Although many Americans have never heard of it, schizandra has been used in medicine for over 4,000 years and may be one of the most important foods you could incorporate into your health.
Named by the Chinese “Wu Wei Zi,” schizandra is directly translated as “Five-Taste Fruit.”
In Chinese medicine, food is classified by its energetic effects, so this five-flavored berry — which embodies all five tastes of sour, bitter, sweet, pungent (spicy) and salty — offers a wide variety of benefits to the body.
Beyond that, the schizandra berry tonifies all three “treasures” to sustaining human life: Jing (essence), Qi (chi, or life energy) and Shen (spirit).
Schizandra integrates with the human body with great harmony and balance. It accesses the 12 standard meridians, which correspond to body parts and also through which Qi flows.
This five-taste superfood offers five more big benefits than we’ve discussed so far. Even better, you don’t have to travel to the East to access this ancient, healing berry.
5 Benefits of the Five-Flavored Berry
Generally, the schizandra berries are dried after harvest and turned into concentrated powders. These can be put into healthy shakes, brewed into tea or simply eaten plain.
The health benefits of schizandra are endless, as it’s considered one of the most powerful “youth tonics” of earth. It also …
Cleanses the Liver
Within the body, schizandra is a powerful liver and kidney detoxifier. It causes toxins to be released and successfully eliminated from your body.
Schizandra’s liver-cleansing effects are due primarily to antioxidants and lignan components in the seeds of the fruit. These include schizandrin, gomisins, pregomisin and deoxyschizandrin.
The National Institutes of Health suggest a lingan-rich diet can be beneficial, and that factors like smoking, antibiotics and obesity can reduce the body’s lingan levels.
Also, schizandra improves liver function by activating enzymes that speed up liver cell growth. (I’ll tell you about a unique benefit of a healthy liver in just a moment.)
Purifies the Blood & Boosts Blood Flow
Schizandra is one of the most-potent blood flow boosters on earth. Increased blood flow benefits the entire body … especially the cardiovascular system, the brain and vitality.
This can explain why schizandra is a strong aphrodisiac and is a favorite among both men and women to boost sexual health.
Schizandra is also great for an exercise boost, as more oxygen to the muscles can increase power output and endurance.
Schizandra is an adaptogen, which facilitates the body’s ability to cope with stressors. It has also been reported to decrease blood pressure, which is commonly associated with higher stress.
Beyond that, schizandra will help fight adrenal fatigue, which is commonly linked to (or made worse by) chronic stress.
Schizandra is a potent anti-inflammatory and is loaded with antioxidants that support healthy cellular function. This can make it very effective against aging.
Remember, in China they believe the berry to contain all three primary life energies: Jing, Qi and Shen. These life forces restore vitality and extend life … so this powerful berry can serve as a longevity tonic.
Schizandra berry tea is particularly known for its ability to provide a radiant, glowing and youthful appearance to the outer surface of the skin.
It was specifically used in China by women of the imperial court to enhance and preserve a youthful appearance.
Schizandra teas or extracts can help pores to open or close. They can even speed up the healing of skin tissue. That’s because they create and preserve moisture as well as lubricate the skin.
By facilitating smooth, supple skin cells, this berry helps to protect skin from the damaging effects of too much sun or wind.
It is also excellent for those with skin conditions like acne because of its effects on cleansing the liver — which is often at the root of many skin issues.
Other benefits of schizandra include increased cognitive functions, immune-boosting properties, and improved eyesight and lung health.
Schizandra is most commonly available as a dried herbal berry or as a powder. Both forms are easily oxidized and could eliminate many of the benefits of the berry. This will be apparent through the brown color or tone that usually accompanies such products.
Instead, you want your schizandra powder to be a bright and vibrant pink.
High-quality schizandra berry concentrates are made using a cold extraction process, where the berry is dried through a proprietary process. This yields a pure powder, packed with the benefits we’ve discussed today.
You also want to make sure your schizandra is coming right from the U.S. to ensure its freshness. So, be sure to read the label before you give it a try!