When “eclipse fever” hit the St. Louis area this past August, we were reminded of another place where the sun and moon often dance to create an amazing, celestial light show; Xinjiang province, the source of our all-natural sweetener, the Chinese red date.

Chinese red dates

Xinjiang province, located in the rugged desert of western China, is far from the hustle and bustle of Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. But don’t let the rough terrain fool you, the area is a gorgeous mix of snow-capped mountains, immense glaciers, vast grasslands, and meandering rivers that flow through lush valleys. The people of Xinjiang are a hardy group, mostly farmers, ranchers, and miners, and they act as the stewards of this sparsely populated, but tradition rich region of Asia.

Sunset in Xinjiang province


Hotan River in Xinjiang province


Sunset over the Hotan River


The province is also home to an unusual number of eclipses, both solar and lunar, over the next 2 years. While there’s nothing special in the geography of this area, its wide open plains offer amazing views of solar eclipses and the lack of light pollution make lunar eclipses a true sight to behold.

The Source of Sweet

With its unique soil and weather similar to that of parts of California or northern Arizona, Xinjiang is also a perfect place to grow several important arid crops, notably: cotton, grapes, walnuts, and our favorite, the Chinese red date. These ancient superfoods, also known as jujubes, have been cultivated by the people of Xianjiang for over 4,000 years for use in traditional medicine and recent studies show that the tribal people of the region were onto the health benefits generations ago.

Not only have Chinese dates been used to alleviate anxiety and insomnia, but they can also act as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid. But the health benefits don’t stop there! Research has also shown they have the potential of inhibiting growth of cancer cells, improving general GI health and activity, reducing exposure to toxic ammonia to helpful gut bacteria, and are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium!

Chinese red dates ripening on the tree


Child from small village in Xinjiang province


Women villagers


At Karuna, we’ve known of the health benefits of Chinese dates for years and that’s why we use only the highest quality Chinese dates to naturally sweeten our beverages. These tasty and nutrient rich fruits are picked at the height of ripeness and shipped directly from Xinjian to our bottling facility in St. Louis.

To see what all of the fuss is about, you can taste the difference that Chinese dates make in the BOOST and HYDRATE varieties of Karuna.

Karuna means compassion. And we have turned our appreciation of nature’s beauty into our passion of making whole plant drinks that bring out both your inner and outer beauty.