Schisandra comprises of five flavours as it’s Chinese name “wu wei zi” suggests. These five flavours are sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty which corresponds to the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidney in TCM zang-fu organ theory. Hence, Schisandra is considered to have nourishing effects on the five internal organs.

Schisandra can consolidate and strengthen qi, promote body fluid production, nourish the kidney and calm the heart. It is traditionally used to treat symptoms of heart, lung, and kidney deficiency such as chronic coughing, palpitations, insomnia, enuresis (inability to control urine), and excessive sweating. Modern studies have also found that Schisandra can calm the central nervous system, stimulate the respiratory system, protect the liver, improve immune function, has antibacterial and anti-oxidant properties.

The taste of Schisandra is mostly sweet and sour and therefore is commonly used in food therapy:

1. Schisandra Tea

Schisandra can be brewed into tea on its own or together with Ophiopogon (Mai dong) or other yin-nourishing herbs. Schisandra and Ophiopogon tea nourishes qi and yin, promotes body fluid production and quenches thirst. It also has heat clearing and mind calming effects. A little rock sugar can be added to adjust the sour taste of the tea.

Schisandra Tea

2. Schisandra Longan Porridge

Schisandra longan porridge can calm the mind by nourishing the kidney and heart. It is good for people with symptoms of insomnia, poor memory, heart palpitations and excessive sweating. This porridge is also suitable in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Schisandra and longan can be brewed into tea as well. Drinking it before bedtime helps to soothe the heart and mind, thus improve sleep quality.

Schisandra longan

*Take note: Schisandra food remedies are not recommended for patients with gastric problems and pregnant women. Taking large amounts of Schisandra for prolonged period of time may cause acid reflux, heartburn and/or drowsiness. Stop consumption immediately if you develop allergic reactions.

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