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One of the top herbs in the Taoist system, schisandra is known for its ability to harmonise the flow of Qi through the five organ systems of the human body. It is especially revered for its effects on the Kidney and Liver organ systems.
This nourishing highly adaptive herb helps balance the nervous system, improves brain function, elevates immunity, and through its effects on the overall harmony of the body, assists those who consume it in remaining youthful, both in appearance and physiology.
In folk herbalism, it is said that if taken for 100 days consecutively, schisandra purifies the Blood, brings sharpness to the mind, optimises memory, rejuvenates and astringes Kidney Essence (Jing), and supports reproductive function in both men and women. Schisandra also supports the Lung Qi, and may assist in harmonising Lung dysfunction.
In China, schisandra is known as wu wei zi, a name which translates to “five-taste fruit,” named after the incredible flavour profile of the berry that has all five tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent. Each taste/flavour corresponds to a major organ system within the body, and thus why schisandra is known for its capacity to influence/enter all five major organ systems of the body: the Liver, Lungs, Kidneys, Heart, and Spleen. This is why it is considered one of the ultimate herbs in Taoism; schisandra is able to regulate the entire system, nourish all organs, and thus protect all Three Treasures of the body (Jing, Qi and Shen).
Also known as a ‘beauty berry’ of the Orient, schisandra was used by ancient Chinese royalty to preserve youthfulness, enhance physical radiance, boost desire, and as a potent reproductive tonic. Schisandra has an excellent capacity to regenerative Water Qi in the Kidneys, thus building primary essence and rejuvenating sexual fluids. For our intention to age with grace, with a twinkle in the eye and our unique beauty radiating from within, we can't think of a herb that has our backs (and organs) more than schisandra does.
Traditionally used in Chinese medicine to:
- Support a healthy stress response in the body
- Relieve weariness/tiredness/fatigue/feeling of weakness
- Enrich/nourish/fortify/strengthen the Kidneys
AUST L 378031
Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra berry*)
10:1 extract powder
All herbs in this formula are sourced Dì Dào from herb-producing regions of China. Sourcing herbs from their spiritual homeland is born from the Taoist philosophy Dì Dào. Dì Dào poetically translates as ‘the way of the Earth’ and shows us where to harvest herbs if we wish to experience the herb’s true Spirit. From its ‘original place’ or ‘spiritual homeland’, a method that results in a product that is both full spectrum and medicinally robust.
Our carefully dual-extracted schisandra is sourced Dì Dào from China's Changbai Mountains.
Caution use in those with an active peptic ulcer. Caution use in pregnancy - schisandra may cause uterine contractions and is useful postpartum to assist healing.
Schisandra, Detoxification and Hormonal Health
One of the core elements of long-term health is the capacity to detox and cleanse the body. From the perspective of the ancient herbalists, this embodied detoxification is more broadly viewed as a smooth flow of Qi through the Liver system. Schisandra’s ability to enter all 5 of the major organ systems within the body ensures that the many detoxification pathways (the skin, Kidneys/Bladder system and the Lungs) are also being supported.
Smooth-flowing detoxification channels, specifically through the Liver are very much related to hormonal balance. One of the primary active constituents in schisandra is called lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that are found in a variety of plant foods. Bacteria in the digestive system convert lignans to lignan precursors which are known to have weak, but beneficial estrogenic activity within the body. These lignan precursors and the plant’s fibre attach to excess oestrogen so it can be removed via the body’s systems of elimination. This process ensures the body is able to maintain healthy oestrogen levels which is key to preventing the manifestation of a number of hormonal conditions including PMS, dysmenorrhea (period pain) and even low libido.
Schisandra & Adaptogens
For a herb to be classified as an adaptogen it must embody certain characteristics; Its consumption must not cause harm or place additional stress on the body. It must promote healing within the body via a non-specific action, providing support for all of the body’s vital systems, including the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system. It must be adaptive in nature, assisting the body to overcome any physical, psychological or environmental stressors.
Through the lens of Western Herbalism, schisandra is classed as an adaptogenic herb. It has been found that two active compounds within the herb express this adaptogenic quality: schisandrin and gomesin. These two compounds have been shown to have a protective effect on the nervous system, support the HPA axis and reduce inflammation in the body.
In ancient Taoist medicine, tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms were used to nourish and tonify specific systems within the body. These systems correlate with the natural elements, and their direct effect can be classified as either Major or Minor.
Major: Liver Wood/Kidney Water/Lung Metal/Spleen Earth/Heart Fire
When there is harmony between the body systems and elements, we cultivate the expression of health known as our Treasures.
Major: Yin Jing/Qi/Shen/Blood
Time of day
Whatever feels best for you! You can enjoy Schisandra any time throughout your day.
Generally, we recommend taking the herbs daily in small doses, to begin with. This allows you to develop an understanding and acknowledgment of how the herbs are unfolding their medicinal magic for you. Follow the dosage instructions on the package, or start with 1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon per day, adjusting the dose if you feel it necessary within your unique body system.
Doses can be taken as high as two teaspoons per day, however, most people find their sweet spot with 1/2 to one teaspoon per product, per day. We call this sweet spot your "lifestyle dose". We don't recommend taking more than two tablespoons of herbs a day. These extracts are potent, and you want to take care not to overload the body with too much of a good thing.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take Schisandra whilst pregnant?
Tonic herbs are generally warming, building, and nourishing. In the context of health optimisation and the Taoist tradition, tonic herbs are not directly used to treat individual symptoms, but instead to create harmony and strength within the system as a whole.
In this regard, we generally only recommend our Reishi and Eucommia Bark during pregnancy as there is quite a lot of empirical use of these herbs in pregnancy in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoist Tonic Herbalism.
To learn more about the tonic herbs best to take during pregnancy, read this article
As pregnancy is a very individual journey, we recommend checking in with your health care provider when starting on any new herbs or supplements as they will have a more comprehensive scope of your medical history.
Can I take Schisandra while breastfeeding?
We do not recommend Schisandra at this time as this herb influences the body’s detox pathways, especially through the Liver. Mobilising toxicity while breastfeeding is not ideal. If intuitively you feel that Schisandra is relevant to use at this time, please do so in small quantities or under the guidance of your health care provider.
Schisandra and Detox Go Hand In Hand
When was the last time you gave your Liver some love? Read on to find out how this pleasantly zesty-tasting Schisandra berry will detox your Liver system and tonify ALL major organ systems within the body.
Schisandra: The Magical Berry with Mason and Tahnee From SuperFeast (EP#57)
Mason and Tahnee explore schisandra's adaptive qualities, the herbal lore surrounding its historical use, its potency as a Liver and sexual tonic and so much more!