As society seeks out the most cutting edge innovations in wellness, we discover the potency of traditional and ancient remedies passed down through generations. One of the most widely celebrated in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the tonifying herb schizandra.

In Chinese it is known as Wu Wei Zi – translating to five flavour fruit. A berry unlike any other, the schizandra fruit offers a unique profile containing sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent, with each flavour corresponds to the 5 elements in TCM.

The schizandra chinensis plant has been cultivated for over 2000 years for its immense health benefits and can be found growing on vines throughout Northern China & Russia.

According to ancient folklore, it is believed that if one consumes schizandra for 100 days consecutively it will replenish their entire system from the inside, out. For this reason, schizandra has been utilized as a beauty tonic & herbal tonic for the elderly and ill by enhancing the liver, kidneys and heart systems. It is shown to tonify all 3 treasures recognized in TCM – Jing, Qi, and Shen, enhancing energy, calming the spirit and focusing the mind.

If that’s not enough to make you consider adding this lovely little berry into your life, here are 5 proven benefits of schizandra and how it may contribute to your wellness routine:

~ Beauty Tonic ~ Enhancing skin elasticity and improving overall complexion, this berry is filled with powerful antioxidants preventing free radical damage caused by oxidation. The astringent properties are proven for allowing the skin hold in moisture, hydrating dry skin throughout all seasons.

~ Liver Tonic ~ Renowned for its detoxifying abilities, schizandra berry contains the active compounds lignans, proven to protect the liver from environmental damage. A healthy liver promotes clear skin, bridging the connection to its historical use as a beauty tonic.

~ Adaptogen ~ Assisting in handling our daily stressors, adaptogenic herbs such as schizandra can be consumed daily in small doses to enhance our bodies ability to deal with external stressors. The ease in which this adaptogen acts upon the adrenal system makes it a wonderful choice for those finding it difficult to deal with stress or anxiety.

~ Combats Insomnia ~ Commonly prescribed by doctors for treating stubborn insomnia. Schizandra reduces physical and mental fatigue throughout the day, while calming the mind when needed.

~ Mental Clarity ~ The scientific tests directed at proving the enhanced mental clarity found that schizandra improves coordination, memory and cognitive functions in a variety of activities. This comes at no surprise considering the qualities schizandra has upon reducing mental fatigue.

I found the schizandra berry while seeking out a herbal remedy for healing my skin, specifically liver tonifying and detoxifying herbs, alongside topical treatments in order to attain glowing skin. Although I have yet to try it for 100 days consecutively, I do occasionally brew a cup of schizandra tea or add the extract to lemon water in the morning.

A simple recipe to create a liver tonifying herbal tea can made by brewing schizandra berries with a combination of He Shou Wu and goji berries. Both of which are also renowned for their liver tonifying benefits.

The berry extract can be added into smoothies and elixirs or crafted into flavourful desserts.

You can grab all of these ingredients on the Light Cellar online store HERE

Simone Clement

Simone Clement

Simone Clement is a current student at The Wild Rose College of Natural Healing. First drawn to plant medicines many years ago, she created an apothecary in her apartment to craft tea blends and inspire others by improving their health naturally. These discoveries of herbal and natural remedies have flourished into a position at the Light Cellar, where she shares her passion for the healing potential of plants.