Schizandra Fruit - Wu Wei Zi
Products Featuring This Herb:
Schisandra Extract Powder 100 grams
Schisandra Extract Powder 5 kilograms
8 Immortals Drops
Ant Drops, Chinese Mountain
Diamond Mind Capsules
Diamond Mind Drops
Ginseng & Zizyphus
Goji & Schizandra Drops
Hair & Nails
Platycodon & Fritillary
Return to Youth
Super Yang Jing Drops
Spring Dragon Drops
Spring Dragon Longevity Tea
Tao in a Bottle
Eight Immortals Teapills
Emperor's Teapills Economy Size
Five Ancestors Teapills
Great Pulse Teapills
Notoginseng Eucommia Pills
Peaceful Sleep Teapills
Return to Spring Teapills
Tonify Lung Decoction Teapills
Other Common Names
Page # In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Wu Wei Zi
Jing, Qi and Shen
Organ Meridian Systems
Heart, Lung, Spleen, Liver, Kidney
Primary Traditional Functions
Tonifies all three treasures (Jing, Qi and Shen), tonifies and regulates all five elements, tonifies and regulates all twelve organ meridian systems, astringent to Kidney and Lung. generates body fluids, Improves memory.
Schizandra is the herb that does almost everything. Schizandra develops the primary energies of life and is therefore of great use to anyone who consumes it. Schizandra generates vitality and radiant beauty when used regularly for some time. It is a safe and powerful tonic herb which is mildly calming and possessing pain-alleviating properties. If used for 100 days successively, Schizandra is said to purify the blood, sharpen the mind, improve memory, rejuvenate the Kidney energy (especially the sexual energy and functions in both men and women) and cause the skin to become radiantly beautiful.
The very name of Schizandra in Chinese tells us a great deal about the qualities of this herb. Wu Wei Zi means “Five Taste Fruit”. Due to the fact that Schizandra possesses all five of the classical “tastes” (sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty) and therefore possesses the essence of all five of the elemental energies (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), Schizandra is respected as a health-providing tonic in the same class with Ginseng and Ganoderma.
The Taoists especially revered Schizandra. Schizandra was my teacher’s, Sung Jin Park’s, favorite herb. This is because Schizandra contains all five elemental energies in abundance, contains all three treasures in abundance and enters all twelve meridians. Master Park considered it to be the quintessential herbal substance.
Though Schizandra is believed to benefit all the functions of the body, its has traditionally been considered to have the most influence on the Kidney, Lung and Liver functions. Schizandra is one of the few foods that possesses the ability to perform double phase detoxification of the liver. That means it detoxes the liver dumping the toxins into the blood and then detoxes the blood. Without the 2nd phase of detox, the toxins would be reabsorbed into the body and be caught in a cycle leaving the state of the body in less than optimal condition.
Schizandra is said to increase the Water Qi in the Kidney. In particular, it is said to vastly increase the “water of the genital organs”, referring to the sexual fluids. Schizandra is said to promote the production of semen. It is famous for its ability to relieve sexual fatigue and for increasing the sexual staying-power in men. It is therefore an ingredient in the vast majority of men’s sexual tonics in Asian herbalism.
Women benefit from the same capacity to increase Water Qi of the Kidney. Schizandra is said to increase circulation and sensitivity in the female genitals. Many women claim increased genital warmth and sensation after using Schizandra for a period of time. The Chinese sexual classics claim that continuous use by a woman will increase the amount of “female elixir”, a euphemism for vaginal secretions, during intercourse. On the other hand, Schizandra is used clinically to help counteract vaginal discharge.
For both men and women, Schizandra is considered to have “aphrodisiac” qualities, especially when combined with other Kidney tonifying herbs like Goji, Cistanche, Deer Antler, Epimedium, etc. Furthermore, Schizandra is one of the most important astringent herbs used in Chinese herbalism. An astringent herb conserves fluids and in the case of Schizandra, it tends to contain sexual fluids until the appropriate time of release. Therefore, consuming Schizandra for a period of time, one tends to build up sexual fluids. Schizandra is used in sexual formulations to prevent premature ejaculation and to help promote incredible endurance.
Schizandra is widely used to beautify the skin and to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and wind. Due to the astringent quality of Schizandra, the skin tends to hold its moisture and becomes full and beautiful. It has always been very popular with the wealthy men and women of China because of its youth preserving and rejuvenating effects. It is said that those who use Schizandra consistently will remain youthful in both appearance and physiology. I have seen the benefits of this herb with my own eyes hundreds of times in my life. People who start taking Schizandra regularly all change for the better. Their skin virtually glows and becomes clear and fine after several months.
This herb is considered to be one of the premium mind tonics of herbalism. It is used to sharpen concentration, improve memory and increase alertness. Yet, unlike caffeine-like stimulants, Schizandra does not produce nervousness. In fact, some people consider Schizandra mildly “calming” while producing wakefulness and improved focus.
Schizandra is one of the primary cleansing tonic herbs used in Chinese herbalism. Schizandra stands along with Reishi as the primary liver cleansing agents used in tonic programs. Schizandra does not have the side effects that are associated with many of the “medicinal”, or “inferior” liver cleansing herbs. This is due to Schizandra’s double phase cleansing functions. This means it rids the Liver of toxins which get dumped into the blood. The Schizandra continues on to cleanse them from the blood so they excreted and are not reabsorbed. It is believed that by taking Schizandra regularly, it is possible to rid the body of toxins before they have a chance to do serious damage. Schizandra, especially alcohol extracts, are widely believed to protect the liver from damage due to poisons, as well as the by-products of living.
Schizandra is among the most popular tonic herbs in Asia and is frequently pictured in ancient art as a symbol of longevity and even the ability to attain “immortality”.
Varieties and Grading
There are two varieties of Schizandra: Northern and Southern. Northern Schizandra is generally considered to be superior to the southern variety. It is stronger tasting and more potent. The skin and meat of the Schizandra fruit are sweet and sour, the core is pungent and bitter, the whole fruit salty. Virtually all Schizandra is collected wild in the mountains and hills away from cities and industrial areas. Dragon Herbs uses only northern Schizandra collected in the pristine Chang Bai Mountains of northeastern China.
The fruit, which is mature in the fall, is a beautiful, radiant violet-red. The plant grows by entwining itself around short trees in dense areas where forest and grassland meet. In my experience searching for Schizandra in Northern China, I have always found that Schizandra tends to grow in relatively inaccessible areas, often near cliffs and streams. It is almost impossible to cultivate Schizandra and very few farmers try. However, wild Schizandra is not overly abundant and the end users should appreciate the difficulty that collectors experience in collecting it.
High quality Schizandra, as we see it in American herb shops, is dried and dark purple with some pinkish tone left. Freshly dried Schizandra has a luster and the flesh is still plump and tender. If the fruit is dark black, brown or has white patches everywhere, it is probably too old to be fully useful. Freshly dried Schizandra still has a very pleasant sweet-sour aroma. With experience you will be able to select premium Schizandra with your eyes closed. The fruit has a wonderful flavor and fresh Schizandra has a smoother, sweeter fragrance. Be careful to select good Schizandra. Schizandra is often stored for years before it is sold in herb shops. I have seen Schizandra that is barely recognizable. It was shriveled, black and lifeless. This Schizandra would be herbally useless. Keep the Schizandra in a well-closed container in a dark closet or better yet refrigerate it. When you find great Schizandra, stock up — it is the quintessence of everything good about tonic herbalism.
Scientific Knowledge: The fruit of Schizandra chinensis contains numerous lignin’s, schizandrins A, B and C, deoxyschizandrin, g-schizandrin, pseudo-g-schizandrin, schizandrol and Schizandra esters. Fructus Schizandra contains approximately 3% volatile oil. It also contains vitamins C and E, citral, b-sitosterol and citric acid.
Schizandra is considered to be one of the premier adaptogens. Just like Ginseng, Acanthopanax and Gynostemma, Schizandra increases resistance of the body and mind against nonspecific stimuli. It can protect the body from damage due to extreme or chronic stress. In particular, it can protect the adrenals and prevent atrophy due to extreme stress.
Schizandra has been demonstrated in laboratory animals and in humans to have a stimulant action on the central nervous system. The herb works directly on the nervous tissue. Many studies now indicate that Schizandra actually has a powerful balancing and regulating action on the central nervous system. It can result in accurate and optimal balancing between the excitatory and inhibitory control functions of the cerebral cortex.
It has been demonstrated that human intellectual activity can be enhanced and work efficiency increased by consuming Schizandra. Various tests have shown that moderate therapeutic doses of Schizandra can improve various activities requiring concentration, fine coordination, sensitivity and endurance. The tests in humans confirming Schizandra’s efficacy in these areas range from threading needles to running marathons.
Human studies have shown that Schizandra can improve vision, even enlarging the field of vision and can improve hearing. It also improves the discrimination ability of the skin receptors. It has been determined that this increased sensitivity is due to improved function of the central nervous system’s ability to analyze data flowing to it from the peripheral sensors. Schizandra has been shown to have significant respiratory strengthening capacity. It can cause the breathing to be both deeper and more powerful. Schizandra also has significant expectorant and antitussive action.
Fructus Schizandra has been shown to have significant hepatic protective effects. It can promote the regeneration of liver tissue, protein synthesis and nucleic acid synthesis. It is believed that the protective action of Schizandra is partly due to its ability to promote the regeneration of mitochondria in hepatic cells. It can also improve the function of the cell membrane, lowering its permeability which in turn minimizes enzyme leakage into the blood stream.
It can reduce elevated 0 in patients with chronic hepatitis. In a clinical study conducted in China, more than 5000 people suffering from various types of hepatitis were given Schizandra and the results were very good. The aggregate effective rate was 84-97.9%. 0 was normalized in about 75% of the cases.
In another clinical study, Schizandra was proved to be very effective in treating various neurotic symptoms, including insomnia, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, palpitations and nocturnal emission. It has even been used in cases of psychosis, with symptoms of hallucination, paranoia and neurosis, with good results.
Schizandra chinensis has been found to induce the production in human beings of g-interferon. It contains shizandrin, schizandrol, volatile oil, chamigrenal, malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, Vitamin C, etc. Extracts of Schizandra have been shown to induce non-specific resistance in humans comparable to similar effects well established for Panax Ginseng, Astragalus and Ganoderma.
Fructus Schizandra is an ingredient in an extremely important tonic preparation called Formula for Restoring the Pulse, which consists of Panax Ginseng, Ophiopogon root and Schizandra fruit. This formula has been broadly studied in China as an example of how tonic formulations work and because it is very widely used in Chinese hospitals. Experiments have shown that this formula has the effect of dilating blood vessels, increasing the coronary blood flow, enhancing the anoxic tolerance and reducing toxicity of toxins to the body. It is effective for cardiac shock, acute myocardial infarction and myocarditis and is tonifying to the heart and effective at raising blood pressure in patients with low blood pressure.