Our times are indeed filled with wonders. No matter how much stress the city life gives us these days, Mother Nature still has a way of stepping forward to protect us with healing herbs. Welcome Schizandra chinensis, a unique woody vine that has proven to be an all-rounded immunity booster. Upon first encounter you can expect the exotic taste of schizandra to really capture your senses. Over a period of regular use, schizandra gently and powerfully embraces the whole body.
Herbalist Steph Zabel makes a wonderful description of the interesting tastes of schizandra. That’s right, if you ever get the chance to do so, you are going to experience the likes of what Steph describes: “as if a thousand sour fireworks went off in my mouth”. And then you’ll find out more…
Harmonise your health with natural berries
One of the most important herb of Chinese medicine, known as Wu Wei Zi (meaning: five flavoured berry), Schizandra’s powers have been well regarded for a number of reasons throughout the ancient times. Royalty and traditional herbal practitioners in ancient China have used it for beauty and stress management. It is considered to be a harmonising herb because it has all five flavours: bitter, sweet, sour, salty and pungent. This means that it affects and balances all the soft organ systems, benefiting the lungs, liver, heart, spleen and the kidneys. Of all flavours it is predominantly sour, which tells us that it acts like a gentle liver insurance due to its detoxification ability.
Herbalists are amazed by the powerful virtues of this wholesome and gentle adaptogen that particularly helps you adapt to stress. Master herbalist Susan Weed praises it to be one of the best herbs of our times, because it “strongly improves the nervous system functioning”. Schizandra has a direct effect on the immune system as well as the endocrine system. It is incidental that it helps prevent damage to the kidneys while encouraging the liver to make new cells.
Destress with a daily boost of beauty and youth
The ancient climbing vine Schizandra has been cultivated in China and Russia for medicinal purposes to this day. It is harvested at the end of July and beginning of August. Belonging to Schisandraceae (Magnolia) family, the berries can be eaten fresh, dried or prepared as a tincture. Scientists have carried out numerous studies on this plant to demonstrate its many potent merits, not only showing that it can add years to your life, but also to prove how it can increase energy, fight fatigue and support sexual and mental health in both men and women. Chinese herbalists say that it is perfect for anyone who wishes to redirect the extreme condition of the body back to ideal balance.
The uniqueness of Schizandra lies in its overall protective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, making it very capable of maintaining healthy cells in the whole body.
Sexual vitality for men and women
According to one of our favourite herbalists Brigitte Mars, Schizandra plays an important role in sexual wellbeing in both men and women. She describes the physiological effects of the berries in her wonderful book The Sexual Herbal: Prescriptions for Enhanced Love and Passion, as an “antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, astringent, brain tonic, cholagogue (purges bile out of the body), emmenagogue (encourages menstruation), hepatoprotective (prevents liver damage), immune tonic, kidney tonic, nervous system tonic, rejuvenative, reproductive tonic, restorative, sedative (mild), yang tonic, yin tonic restorative.”
Schizandra has long been used as a beauty and youth ally by royalty in China. It can also increase stamina in men. In some cases it has been used to overcome trauma associated with sexual abuse. Russian pilots in the 1940s used it to help them tolerate the low oxygen level of high-altitudes, while Siberian hunters take this incredible energy adaptogen to help their bodies function in the harsh conditions.
These incredible tasting berries are new to Western herbalism but are native to Asia. Known for their gentle ability to clean out the liver and balance estrogen in women. As an overall hormone balance and you can expect an increase in alertness and energy.
Now let’s make a Schizandra Potion
What a miracle it is that we can always depend on Mother Nature in stressful times. Herbalists are right when they say that the Taste of Herbs reveal the character of your medicine. Chinese herbalists advise the consumption of Schizandra berries a hundred days in a row, to improve coordination and concentration. Long term use nourishes the whole body while helping to make you feel young, alive and beautiful. We’re going to show you how to enjoy your own delicious Schizandra tea. This is a much healthier alternative to caffeinated coffee. Foragers can blend their potion with wild rosehips, elderberry or hawthorn. And if you’re feeling creative, you can even add this vital nutrition to your meals.
For a simple infusion, you’ll need:
1-2 tablespoons of dried Schizandra berries
2 cups of water
Simmer in a small saucepan for 15-20 minutes. Strain into your tea cup. And voila! The sensational tea is ready to surprise you with energetic flavours and vitality.
1.Mars, Brigitte, and Brigitte Mars. The sexual herbal: prescriptions for enhancing love and passion. Healing Arts Press, 2010.
2.“Schisandra Berry.” Flowerfolk Herbal Apothecary | Herbalist Steph Zabel | Boston, MA,
3.Ko, Kam-Ming. Schisandra Chinensis: An Herb of North Eastern China Origin. World Scientific Publishing, 2015.