The ethnobotany of Christ's Thorn Jujube (Ziziphus spina-christi) in Israel

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This article surveys the ethnobotany of Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf. in the Middle East from various aspects: historical, religious, philological, literary, linguistic, as well as pharmacological, among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It is suggested that this is the only tree species considered "holy" by Muslims (all the individuals of the species are sanctified by religion) in addition to its status as "sacred tree" (particular trees which are venerated due to historical or magical events related to them, regardless of their botanical identity) in the Middle East. It has also a special status as "blessed tree" among the Druze.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalJournal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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