05 Dec Da Zao
Jujube, Chinese date
Da Zao, jujube or Chinese date, is not only a Chinese medicinal herb but also a fruit. It has sweet and warm properties, making it a favorite among many. It can be consumed on its own as a snack, added to foods, or added to herbal formulas. Be cautious of using or consuming too much, though, an excessive amount may cause diarrhea and digestive discomfort in weakened digestive systems because of its cloying nature.
Still, this herb is very special because it can tonify Qi as well as nourish Blood, calm the spirit, and reduce the harmful effects of harsh herbs. Therefore, it is used in cases of weakness, fatigue, poor appetite, irritability, and insomnia. It is often used as an herbal substitute for Gan Cao ((licorice root) when Gan Cao is unavailable, or when herbs that Gan Cao is incompatible with are being used in a formula.
Of course, in order to obtain the greatest benefit from Da Zao, it must be paired with other herbs to make a formula. Some herbal combinations will accentuate the effect of nourishing blood, while others will augment its tonify Qi function.
By: Margarita Gonzalez