Schisandra (Wu Wei Zi)

Botanical Name: Schisandra chinensis.

Schisandra is considered one of the great longevity tonic herbs. It is famous as an adaptogen and anti-aging herb, with stamina building properties. It is also known to impart beauty and sexual endurance to those who use it regularly.

Below is an overview of schisandra, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of schisandra.

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Western Name: Schisandra

Also Known As: N/A

Organs/Systems: Immunity, Nerves, Endocrine

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Anti-stress, Overall Tonic, Adaptogen, Astringent, Antidiarrhoeic, Antitussive, Demulcent, Anti-inflammatory, Expectorant. Improves night vision, reduces appetite, protects against inflammation, irradiating, cleanses heavy metal toxicity. Supports the endocrine, central nervous system, respiratory and immune systems. Chronic coughs, asthma, thirst.


Pin Yin: Wu Wei Zi

Also Known As: Five Flavor Berry

Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Lung

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Stabilizes and Binds. Contains leakage of Lung Qi/Stops Cough: patterns of Lung and Kidney deficiency, chronic coughs. Tonifies Kidneys/Binds up Essence and Stops Diarrhea: nocturnal emissions, spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge, frequent urination. Inhibits Sweating/Generates Fluids: excessive sweating with thirst or dry throat, night sweats. Calms the Heart/Quiets the Spirit: irritability, palpations, dream-disturbed sleep, insomnia due to injury to heart and Kidney yin. Allergic Skin Disorders and Improves Liver Function in patients with hepatitis. Aids uterine contractions. Increases usage of Liver glycogen stores and serum glucose.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Deciduous woody vine in the Magnoliaceae family. It is dioecious, thus flowers on a female plant will only produce fruit when fertilized with pollen from a male plant. There is a hybrid called “Eastern Prince” which is self-fertilizing. Native to northern China and eastern Russia. Similar to grapes, it likes some shade, as well as moist, well-drained soil.

SchisandraParts Most Frequently Used: Berry and Seed.

Flavors/Temperatures: Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Salty, Pungent, Acrid, Warm.

Caution: Very safe.

History/Folklore: The plants name derives from it being one of the few herbs to include the properties of all five Flavors (Sweet, Bitter, Salty, Sour and Pungent). Its main taste is sour and salty. Because it has five tastes it is considered to benefit all five yin organs; Liver, Lung, Heart, Kidneys and Spleen. It is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese Medicine and is also celebrated as a key tonic herb. In the Far East regions of Russia the berries have been used by the native Nanai hunters to improve night vision and as a tonic to reduce hunger, thirst and exhaustion. It has been used to help respiratory depression caused by morphine use. It has been favored by the wealthy and especially the emperors and court ladies due to its reputation as a youth preserver, beautifier and powerful sexual tonic. It is considered both a Yin and a Yang tonic. It is famous for increasing the sexual power in men. As the plant is not native to the west, it therefore has little European historical usage, but with current growing scientific studies being made it is now being used more and more outside of China.

Key Constituents:

Sesquicarene, deoxyschizandrin, schizandrol, stigmasterol. Two major lignans: schzandrin and gomisin A. Vitamins C and E. Tannins.

Did you know?

Protects the Skin

Widely used to beautify the skin and protect it from sun and wind damage.


Contains Tannins

As the plant contains tannins it is best soaked in pure water for at least several hours before using, otherwise it can upset a person’s stomach or digestion.

Fun fact!

Build Sexual Energy

Drink a cup of Schisandra tea daily for 100 days to cleanse the blood, beautify the skin and build sexual energy.


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References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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