Common Name: Schisandra Berries
Botanical Name: Schisandra chinensis

Part Used: Fruit, Seed

Properties: Wu wei zi literally translates to "five flavored seeds", or "five tastes" referring to the fact that schisandra is sweet, salty, pungent, sour, pungent and bitter. The main qualities are sour and warm.

Key Constituents: Lignans (schizandrin, deoxschizandrin, gomisin), phytosterols, essential or volatile oils, vitamins E and C, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, fruit acids (malic, citric, tartaric), fumaric acid

Channels Entered: Kidney, Heart, Lungs

Growing & Harvesting

A cold-hardy shrub that grows in to a woody vine reaching lengths of 20 feet or more with red berries in the fall. Grows in most any soil type. The fruit is harvested in the fall when ripe.

Western View: astringent, demulcent, antitussive, adaptogenic

Schisandra preparation
A tea can be made by decocting, or gently simmering, 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (1.5-9 grams) of dried berries in 1-2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Berries would be strained before drinking the tea.

Medicinal Benefits and Uses

Wu Wei Zi is a treasured tonic herb used in longevity herb formulas in Chinese medicine; Schisandra is well known for "generating fluids", and anyone who is aging can tell you how important it is to stay moist and juicy! Schisandra's reputation as an aid in healthy aging is strengthened by the fact that it has been used for generations to improve the memory, resist infections, improve vision, and adapt to stress. Schisandra's regenerative properties extend to the skin, and the renowned herb has been used by royalty for thousands of years to preserve beauty. While it can be used as a single remedy, it is more commonly combined with other herbs depending on the desired affects of the herb.

Schisandra - Lungs
Schisandra is an excellent herb to strengthen the Lungs in general, but specifically reinforces Lung Qi and Lung Yin. Because schisandra benefits both the Kidney and Lung energetic organ systems, it is especially beneficial in cases of asthma and COPD where there is difficulty in inhaling, or catching your breathe. Much like mullein herb, schisandra is both astringent and demulcent; whether you have dryness or phlegm affecting the Lung health, schisandra is appropriate.
Schisandra - Liver
Schisandra is one of the most useful herbs available for protecting the Liver and repairing the Liver function in cases of damaged due to chemical exposure, toxins, drugs, or disease. The ability of schisandra to protect and heal the liver appears to be herbs ability to activate the enzymes that produce glutathione peroxide which deactivate free radicals which damage the outer membranes of liver cells.
Schisandra - Kidneys
Schisandra re-enforces the Essence and Yin, which are both directly related to the Kidney energy. The Kidney and Bladder are paired in Chinese medicine, and schisandra is often employed to resolve frequent urination. Also, sexual energy is associated with Essence and the Kidney energetic organ system which explains schisandra's role as a valued substance used with impotence and nocturnal emisions of sperm. The Kidney system is responsible for "grasping the Lung Qi" upon inhalation and works closely with the Lung energetic organ system in TCM, thus accounting for schisandras unquestionable value as a central respiratory herb.
Schisandra - Heart
Schisandra generally strengthens the Heart function by regulating and strengthening both circulation and heart rhythm, thus reducing palpitations. In Chinese medicine, the "Heart Houses the Mind"; this helps to explain the calming effect of shisandra on the mind, the stress reducing qualities, and the ability to address insomnia.
Conditions and benefits of Schisandra:

Contraindications and Cautions: Should not be used when Exterior Pathogens are evident, during the early stages of coughs or rashes due to Exterior Pathogenic factors. Should not be used in excess of 9 grams (dried berry) daily; overdosing is not going to give better or faster results. A true overdose could cause restlessness and insomnia, but it should be noted that overdosing with schisandra through a tea is unlikely and would require upward of a pound of berries taken in a 24 hour period. Avoid during pregnancy as it stimulates the uterus. Schisandra increases bile flow, therefore should be avoided in cases of blocked gallbladder ducts and gallstones.



PMC-12, a Prescription of Traditional Korean Medicine, Improves Amyloid β-Induced Cognitive Deficits through Modulation of Neuroinflammation. Park MY1, Jung YS2, Park JH1, Choi YW3, Lee J4, Kim CM5, Baek JU6, Choi BT7, Shin HK7. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:768049. doi: 10.1155/2015/768049. Epub 2015 Apr 7.

Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide. Yue C1, Chen J2, Hou R1, Liu J1, Li X1, Gao Z1, Liu C1, Wang D1, Lu Y2, Li H3, Hu Y1. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 31;10(7):e0134363. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134363. eCollection 2015.

Schisandra chinensis fruit modulates the gut microbiota composition in association with metabolic markers in obese women: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study .Song MY1, Wang JH2, Eom T3, Kim H4. Nutr Res. 2015 Aug;35(8):655-63. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.05.001. Epub 2015 May 14.

Anti-inflammatory Effects of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill Fruit Through the Inactivation of Nuclear Factor-κB and Mitogen-activated Protein Kinases Signaling Pathways in
Lipopolysaccharide-stimulated Murine Macrophages. Kang YS1, Han MH1, Hong SH1, Park C2

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.