Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)
The Processing of 大枣
The ripe fruit of bush woody plant or arbor Ziziphus jujuba Mill. of family Rhamnaceae.
Mainly produced in Shandong and Henan provinces in China.
Plucked in autumn when matured.
The actual smell and taste
Sight smell, sweet.
Purplish red, thick flesh, full, moist small core.
The Effect of 大枣
Sweet, warm; spleen, stomach and heart meridians entered.
Tonify qi, tonify spleen, nourish blood and induce tranquilization.
A. Spleen qi deficiency syndromes
It also has dual usage of food and medicine, indicated for poor appetite with emaciation, fatigue, loose stool due to malnutrition caused by spleen qi deficiency, because it can tonify qi and spleen. It can be applied singly. For serious cases of qi deficiency, it is commonly combined with qi and spleen tonics, because it is mild in action. For instance, it is used with Ren Shen and Bai Zhu.
B. Restlessness and insomnia due to heart deficiency
It can nourish heart blood and induce tranquilization. For restlessness, insomnia and unstablity of laugh and cry due to malnourishment of heart caused by overstrain injury of heart and spleen, it is commonly combined with heart yin-nourishing and heart qi-tonifying herbs. For instance, it is used with Fu Xiao Mai and Gan Cao in Gan Mai Da Zao Tang. For palpitation, insomnia and amnesia due to deficiency of heart and spleen, it is combined with qi-tonifying, blood-nourishing and tranquilizing herbs. For instance, it is used with Ren Shen, Dang Gui and Suan Zao Ren in Gui Pi Tang from Ji Sheng Fang.
C. Blood deficiency syndromes
It is indicated for sallow complexion due to blood deficiency, because it has the actions of tonifying qi and nourishing blood. For blood deficiency syndromes, it is combined with qi and blood tonics, such as Dang Shen, Dang Gui and Shu Di Huang. Besides, it is used in some prescriptions to protect stomach qi and alleviate toxicity of some herbs. For instance, it is used with Gan Sui, Da Ji and Yuan Hua in Shi Zao Tang from Shang Han Lun, in order to protect stomach qi and relieve toxicity and violent action of the three herbs. Furthermore, it is combined with Sheng Jiang in this formula to enhance the action of harmonizing spleen and stomach.
Dosage and Administrations
Decoct 10~30 g, broken before decoction is better for effect.
It is used with cautions in cases of damp-phlegm or food stagnation because it can help dampness produce heat, and induce distention in middle energizer.