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Schisandra berries are not a fruit you will want to drop on your oatmeal or mix into a smoothie. These unique berries are primarily used for medicinal purposes although its name in Chinese, Wu Wei Zi, means five-flavored berry.
Schisandra has the distinction of tasting simultaneously sour, salty, sweet, pungent, and bitter. Its flavor has been described as “strange” and a “conflict” of sensations.
The red Schisandra berries are part of a climbing vine native in northeast China and some areas of Russia. Growers cultivate the plants in long rows and harvest in late July and early August. Most Schisandra is sun-dried before being added to various herbal formulas, although some is refrigerated for making health juices.
Schisandra chinensis is an adaptogen, a natural substance that assists the body in maintaining health, energy, endurance, and a sense of well-being. To be considered an adaptogen, plants must lower physical and mental stress, have a broad array of medicinal uses, and be nontoxic.
The Schisandra berry is known to reduce stress hormones in the bloodstream and enhance the performance of athletes by boosting coordination and energy. Research confirms that it elevates concentration, cognitive clarity, and accuracy while reducing mental fatigue.
Of all medicinal plants, Schisandra is thought to be one of the most protective for the human body. It is a part of many traditional herbal formulas, particularly for energy and mental health. Although it has been an essential of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over two hundred centuries, Schisandra is not well known in Western markets. However, with its amazing health promoting properties, increasingly backed by clinical research, this may change.
People interested in trying Schisandra can find dried berries in Chinese grocery stores, herbal, or medicinal shops. Consuming a few dried berries daily is all that is necessary to enjoy the health benefits. Schisandra supplements are also available. Only those that are “standardized to the schizandrins” contain active medicinal compounds.
Source: Medicine Hunter
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