Zizyphus. Jujube Berries.
Jujube berries are the fruits of Zizyphus sativa, Gaertn., or Z. Lotus, Lam. (N.O. Rhamneae), shrubs or small trees which are cultivated in Spain, Italy, the South of France, and Tunis. The fruits are roundish-ovate or oblong drupes about the size of large olives, and have a thin, coriaceous, bright red skin, which becomes reddish-brown and wrinkled when dried. It encloses a sweet acidulous pulp, in which is embedded an ovate or oblong pointed stone.
Constituents.—Sugar and mucilage are the chief constituents of the berries, but traces of ziziphic acid are also present, and tannin has been found in the bark of the tree.
Action and Uses.—Jujube berries are demulcent and nutritive, and have been administered in the form of decoction for throat and bronchial irritation. Jujube paste (Massa de Jujubis or Pâte de jujube) is prepared by infusing 5 of the fruit in 35 of distilled water, straining without pressure, dissolving 30 of washed gum acacia and 20 of refined sugar in the infusion by heating slowly on a water-bath for twelve hours, removing the scum, cautiously adding 2 of undiluted orange-flower water, running the mixture into oiled flat moulds, and drying in a stove at 40'.