Christ’s Thorn Jujube (sidr) is endemic to the southern regions of Iran. Its leaves have for years been used for washing the hair and the body and for dyeing of the hair. In Persian Medicine, Christ’s thorn jujube is introduced as an antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and conditioning agent and has been used for treatment of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis (Nafisi, 1989); it also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Furthermore, its role in cosmetics and for treatment of psoriasis has been studied.
In a parallel, double-blind clinical study, 80 patients with irritant contact dermatitis used either a cream containing Christ’s thorn jujube total extract, a cream containing saponinic extract of Christ’s thorn jujube leaves or placebo. The duration of the study was three months. During the treatment with the cream containing saponinic extract of Christ’s thorn jujube leaves, due to the progress of the disease and severe dryness of the skin, the patients in this group (15 individuals) chose to leave the study and 5 were omitted from the study due to non-compliance in appropriate use of the drug or avoiding the next visits. According to the results of the study on 60 patients (27 individuals in the placebo group and 23 individuals in the Christ’s thorn jujube total extract group), the cream containing Christ’s thorn jujube total extract was more efficient than the placebo in improving of dryness of skin (p<5×10-5). The cream containing Christ’s thorn jujube total extract alleviated all manifestations of the disease, but the placebo was only effective for removal of skin dryness (p<0.01). Also, the cream containing Christ’s thorn jujube total extract decreased the affected area one month after cessation of the treatment (p=7×10-4), but during this time, the effect of the drug in reducing itching, dryness and inflammation was not statistically significant (p<0.01). However, a significant reduction in mean amount of discharge from the lesions and lichenification was observed in the group using the cream with the total extract in comparison to the beginning of the study (p<0.01). The researchers came to the conclusion that the vanishing cream containing Christ’s thorn jujube total extract can be a suitable drug as adjuvant treatment for irritant contact dermatitis.