Out of the rank and file of modern trends, an interest in herbal medicines is one of the better found. Particularly when science shows a plant to be helpful with sleep. Of the many benefits of jujube seed, its usefulness for helping to induce and sustain slumber may be among the most useful for our chronically adrenal fatigued and sleep-deprived society.
What Is Jujube Seed?
For many people, the first thing jujube brings to mind is an overly sweet, artificially colored, chewy candy. They can be pardoned for this since popular treats have a way of embedding themselves into our consciousness. Also, jujube has a long tradition of being used as a sweetener in various goods.
More to the point, Jujube is a fruit similar to a date that grows on the Ziziphus jujuba tree and is native to many temperate regions of Asia. The fruit and the seed of this deciduous plant have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Currently, the evidence is amassing for the use of this bright red fruit and its unassuming seed in a variety of applications. In this article, we’ll hone in on the benefits of the lesser-known seed and give some tips on how you can begin to incorporate it into your life.
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What Are the Benefits of Jujube Seed?
Jujube seed, Semen Ziziphi Spinosae, has long been used in traditional medicines to treat psychiatric conditions and sleep disorders. Contemporary research into the efficacy of these uses is showing great promise.
For example, studies have shown that Jujuboside A, an herbal medicine extracted from the dried jujube seed, induces sleep faster, increases sleep duration, and protects the brain from oxidative stress, inflammation, and cognitive impairment.
One study showed that both flavonoids (beneficial plant compounds) and saponins (bitter, foamy, and sometimes toxic plant compounds) of the jujube seed impart a sedative and hypnotic effect. These results, along with additional research demonstrating increases in total sleep and REM sleep, show great promise for jujube seed in combatting insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Another study found that jujube seed helps reduce damage to the brain by shrinking plaques and promoting healthy neural growth via stimulating the nerve-promoting protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). In addition, a more recent review showed promise for jujube seed in modulating the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin. Together, these results suggest possible use in combating anxiety disorders in addition to Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
How Can I Use Jujube Seed? (and Dosage Information)
People most frequently consume Jujube seed as an extract or a capsule. The data is insufficient to give exact dosing instructions, but studies have included daily doses of 20-40 drops of extract and 5-15g via capsule. As with any supplement, it’s wise to seek advice from your doctor before beginning a regimen.
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As the favorable evidence mounts, demonstrating jujube seed to be a champion of mental health and sleep aid, it becomes increasingly appealing as an additional weapon to have in your arsenal. For who among us would scorn better, longer, more regenerative sleep? Or, for that matter, reject the notion of protecting and fortifying our brains against decline? Perhaps jujube is our key to having it all in a nutshell or, as the case may be, a seed pod.
- Tabassum, S., Misrani, A., Tang, L., Chen, J., Yang, L., & Long, C. (2018). Jujuboside A prevents sleep loss-induced disturbance of hippocampal neuronal excitability and memory impairment in young APP/PS1 mice. Scientific Reports, 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41114-3
- Jiang, J. G., Huang, X. J., Chen, J., & Lin, Q. S. (2007). Comparison of the sedative and hypnotic effects of flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides extracted from Semen Ziziphus jujube. Natural product research, 21(4), 310–320. https://doi.org/10.1080/14786410701192827
- Cao, J., Zhang, Q., Cui, S., Cui, X., Zhang, J., Zhang, Y., Bai, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2010). Hypnotic effect of jujubosides from Semen Ziziphi Spinosae. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 130(1), 163-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2010.03.023
- Kwon, H., Jung, I. H., Yi, J. H., Kim, J. H., Park, J. H., Lee, S., Jung, J. W., Lee, Y. C., Ryu, J. H., & Kim, D. H. (2017). The Seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa Attenuates Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated Hippocampal Synaptic Deficits through BDNF/TrkB Signaling. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 40(12), 2096–2104. https://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.b17-00378
- Rodríguez Villanueva, J., & Rodríguez Villanueva, L. (2017). Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology of Ziziphus jujuba Mills. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 31(3), 347–365. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5759
- Jujube Uses, Benefits & Dosage. (2022, April 14). Drugs.com. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.drugs.com/npp/jujube.html#28084039