Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Schisandra Berry (Schisandra chinensis) is popularly known as the “five flavor berry” because it contains all the fundamental flavors, which are spicy, bitter, sweet, sour, and salty. Other names for it are Gomishi, Fruit of Five Flavors, Omicha, Sandra Berry Vine, and Magnolia Vine. It is clinically tested as a tonic particularly because of its lignins that is effective in reinforcing the immune system.
Schisandra Berry is a woody vine with many bunches of tiny, deep red berries. The plant is dense, and bears oval-shaped leaves, pink attractive flowers, and groups of red berries. The vine can reach up to twenty-five feet in length and survives best in moist and partially shaded, well-drained soil.
The principal chemical components of Schisandra Berry are lignins, sesquicarene, schizoandrol, citra, phytosterols, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, numerous acids, and essential oils. The good-smelling berries are dried and used as a form of medicine.
History and Origin
Schisandra Berry is commonly found in China, Korea, and Russia, although it is native to Northern China. In ancient China, it was considered a staple food of hunting and gathering tribes. Some people allege that it can also be found in some parts of the eastern United States.
Schisandra Berry is one of the most important herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is also popularly known as Wu Wei Zi, which literally means five-flavored fruit. It is also the Chinese traditional herbalists that introduced Schisandra Berry as a reliable herb to preserve beauty and maintain youth. For thousands of years, it has benefited both men and women as a sexual enhancer and as an anti-aging tonic.
Schisandra Berry was popular among the wealthy Chinese people including emperors for the past 2,000 years in China as an herbal medicine for the treatment of liver diseases, a tonic for good health, and as an aphrodisiac that was considered effective in nourishing the genitourinary system and sexual organs.
Schisandra Berry was also traditionally used for chronic cough and wheezing, proper secretion of body fluids to eradicate excessive sweating and night sweats, soothing the heart and calming the spirit in order to control palpitations, irritability and sleep disorders. Schisandra Berry was also traditionally used as an astringent.
Today, Schisandra Berry is sold worldwide as a food and health supplement with a maximum dose of 1,200 milligrams per day. It is used as an alternative to caffeine as it stimulates the nervous system without the hazardous side-effect of caffeine.
Schisandra Berry is proven by modern research to be more useful than its traditional uses. It is discovered to enhance intelligence, rejuvenate and improve memory, increase physical strength, slow down the aging process, improve visual sharpness and night vision, improve hearing, and strengthen lungs to avoid respiratory infections, enhance muscle activity and restore energy during exercises, and beautify the skin and protect it from harmful effects of too much sun and wind.
Overdose of Schisandra Berry will cause chest pains, insomnia, and gastrointestinal problems. It is not advisable to be taken by pregnant and nursing women because it is a uterine stimulant.
Schisandra Berry is also not advisable for people who have peptic ulcers, very high blood pressure, epilepsy, intracranial pressure, and gallstones or any blockages of the bile ducts.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan