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.

Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.

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

How to use Schisandra and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!


Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Get Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works.


Western Name: Schisandra

Also Known As: Magnolia Vine

Organs/Systems: Immunity, Nerves, Endocrine

Key Actions: Antistress, Overall Tonic, Adaptogen, Astringent, Antidiarrhoeic, Antitussive, Demulcent, Anti-inflammatory, Expectorant, Neuroprotective, Antimicrobial, Mild Sedative

Medicinal Uses: Improves night vision, reduces appetite, protects against inflammation, irradiating, cleanses heavy metal toxicity, chronic hepatitis C. Supports the endocrine, central nervous system, respiratory and immune systems. Chronic coughs, asthma, thirst, anxiety, insomnia.


Pin Yin: Wu Wei Zi

Also Known As: Five Flavor Berry

Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Lung

Key Actions: Stabilizes and Binds, Contains leakage of Lung Qi/Stops Cough, Tonifies Kidneys/Binds up Essence and Stops Diarrhea, Inhibits Sweating/Generates Fluids, Calms Shen

Medicinal Uses: Patterns of Lung and Kidney deficiency, adrenal fatigue, chronic hepatitis C, chronic coughs, nocturnal emissions, spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge, frequent urination, preventing premature aging, excessive sweating with thirst or dry throat, night sweats, irritability, palpitations, PMS, chronic diarrhea, fatty liver, erectile dysfunction, exhaustion, memory loss, lowers cholesterol, pneumonia, dysentery, chemo-protective, boost immunity, dream-disturbed sleep, insomnia due to injury to heart and Kidney yin. Aids uterine contractions. Increases usage of Liver glycogen stores and serum glucose, allergic skin disorders.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Schisandra is a deciduous woody vine in the Magnoliaceae family. There are 25 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. Similar to grapes, it likes some shade, as well as moist, well-drained soil.

Native to Northern China and Eastern Russia. It is now grown in many place in the world including Japan, Korea, and North America.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Berries, Seeds, Leaves

Flavors/Temps: Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Salty, Pungent, Acrid, Warm

Caution: Very safe.

Key Constituents: Sesquicarene, Phytoestrogens, Deoxyschizandrin, Schizandrol, Stigmasterol. Two major lignans: Schisandrin and Gomisin A. Vitamins C and E. Tannins.

History/Folklore: Schisandra’s Chinese name, “Five Flavors,” 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. Another way of considering their Five Flavors is to note that their shells are sweet, their meat sour, their seeds bitter and tart, and their extract salty.

Schisandra is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese Medicine and is also celebrated as a key tonic herb. It is even considered a substitute for ginseng. Schisandra is considered a sex tonic for both male and female organs.

Low doses of schisandra are said to stimulate the central nervous system, while higher doses are used to depress, or calm, the nervous system.

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.

Schisandra has been used to help respiratory depression caused by morphine use.

Schisandra increases the livers ability to make the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This compound deactivates several types of free radicals that attack the outer membrane of liver cells. It helps to counter the damage done to the liver by chronic viral hepatitis and HIV. Schisandra also contains lignans that are known to have a strong protective action on the liver. Schisandra also increases the flow of bile.

A study of 47 premenopausal and 49 postmenopausal women not using hormonal contraceptives and a second group using hormone replacement therapy (HRT), found a significant decrease in estrogen that might lead to breast cancer. Schisandra contains a phytoestrogen compound associated with lowering the risk of breast cancer.

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. In Oriental medicine 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 has little European historical usage, but with current growing scientific studies being made it is now being used more and more outside of China. Research done in Russia, led to the herb being one of the first to be identified as an “adaptogenic” herb. The term was created to describe the herbs ability to systemically promote health by countering the symptoms of stress, boost immunity, support organ and system functions, as well as build stamina and strength. Research has continued to confirm the herbs potent protective and rebalancing effects on the central nervous system, endocrine, immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems.

The young spring leaves can be boiled and enjoyed as a vegetable side dish.

Want Schisandra (Wu Wei Zi)?

Here are some options…

Get this Herb's Fact Sheet and 300+ more, Right Now!

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.

How to use Schisandra to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!

Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Get Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works.

FREE Trial!

Get a NEW Healing Herb Fact Sheet each week!

Sign up for immediate access to your first Healing Herb Fact Sheet and a one month free trial. Find out for yourself why over 50,000 people have already signed up.

Sign Up Now

Choose the Right Herbs for You!

Take FULL Advantage of the Healing Powers of Herbs!

Our Healing Herb Library is a collection of How to Use Herb Health Sessions that guide you through individual herbs, helping you to take full advantage of each herb’s unique healing powers.

Learn More

Flower Your World with Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Get 300+ Fact Sheets,
Right Now!

Get IMMEDIATE access to Our Complete Collection of 6 eBook Volumes containing 300+ Healing Herb Fact Sheets.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about our upcoming courses, FREE materials and more.
Join, FREE!

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.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!