Jujube was domesticated in South Asia by 9000 BC. Over 400 cultivars have been selected. The tree tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall, though it requires hot summers and sufficient water for acceptable fruiting. Unlike most of the other species in the genus, it tolerates fairly cold winters, surviving temperatures down to about −15 °C (5 °F).
The fruits are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress, and traditionally for antifungal, antibacterial, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and Antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties. Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste in humans. The fruit, being mucilaginous, is very soothing to the throat and decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats. The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruits are often eaten as a snack, or with tea. They are available in either red or black.