MATERIA MEDICA - SHISANDRA BERRIES 五味子

 

Shisandra berries, aka Wu Wei Zi - 五味子, translated as "five flavor berry" due to its five flavors - sweet, sour, acrid, bitter, and salty. This vine-grown berry is every organ's friend - as it basically enters all the meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners have used Wu Wei Zi for centuries to generate fluids, treat coughs, insomnia, night sweats and exhaustion due to lung and kidney deficiency. It also treats emotional distress by calming the heart and quietening the spirit.

Modern studies show that Wu Wei Zi helps boost mental focus, clarity, memory, and improves physical performance. Talk about an over-achiever! To top off, this adaptogenic berry rejuvenates and hydrates the skin and protects the skin barrier against environmental stress and pollution.

SHISANDRA TONIC

Take a tablespoonful of schisandra berries, soak for several hours or overnight, rinse, and steep in 1 cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. For additional benefits, you may want to add a small amount of goji berries or licorice. Strain and enjoy. Sweeten to taste with honey. You can also make a cold infusion by steeping the schisandra berries in room temperature water overnight.

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