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.
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.
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.
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.
Protects the Skin
Build Sexual Energy
How to use Schisandra to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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