Perhaps, a very few people have heard of such a plant as a ziziphus, which belongs to the buckthorn's bloodline. It is also called "unabi" (or "Chinese date"), as well as "jujube". Such a strange and somewhat funny name for us, the ziziphus received due to its wide distribution in East Asia, Japan and Australia.
Today, this plant grows calmly in the regions with a temperate climate, and therefore the zyziphus can be safely planted in your own garden. The most valuable in the plant are berries − round or ovoid. The ziziphus berry's rind is smooth, and during ripening it acquires a brown shade. Its flesh is unusually sweet and juicy.
The ziziphus is considered a very useful medical product. It is widely used for therapeutic purposes, and for the treatment not only berries, but also other parts of the plant− seeds, leaves and stems are used. The ziziphus fetuses are very fragile, and they rind quickly burst and deteriorate, losing all useful properties. Therefore, it is very important to collect the ziziphus' berries on time, not allowing the "fruit sleepiness".
Useful Properties of Ziziphysus
This plant's berries contain a huge amount of vitamins and micro-elements that help the body in various pathogenic situations. In their composition there are other useful substances − the ash, the catechins, the tannins and organic acids, a sufficient amount of pectin. The amount of vitamin C in the ziziphus exceeds its content even in "record" products − the lemons, and is approaching the currant or the sea-buckthorn. Among other useful substances in them are:
- the carotene and the tocopherol;
- a sufficient amount of thiamine and riboflavin;
- the flavonoids, etc.
About 10% of the total useful composition of ziziphus are tannins, flavonoids and resins. About 2.5% of composition contains the organic acids - malic, tartaric and succinic, folic acid is present. Up to 30% of total composition is occupied by the sugars. About 3.7% of composition − is the fatty oils.
Regular, but the moderate consumption of ziziphus berries helps rejuvenate the cells, cleanse the body of harmful toxins, cholesterol and slags, various metals and other harmful liquids. Ziziphus helps regulate the biliary excretion and strengthens the functionality of liver. The lactation is improved in the nursing mothers, so the ziziphus helps increase and improve the quality of breast milk.
This ziziphus stimulates the work of nervous system, helps calm and provide a light anesthetic effect. For example, after chewing the ziziphus leaves you will surely get rid of toothache or reduce the development of stomatitis. The plant's leaves contain substances that block the sensitivity of taste buds, which can also help in some other unpleasant situations.
This plant has the excellent anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, and therefore, its berries are recommended for the treatment and prevention of diseases of genitourinary system. The ziziphus is useful for the cystitis, the nephritis and the urolithiasis.
Its benefits are also observed in the fight against colds and respiratory diseases. On the basis of this product make broths that are effective in the whooping cough and the bronchitis, the tracheitis or the pharyngitis.
A useful effect of ziziphus at the constipation and the controlling diarrhea is noted. So, with constipation it is necessary to eat the ripe berries of the plant, and with diarrhea, on the contrary − not mature. Since the ziziphus berries contain a large amount of dietary fibre, they are useful for abatement of the weight, having a diuretic effect. The ziziphus is useful and at such a disease as the hypertension. It is positively affected the immune system, greatly enhancing it.
The tinctures from the seeds of this plant have a sedative effect. Doctors recommend ziziphus at neurosis, insomnia and hysteria. Also, the broths help improve the digestion and will be useful for the people suffering from the tachycardia. With diarrhea, the infusion on the basis of the ziziphus bark effectively works. And the leaves of this plant have an expectorant effect.
Contraindications and Harm
Of course, like in many other useful products, there is a raw of contraindications in the ziziphus. So, the berries of this plant can become harmful if you misuse them. It is the best to use the ziziphus for the brewing of broths and teas. However, take care that there is no individual intolerance.
The ziziphus berries are not recommended for the people suffering from the hypertension. This does not mean that they cannot be eaten at all, but taking them, it is worth keeping an eye on the blood pressure. Also, there are the ziziphus contra-indications for the individual groups of people.
Useful Recipes of Ziziphus
Since ziziphus has a rich and useful composition, it finds its application both in cooking, and in the cosmetology and the folk-medicine. Therefore, we consider some simple and effective recipes for the preparation of ziziphus.
A decoction of ziziphus. For cooking take five-ten fetuses of the described plant, pour boiling water (half a litre) and boil in the water bath for 30 minutes. Then, cool, filter, the berries squeezed, bring by the boiling water to the original volume.
Such decoction of the ziziphus berries will also help normalize the blood pressure, but for this to happen, it must be consumed daily for three months. Using the ziziphus, many people immediately feel the beneficial effect of flavonoids − the blood circulation improves, the blood pressure normalizes, the heart's work improves.
A tea from the ziziphus calms the nerves, normalizes the sleep, relieve the anxiety. For its preparation take 10-15 berries and fill with a litre of boiling water, let it brew for 10-15 minutes and add a honey to taste. The useful properties of honey will strength the soothing effect relieve the insomnia gently and without adaptation.
A decoction from the plant's roots is used as a strengthening agent for the hair; rubbing it into the scalp, you cannot only restore your hair, but also prevent hair loss. Other folk-recipes from hair loss also give a positive effect.
Syrup based on the ziziphus. Sort out the berries, prick off each with a fork and weigh. Depending on their amount, cook the syrup. For 2.2 lb of berries, take 1.8 lb of sugar (for the foodies it can be taken and 2.2 lb); about 0.03 lb of citric acid and 12.7 oz of water (if you take 2.2 lb of sugar, then take two cups of water). Boil the mixture.
The berries are put in a convenient container (in it you will then boil the jam) and pour over by the boiling syrup. Allow the mixture to stand for eight hours (the process of preparing to boiling can be done in advance, in the evening, in order to cook the jam in the morning).
In the morning boil the mixture of berries and syrup, cook it on a small fire for 25 minutes and pour over into the cans, which also in advance must be sterilized. Close with the hermetical lids and leave the mixture to cool, then, transfer the cans to a cool and dark place.
A jam's recipe to reduce pressure. For such a jam it is better to use the solid unripe fruits. Cook the syrup from 0.5-1.8 lb of granulated sugar and 34 oz of water for each 2.2 lb of ziziphus. Berries wash; prick off each with a fork and place in a saucepan. Pour over them the prepared syrup and boil for a couple of minutes. Turn off the fire and set the mixture aside for seven hours. Remove the seeds and rub the berries with a blender so that useful skin's nutrients are preserved in it. Only in this case, the healing properties of jam will be maximal. Stirring, bring the berries' mass to a boil over a low heat and boil for five minutes. Turn off the fire and immediately pour the jam into the sterilized cans, close with the hermetical lids. After cooling, the fragrant jam from the ziziphus thickens.