Schizandra is a herb that develops the primary energies of life. Michael Tierra writes that “schizandra restores vital energy and secures primal Qi so it doesn’t leak out of the body.” The Chinese name of this herb – wu wei zi – means “five flavours herb”, as it possesses all of the flavours recognized in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with sour being the most pronounced, revealing the herb’s astringing qualities and affinity for the liver.

Schizandra’s vitality enhancing effects are best noticed when used for a prolonged period of time. Ron Teeguarden writes that if used for 100 consecutive days “schizandra purifies the blood, sharpens the mind, improves memory, rejuvenates the kidney energy (especially the sexual functions in both men and women), and causes the skin to become radiantly beautiful.” Its uses as a skin remedy extend into the treatment of some types of hives and eczema.

Schizandra berries can serve to promote tranquility of mind and help to alleviate emotional and physical pain. In both Russian and Chinese herbal traditions, schizandra has been used to treat psychopathologies such as neurosis, schizophrenia, and alcoholism. Schizandra improves sociability and reduces emotional tension and disharmony. It is one of the primary remedies, along with hawthorn, that I consider for the treatment of ADD and ADHD; schizandra berries can greatly improve concentration and the capacity of attention, as well as sharpen hearing and vision. Schizandra is also quite useful in helping to improve coordination, to remedy forgetfulness and absentmindedness, and to reduce irritability.

In TCM schizandra is used to increase the water qi in the kidneys and the water of the genital organs [i.e. the sexual fluids]. Schizandra performs the function of balancing global fluid levels in the body, thus it can also be used to treat night sweats, excessive thirst and urination. These are only some of the many uses of this miraculous remedy.