Zizyphus (Suan Zao Ren) 

Latin:  zizyiphus jujuba var. spinosa

Family:  Rhamnaceae

Parts Used:  Seed

Taste/Energetics:  Sweet, sour, neutral

Properties:  Anxiolytic, nervous system tonic, sedative, hepatic tonic

Actions:  This is a traditional Chinese medicine herb that has long been used for nourishing the heart, settling the spirit and helping those with insomnia, restlessness, night sweats, high blood pressure and palpitations.   Like many fruits, zizyphus is nourishing with lots of vitamin C and antioxidants.   In Chinese medicine, suan zao ren is also known for strengthening “Liver yin and blood”, helpful for those who appear frustrated, impatient, weak, pale with signs of heat such as dry eyes and throat and constipation.

Dosage:  1-3 grams as powder, 2-4 tsp in decoction of a pint of water for 40 mins to 2 x/day.  Generally this is an herb that likes to be in a formula.   The classic formula for sleep is called Suan Zao Ren Tang which has five herbs in it and the combination is very helpful for an overheated, wired, restless, deficient type (See recipes).

Contraindications:  None.  This is a very gentle plant.