Schisandra chinensis, Wu Wei Zi, literally "five flavor berry" is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. Its Chinese name comes from the fact that its berries possess all five basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter.
Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically documented liver protecting effects. The primary hepatoprotective (liver protecting) and immuno-modulating constituents are the lignans schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin, which are found in the seeds of the fruit.
In the cup, the aroma continually changes and shows incredible complexity. Hints of the aroma of grilled meat, to plum sauce, to chocolate cake with a rich pear buttercream frosting are just a few of the ideas proposed by those who have tasted this exquisite tea.
Schizandrae is considered to be one of the premier adaptogen herbs. Like Ginseng, Acanthopanax, Gynostemma, He Shou Wu, Reishi Mushrooms and many others, Schizandra increases resistance of the body and mind against nonspecific stimuli. It can protect the body from damage due to extreme or chronic stress. In particular, it can protect the liver and adrenals and prevent atrophy due to extreme stress.
This safe yet very powerful tonic herb has calming energies and possesses some pain-alleviating properties yet it is also considered a central nervous system stimulant. This testifies to its broad range of balance throughout the entire body. In fact, Wu Wei Zi is considered to be one of the best tonics for the mind used to sharpen concentration, improve memory and increase alertness. However, unlike many central nervous system stimulants, Schizandra does not produce nervousness at all. Many people consider Schizandrae to be mildly "calming" while still producing wakefulness and improved focus.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Wu Wei Zi is believed to:
1. helps prevent liver damage; helps to metabolize drugs for liver; lowering ALT and AST
2. anti oxidant
3. affect metabolism
4. helps regulate CNS; improves efficiency of brain activities and improves efficiency of work process
5. anti hypertension but during exhaustion of circulatory function, it can help to bring up blood pressure.
6. effect on respiratory system: Lowers oxygen requirement, correct respiratory exhaustion; works better than Coramine or nikethamide. It helps to expectorate phlegm and sooths coughing.
7. anti ulcer effect
8. helps the body function to adept stress
9. antibiotic effect
10. anti kidney illness
This is a cultivated variety Schisandra Chinensis, also called as North Wu Wei Zi. It has red color, soft seeds and rich in flavour.
Usage guide: It should not be used by pregnant women.
Usual dosage: 1.5 to 9 g. For chronic cough: 1.5 g ~ 3 g. For tonic: 6 to 9 g.
Boiled with water: 1.5 to 9 g.
Used in powder form: 1 to 3 g.