Who isn’t looking for more foolproof ways to unwind and settle in for a great night’s rest? Sure, you’ve got your blackout curtains, your nightly meditations—but what if we told you there was a special fruit that’s been used for centuries to help people relax? Enter: jujube. Here’s what to know about this sleep-promoting fruit, plus four ways to incorporate it into your nighttime routine.
Jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba), AKA Chinese date or red date, is a little fruit that packs a big punch of antioxidants, amino acids, and polysaccharides. These compounds help promote rest via multiple pathways in the body, and as such, jujube has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for generations.*
There’s modern research to back up the benefits of this ancient remedy as well. One small, randomized study out of Australia found that people who took jujube seeds nightly for four weeks reported having longer, higher-quality sleep than those who took a placebo.*
Another randomized control trial found that a sleep complex containing jujube improved sleep quality, mood, and energy levels over the course of two weeks.* And if you have trouble falling asleep, jujube can help with that, too, with one study showing it, as part of an herbal blend, can help people fall asleep faster compared to a placebo.*
Convinced yet? Here are a few ways to start reaping the benefits of this stellar little Chinese date.
One way to incorporate jujube into your nightly routine is to sip on a tea that incorporates the fruit. To make your own tea, combine a pound of dried jujube (which you can find online, in most Asian markets, and potentially at the farmers market if you live in the southern U.S.), a gallon of water, and a few slices of ginger in a large pot. Simmer up to four hours and start sipping as you begin winding down in the evening.
The easiest and most convenient way to reap the sleep benefits of jujube is by taking it as a supplement, like mbg’s sleep support+. Along with two other sleep-promoting compounds—magnesium bisglycinate and PharmaGABA®—you’ll find 225 milligrams of jujube fruit extract in every serving. When combined, these ingredients create a non-hormonal sleep aid that’s super effective at helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.* With over 300+ happy reviews from customers getting great sleep every night, the results speak for themselves.
3. Incorporate dried or fresh jujube into your cooking.
If you’re big on incorporating fruits into your smoothies or snacks, you’ll be happy to know you can also eat jujube as is, and the taste will be similar to a sweet apple.
Sub some dried jujube into any of these nighttime-friendly snacks that won’t spike blood sugar for a sweet touch. Or, opt for fresh jujube if you can find it, using it as you would on an apple (in salads, in jujube “butter”—the options are endless.) The jujube fruit delivers vitamin C, potassium, and an array of other essential nutrients.
4. Make a sour jujube decoction
And last but not least, if you’re keen to get in touch with a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, or simply want to source your jujube from someone reputable, trusted TCM practitioners can give you a sour jujube decoction, which will likely be either in a liquid or powder form for you to take. Decoctions allow you to consume certain plant extracts, and a TCM practitioner can help you find the right one for your needs.
The world is chock full of amazing plants that can support so many aspects of our health. And when it comes to getting quality sleep, if you’ve yet to discover jujube, consider this your sign to go get some.