Unabi (Chinese date or ziziphus): useful properties and contraindications, composition, calorie content, taste

Unabi (Chinese date or ziziphus): useful properties and contraindications, composition, calorie content, taste

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The healing properties of the Chinese date unabi are well known in the east. There, for thousands of years, different parts of the plant have been used to treat mental and physical ailments, achieving impressive results. In the southern regions of the countries of the former Soviet Union, traditions are not so ancient, but there are also known useful properties and contraindications of ziziphus. Crimean sanatoriums, for example, recommend that hypertensive patients, instead of taking medication, eat 20 fresh small unabi fruits after meals three times a day.

What is "unabi"

Ziziphus jujuba or Ziziphus Present - a species of the genus Ziziphus, buckthorn family (Zhosterovye). It is known under various names - jujuba or jujuba, Chinese date, hinap, unabi, juju. Sometimes on the Internet jojoba is added to the list for unknown reasons. But this plant has so little in common with ziziphus that they are united only by the class - Dicotyledons.

Photo of Chinese date unabi

What does zizyphus look like

Unabi is a large bush or small tree 5-12 m high with an openwork spreading crown. This is a branchy species, in which only skeletal shoots are permanent, characterized by a thick, dark, smooth bark, cracking with age. Fruit branches are claret, fall off in late autumn, and grow back in spring. In species Ziziphus and some varieties, they are covered with thorns.

Ziziphus leaves are 3 to 7 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, in the shape of an elongated oval with a pointed tip and a rounded base. To the touch, they are quite dense, glossy, differing in two pronounced longitudinal stripes framing the central vein.

The greenish-yellow flowers of the unabi have an original stellate shape. In late spring or early summer, when the buds bloom, they densely dot the young branches, hold on for a long time, and do not open at the same time. The flowering period is extended for two or three months, which only adds decorativeness to the plant.

Photo of the ziziphus tree (unabi) during flowering and the beginning of fruiting

Ziziphus fruit is a drupe with two seeds. In species plants, their length reaches 2 cm, and their weight is 25 g. Varietal unabis can be twice as heavy, and reach a size of 5 cm.Their shape is varied - almost round, oval, pear-shaped, but the color always changes from greenish-yellow to brown , only the shade differs. Sometimes the fruits of the ziziphus are covered with characteristic specks.

Unripe unabis can be juicy and have an apple flavor. After fully ripening, their pulp becomes mealy and very sweet, which is why ziziphus is often called the Chinese date.

Unabi fruits ripen at the same time due to extended flowering. They begin to be harvested in October, and finish just before the frost. Even fully ripe zizyphus fruits hang on the branches for a long time - there they wither, but this only makes them tastier.

In the fifth zone or in a rainy summer, the unabis may not have time to fully keep up. Then they are collected greenish, "brought" in a closed warm room.

Important! Since the growing season of ziziphus begins late, and flower buds are formed this year on branches growing in spring, return frosts cannot damage the crop.

The unabi grown from the seed begins to bear fruit in 3-4 years. The grafted variety can bloom for the next season. Ziziphus lives up to 100 years, 50 of which bears fruit regularly and abundantly, another 25-30 - giving more than 50% of the possible harvest.

Photo of unabi fruits

How it grows

For normal growth and fruiting, Ziziphus needs hot, dry weather in summer, cool in winter. During the dormant period, the most comfortable temperature is slightly above or below 0 ° C. In regions with hot and severe winters, it is equally difficult to grow unabi.

Soils for ziziphus are suitable for almost any - from very poor to black soil, with a wide range of acidity. It is important that they are drained.

Unabi is an extremely heat-resistant crop. At a temperature of 40 ° C, its leaves do not even wither. The plant does not need irrigation, and in a rainy summer it gives a meager harvest - the ovaries crumble from high humidity.

Opinions differ on the resistance of ziziphus to low temperatures. According to official data, at -20 ° C, some of the branches freeze out, but then they are restored. And since the unabi harvest is formed on the growth of the current year, the fruiting does not suffer at the same time.

Where grows

Ziziphus was domesticated more than 4 thousand years ago, and in many regions it has become an invasive species. It is believed that his homeland is the territory of modern Lebanon, southern and central China, northern India. Wild unabi thickets, in addition to the ancestral home, can be found on some Caribbean islands, Madagascar, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Japan, the Himalayas.

Unabi is a valuable food and medicinal crop, grown wherever the climate permits. He needs hot dry summers, cool wintering - no higher than 5-10 ° С. In Africa it is too hot for Ziziphus Present - other species of the genus Ziziphus are popular there.

On the territory of the former Soviet Union, unabi grows in the Crimea, Central Asia, Moldova, on the Black Sea coast, the Caucasus. The varieties created recently have significantly expanded the geography of the culture. More resistant to frost than the species plant, they are planted not only in the Krasnodar Territory, but also in the Voronezh or Rostov regions.

In other regions, ziziphus can safely yield a harvest for several years if there are mild winters, and then freeze out partially or completely. Covering an adult plant is difficult due to its size.

Photo of unabi trees growing on a plantation in Crimea

How to eat ziziphus

Unabi fruits are eaten fresh, unripe, when their taste is similar to an apple, and ripe - then the pulp becomes mealy, like a date.

Dried ziziphus is consumed like other dried fruits, and some Arab tribes grind and use it as a bread substitute.

Berries are widely used in cooking.

Composition and calorie content of ziziphus

The composition of fresh and dried unabi fruits contains the same nutrients, but their amount in 100 g of the product is noticeably different.

Composition of Ziziphus fruits




40 mcg



0.48 mg

1.8 mg

calorie content

79 kcal

287 kcal


20.23 g

73.6 g


0.2 g

1.1 g


1.2 g

3.7 g


77.86 g

19,7 g


IN 1

0.02 mg

0.21 mg

IN 2

0.04 mg

0.36 mg

IN 3

0.9 mg

0.5 mg

AT 6

0.81 mg



69 mg

13 mg

Trace elements


21 mg

79 mg


250 mg

531 mg


10 mg

37 mg


0.084 mg

0.305 mg


3 mg

9 mg


23 mg

100 mg


0.05 mg

0.19 mg

In addition, the composition of ziziphus contains:

  • polysaccharides;
  • alkaloids;
  • flavonoids;
  • saponins;
  • organic acids.

What unabi helps from

The fruits, bark, leaves, seeds and roots of ziziphus have been used since ancient times in Chinese and Korean folk medicine. The healing properties of unabi are used as a means:

  • antifungal;
  • antibacterial;
  • for the treatment of ulcers;
  • antiseptic;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • to relieve stress;
  • sedative;
  • antispastic;
  • to increase hemoglobin;
  • contraceptive;
  • with constipation;
  • hypotensive (lowering pressure);
  • cardiotonic (enhancing myocardial contraction);
  • with some kidney problems;
  • antioxidant;
  • with chronic hepatitis;
  • antineoplastic;
  • immunostimulating;
  • wound healing;
  • with convulsions;
  • promoting weight gain;
  • for the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system.

Zizyphus leaves contain ziziphine, which temporarily suppresses the taste buds responsible for the perception of sweet and bitter. This property is used in the manufacture of certain medicines.

Why are the fruits of zizyphus useful?

The previous chapter listed the benefits of the Chinese ziziphus date for the body. But some of the substances contained in unabi have a rather specific effect, which should be mentioned separately.

Useful properties of unabi for men

Ziziphus can preserve men's health to a ripe old age. Regular consumption of the fruit prevents the development of prostatitis and enhances potency. In the Muslim world, unabi is generally considered a male berry.

Why unabi is useful for the female body

Ziziphus can bring benefits and harm to the weaker sex. It is believed that its fruits can prevent pregnancy, but you should not rely on this. But women who want to become mothers need to give up unabi, not only during carrying a child, but also at the planning stage.

But after the appearance of the baby, moderate consumption of ziziphus fruits enhances lactation and improves the quality of breast milk.

Is it possible for Chinese dates for children

Children under five years old should not be given ziziphus at all. Older children can eat it only after consulting a doctor, and in the doses allowed by them:

  1. Unabi lowers blood pressure, and children and adolescents often suffer from hypotension, which disappears with age.
  2. Zizyphus berries have diuretic properties, and for babies this may be completely inappropriate.
  3. Being overweight is a direct contraindication to taking dried unabi fruits.
  4. The sedative properties of Ziziphus may be too strong for an immature organism. Although, on the other hand, for hyperactive and hysterical children, unabi can become a substitute for drugs of chemical origin.
  5. Ziziphus increases hemoglobin.
  6. For modern children, diseases of the respiratory system have become a real problem; here, too, the fruits of unabi can help.

So it is up to the doctor to decide whether it is possible for a child under 12-14 years old to eat ziziphus. It's another matter if the family lives in an area where the unabi is as common a fruit as an apple or a pear in the rest of Russia. There, adults know perfectly well, without any consultation, how much and when berries can be given to a child.

How to take unabi for medicinal purposes

Ziziphus fruits are usually eaten fresh or dried, compote is prepared, for rinsing - a decoction or infusion.

The bones are ground, boiled, topped up with alcohol or vodka. It is taken as directed by a doctor.

Decoctions, water or alcoholic infusions are prepared from the leaves and bark of ziziphus.

Application of Ziziphus leaves

To relieve toothache, fresh ziziphus leaves are chewed. The effect occurs in a few minutes, however, the sweet and bitter taste ceases to be felt.

Important! Chewing on unabi leaves does not relieve the problem, but only temporarily relieves the pain.

Broths are used to rinse the throat, and with the help of infusions they reduce pressure.

Teas made from ziziphus leaves relieve nervous and muscle tension and are used in the treatment of depression.

How to brew decoctions and infusions from unabi

Decoctions and water infusions are prepared from the leaves, fruits and seeds of ziziphus. It will not work to make a "magic potion" according to one recipe, and then take it for various diseases, changing the dosage. In each case, the preparation of the medicinal product will be different. The boiling period, proportions, and infusion time of raw materials differ.

How to make ziziphus tinctures on vodka, on alcohol

There are different recipes for unabi infusions. But the fruits are best eaten fresh or made into decoctions. The same goes for the leaves. But it is more difficult to “pull out” a maximum of nutrients from the bones:

  1. Grind the seeds of ziziphus (100 g), pour 0.5 liters of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, temper the fire. Keep on the stove for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Cool, drain.
  4. Add 200 ml of rubbing alcohol.

How to take unabi

An adult can eat quite a lot of ziziphus fruits at a time. Some of the substances contained in them will simply be excreted from the body, not processed. But infusions and decoctions are absorbed much better, and, in fact, are concentrates. You need to take them carefully, it is better - after consulting a doctor. In any case, overdose should not be allowed.

How to use unabi (ziziphus) for pressure

Best eaten in season three times a day after eating 20 Chinese dates. The course of treatment is from 10 to 20 days. You can assign a minimum to yourself. For more than 15 days, 60 ziziphus berries are eaten after consulting a doctor.

But fresh unabi fruits are not always available, and besides, it is still a seasonal fruit. They can be replaced with dried ones and taken as a decoction:

  1. Pour 40 g of dry ziziphus with 400 ml of boiling water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and wrap.
  4. Take 100 ml 4 times a day after meals.

The course of treatment is 15 days.

To strengthen the body

4-5 Ziziphus berries are boiled in 500 ml of water for 30 minutes. Cool and add to original volume. 15-20 minutes before meals, take 100 g of broth. The course is 10-15 days.

For constipation

In the morning, 15-20 minutes before the first meal, 5 ripe or dried ziziphus berries are eaten. Wash down with a glass of warm boiled water.

Important! Unripe berries, the taste of which resembles an apple, cannot be eaten with constipation - they will only aggravate the condition.

For insomnia

To normalize sleep, you can take 1 tbsp in the evening. a spoonful of ziziphus tincture, the recipe for which is given above. If there is no improvement within a week, you should see a doctor. Sleep disorder is a dangerous problem, especially for people over the age of 30.

For depression and stress

Severe long-term mood disorders should see a doctor. A strong-willed effort will not help here, like unabi or other self-prescribed herbs-chocolates-fruits. If this is just an episode in the life of an impressionable person, you can carry dried ziziphus berries in your pocket, and from time to time eat one or two.

Drinking alcoholic tincture is not recommended, since during depression there is a high probability of a variety of addictions.

With anemia

Ziziphus compote can help with anemia. To prepare it, 10 dried unabi berries are poured with 500 ml of water, boiled for 20 minutes, infused for an hour. Take 100 ml 3 times a day.

Application in cosmetology

When caring for hair, it is often not the fruits of ziziphus that are used, but decoctions of its bark, leaves or roots. They help with dandruff, blockage of the sebaceous glands. In addition, rinsing with broths and infusions strengthens the hair, prevents hair loss.

Unabi treats all types of dermatitis, acne, acne. Fresh ziziphus leaves are crushed, mixed with olive oil in a 1: 5 ratio, heated in a water bath to 90 ° C. Store in the refrigerator.

Cooking applications

Sweets are made from ziziphus: candied fruits, jam, marmalade, candies.

Unripe unabi fruits are salted and pickled.

Zizyphus is used to make vinegar.

Unabi are used to obtain syrup, juices, and other sugary drinks.

A specific traditional tea is prepared from the leaves and fruits of ziziphus in China and Korea.

Ripe and greenish unabi is a part of sweet, meat dishes, soups.

The fruits are stuffed and used as a snack.

Many peoples prepare alcoholic drinks from unabi - from wine to brandy.

Limitations and contraindications

In Chinese unabi dates, the benefits and harms are incomparable. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have information about contraindications:

  1. Children under 5 years old should not eat ziziphus. Then it can be given little by little, gradually increasing the number of berries.
  2. Ziziphus is contraindicated during pregnancy.
  3. Hypotensive patients should not eat unabi - it lowers blood pressure.
  4. In type 1 diabetes mellitus, dried fruits of ziziphus are strictly contraindicated, and fresh fruits can be consumed only after the permission of a doctor. You should consult about the possibility of eating unabi berries and patients who do without insulin (the second type). In any case, with diabetes, ziziphus is rather an undesirable product.
  5. Overweight people should see a doctor for permission to consume dried unabi and ripe berry products. On the one hand, they accelerate metabolic processes, have diuretic properties, and on the other hand, they contain a lot of calories.
  6. With caution, you need to use ziziphus for elderly people and when driving.
  7. Do not forget about individual intolerance. She also happens to unabi, albeit infrequently.


The healing properties of the Chinese date unabi are generally recognized. Ziziphus took fifth place in the ranking of the most useful plants. But this does not mean that you can eat it as much as you want and whenever you want, especially if there are contraindications.

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