Zizyphus

Zizyphus refers to the seed of Zizyphus jujuba, var. spinosa, often labeled simply as Zizyphus spinosa (see Figure 1). The Chinese name for the herb is suanzaoren [suan = sour; zao = date;ren = seed; hence, seed of the sour date], or just zaoren. This herb is related to the one commonly called jujube, which comes from the fruit of Zizyphus jujuba (see Figure 2); the Chinese name for jujube is dazao (da = large; a smaller, red variety is called hongzaohong = red). Both zizyphus and jujube are said to have sedative properties, with zizyphus being the primary sedative derived from a plant in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (the mineral cinnabar has long been relied upon as a sedative).

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