular, 30-50mm long. It ripens in the summer and
the beginning of autumn. When ripe the surface of the fruit is yellow or
deep red. The flesh is cream colored, crisp and refreshing when eaten. The
flavor is slightly sweet, with a fragrant smell. Inside is a hard stone
with a double point. Its nature is neither hot nor cold.
The fruit can promote vital energy, benefit the spleen, nourish the blood
and refresh and calm the mind. It contains carbohydrate, protein, oil,
vitamins A, B2, C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, malic acid and tartrate, etc.
1. POOR BLOOD, BLOOD DEFICIENCY, ANEMIA. Take 15 grams of black dates, 9 grams of longan pulp and 30 grams of brown sugar. Steam in water and eat both liquid and
solids. Do this once a day and continue to take a daily dose over a long
2. NOURISHMENT AFTER CHILDBIRTH. Take 30 grams of red dates, one
egg, 4 slices of fresh ginger and 30 grams of brown sugar. Cover with water,
steam and serve. Do this once a day for 15-30 days.
3. WEAKNESS AND LOSS OF WEIGHT. Take 30 grams of fresh fruit or red dates. Eat them every evening for a long period until an
improvement can be seen.
4. CONVALESCING FROM HEPATITUS OR TUBERCULOSIS. Take one (Chinese) soup
spoon of great date tonic every day both in the morning and in
5. INSOMNIA AND INTERRUPTED SLEEP. Take 30 grams of red dates
and 5 bulbs of white onions, add water and steam till cooked. Serve both
liquid and solids. Eat every night before going to bed.
6. ALLERGIC PURPURA. Take 30-60 grams of red date wash clean and
eat. Do this 3 times a day for 5 days.
7. FEELING OF WEAKNESS WITH SWEATING; SUPERFICIAL ASTHENIA WITH SPONTANEOUS
PERSPIRATION. Take 30 grams of red date, 30 grams of root of
milk vetch (Astragalus membranaceus) and 6 grams of sliced hawthorn berries. Cover with water, steam and serve, both in the morning and in
8. WEAK STOMACH AND SPLEEN LEADING TO FREQUENT STOMACH COLDNESS AND PAIN;
FAECES SEMI-LIQUID WITH DIARRHEA. Take 30 grams of red date, 30
grams of huai shan and 2 slices of fresh ginger. Add water, boil till
cooked then mash and serve. do this once a day f or 10 days.
9. IRRITABILITY DURING MENOPAUSE; MENOPAUSAL PARANOID STATE. Take 30 grams
of great date, 15 grams of huai shan, 15 grams of wheat, 15
grams of liquorice root. Cover with water, steam and serve. Do this in the
morning and again in the evening.
1. RED DATE OR GREAT DATE. Take fresh fruit and place in the sun to dry.
Leave until the surface gradually changes to deep red with a gloss. This is
then called red date or great date.
2. BLACK DATE. Place fresh fruit in a covered pot and steam with a little
water till cooked. Remove the fruit and dry them in the air. When dry smoke
them over a fire until the skin is wrinkled and black (but still with a
glossy appearance). this is called black date.
3. GREAT DATE TONIC. Take 1500 grams of fresh fruit or 500 grams of red
dates. Remove the stones, add water and boil, then
mash into a paste. Dissolve in 500 grams of sugar and the tonic is ready to
EDITOR'S NOTE. The preserved jujube is usually sold in the west as Chinese
dates. The tree grows wild in many parts of northern Australia where it is
called Chinese Apple and is regarded as a pest. No attempt has been made to
exploit it commercially. It was introduced by Chinese gold miners in the