The healthy effects of the Schizandra herb have been recognized in the realm of Chinese traditional medicine as a lung-protecting agent. Schizandra has also been used as a heart tonic in China, and is acknowledged as imparting anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-depressant properties.
Schizandra is a woody vine that usually creeps upward. Schizandra that is native to China and Japan. It is also known as Magnolia Vine and typically grows in gardens. The schizandra fruit has a sweet, salty, bitter, hot and sour taste, hence its Chinese name wu wei zi meaning five taste fruit.
Schizandra has a considerable concentration of lignans, which are phytochemicals commonly found in plants that have certain antioxidant and protective effect on certain parts of the body. Other active constituents of schizandra include beta-sitosterol, gomisin and schisandrin. Besides the phytochemicals, schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins and essential oils. It is also said to be rich in phytoestrogens.
To make schizandra tea, place 2 to 4 tablespoons of dried schizandra berries in 2 cups of boiling water. Reduce the temperature to a simmer and allow the dried berries to soak in the water for about 12 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to one cup. The schizandra berries may be re-boiled until they lose their color and taste.
The following health benefits are attributed to Schizandra tea:
- May assist in treating such liver ailments as hepatitis.
- May aid in the treatment of coronary heart disease.
- May help sedate the nervous system and hence combat insomnia and irritation. It may also help enhance brain efficiency and improved reflexes.
- May help fight and resist infection.
- Could help combat skin disorders.
- In conjunction with other herbs such as ginger, wormwood and bupleurum, may be helpful in the fight against Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Claimed to possess properties that help in treatment of problems in the eyesight.