Schisandra Berry, Wu Wei Zi

Schisandra Berry, Wu Wei Zi
Botanical Name: Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Barll.

Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis

Pinyin: Wu Wei Zi

Functions and Uses: Kidney tonic, replenishes and astringes essence, lung tonic,relieves cough and asthma, generates body fluids, nourishes and detoxifies the liver and blood, hepatitis, impotence, night sweats, insomnia, strengthen sex organs, sexual stamina, sharpens the mind, tonifies the nervous system, adaptogenic, promotes beautiful skin

Summary: Schisandra is another extremely popular tonic herb that has been revered and used in China for thousands of years. It was prized by Chinese emperors, Taoists, women, and common people for its ability to prolong life, preserve or restore youthful vigor, beautify the skin, increase sexual energies, sharpen the mind, and promote spiritual vitality. In ancient medical texts it was classified as a "Superior herb," able to lengthen ones lifespan and prevent disease. It is a very special herb because it is said to contain all five of the earth's elements and enters all twelve meridian systems of the body with its main influence on the kidneys, liver, heart and lungs.

Schisandra is a an effective adaptogen that protects the body from mental and physical stresses. It strengthens and optimizes the functions of the adrenals and the nervous system. Studies have shown that schisandra increases mental performance and working capacity. It has been shown to increase stamina and recovery time after exercise, improve the ability to perform concentration-required tasks, and to decrease fatigue. Interesting research was conducted in a laboratory over a ten year period to find the biochemical basis for its "Qi invigorating" action. What was found is that schisandra has the ability to fortify mitochondrial antioxidant status, offering the body a generalized protection against harmful challenges both of internal and external origin. Since the mitochondria are responsible for the generation of cellular energy, and schisandra safeguards its function, it provides a biochemical explanation of its historical use as an energy (Qi) tonic.

Other studies have shown schisandra to have strong antioxidant activity and to improve cardiac function. Rats were protected from adriamycin induced cardiotoxicity when they were given schisandra extract. Adriamycin is an chemotherapeutic agent that is used against cancers but its use is limited due to its cardiotoxicity.

Schisandra is also a vasorelaxant and increases nitric oxide production which helps with healthy blood circulation and the erection of genital tissues in male and females. It was historically believed to be a wonderful sexual tonic which nourishes the kidneys (which are responsible for strong sexual functions), promotes sexual fluid production, and enhances the staying power in men due to its astringent action of preserving fluids and consolidating and "grasping" the "Qi" (energy) of the kidneys. Schisandra protects "jing" and yin. It should be understood that its tonifying, modulating effect on the nervous system is also largely responsible for its sexual strengthening abilities.

Its fluid producing, detoxifying, astringent action helps to beautify the skin and stop spontaneous sweating. Schisandras astringent action also helps treat diarrhea, involuntary seminal emission, urinary incontinence, chronic cough, and asthma. It nourishes and increases the "Qi" of the lungs, increasing depth and power.

Schisandra has been shown to detox, regenerate, and protect the liver. Research in China shows that it stimulates liver cell regrowth and antioxidant activity, while lowering elevated liver enzymes in those with hepatitis. People treated for hepatitis with schisandra have shown very high success rates.

Schisandra is an herb that when taken, benefits all levels of your being. It promotes a composed alertness and generates a feeling of well being. It brightens the mind and a feeling of spiritual vitality is felt, especially when taken long term.