Mountain Rose Herbs

Schisandra Berries

Also known as

Schisandra chinensis, Schizadra, Wu Wei Zi, Magnolia vine, Gomishi, Kita-Gomishi

Introduction

Chinese folklore says that Schisandra can “calm the heart and quiet the spirit”, and it has a long history in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Schisandra, also known as Magnolia vine due to its ability to grow upwards in a creeping fashion, is a native to Northern China, Russia, and parts of Korea. An ornamental plant found in many fine gardens throughout the world, schisandra is a woody vine with oval pink leaves and bright red berries. The most popular use can be recorded in China and Russia. Its Chinese name is wu-wei-zi, which means five taste fruit. Schisandra has a usually sour, sweet, bitter, warm, and salty taste, hence the name “five taste”. Russian hunters have consumed it for centuries as a tea to help with fatigue.

Constituents

Up to 19% of the fruits weight consists of lignans.

Parts Used

The whole berry or powdered berry.

Typical Preparations

Asian users take 1 teaspoon a day and it makes a lovely infusion in fruit juice. Pour ½ cup to a 1-gallon pitcher of a dark fruit juice and allow it to soak for 1 day. Strain and drink as necessary. Schisandra can also be added to tea decoctions, herbal brews (soft simmer) and is effective as a liquid herbal extract and herbal capsule. One can also make an effective Schisandra syrup by allowing the berries to soak in Glycerin for 1 month. For convenience it may be taken as a capsule or extract.

Precautions

Botanical safety research in China, Russia, and the U.S. showed that Schisandra might cause gastrointestinal upset in some individuals, though rare. Schisandra should not be used by pregnant women as it is a uterine stimulant.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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