Germplasm resources, ethnobotanical uses and phytochemical components of Ziziphus Mill. in Pakistan

N. Uddin, Z.G. Liu, Z.H. Zhao, M.J. Liu
The genus Ziziphus Mill. (jujube) belongs to Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). It is a genus of about 170 species of deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs. It is almost a cosmopolitan and mainly distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world between 34°S and 51°N latitude and up to 2800 m above sea level. There are six species of Ziziphus in Pakistan including Z. rugosa, Z. mauritiana, Z. nummularia, Z. spina-christi, Z. oxyphylla and Z. jujuba. These species are clearly different from each other. The Z. jujuba Mill. (Chinese jujube) is distributed to different regions (provinces) of Pakistan, i.e., Gilgit Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Mardan, Lower Dir, Lower Swat, Upper Swat and Upper Dir), Hazara division, Chitral district and in few places at Punjab. In Pakistan Z. jujuba, Z. nummularia and Z. mauritiana are most popular and Z. mauritiana is cultivated in Faisalabad only. Z. jujuba and Z. nummularia are found wild in Pakistan. Thus exploitation of such varieties may increase commercial production of above species in Pakistan with low inputs, better yield and good nutrition. Z. jujuba is a small tree shrub reaching up to 5 to 10 m with shiny green leaves. The flowering season is from April to May, and the fruits ripen at the end of September. The fruit is oval drupe with high diversity in size and finally becomes wrinkled like a date fruit. The fruit can be eaten both fresh and dried. It is used for different activities all over the world because of its benefit to health. In Pakistan, it is used as food, herbal medicine and traditional medicine, i.e., anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, sedative. Some people use the powder of Z. jujuba fruits for healing wounds, and boiled leaves for the control of blood pressure or hair fall. The dry fruits were also used as padding in leather horse saddles in some parts of Baluchistan in Pakistan. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first review article on Pakistani Ziziphus species focusing on local remedies against different ailments. The variety of phytochemicals found in Ziziphus species is encouraging and with the potential of new drug discovery to cure various diseases.
Uddin, N., Liu, Z.G., Zhao, Z.H. and Liu, M.J. (2020). Germplasm resources, ethnobotanical uses and phytochemical components of Ziziphus Mill. in Pakistan. Acta Hortic. 1287, 231-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1287.29
Ziziphus jujuba Mill. distribution, ethno medicinal uses, nutrients, phytochemical tests, Pakistan

Acta Horticulturae