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Glossary: Schizandra

Sakara Glossary is your go-to place to learn the foundation of optimal health and wellness. We will give you the 411 on the minerals, vitamins and concepts that are integral to a healthier, more conscious, sexier life.

 

Schizandra Berry (shhh-izzz-ahn-dra-bear-eee)

Origin: China + Russia

Schisandra chinensis // Wu Wei Zi (five flavored berry) // Ultimate Superberry

 

Schizandra works plant kingdom magic on both men and women in supple, sensual ways. Yes, schizandra is a berry, but no, it does not work like your average goji, mulberry or acai. Trust us on this — you do not want to be popping schizandra as a snack or sprinkling it all over your lovingly curated smoothie bowl. Schizandra is bitter, pungent, sour, salty, and just downright medicinal. You want to consume this stuff as so — a spoonful of sugar (or, so Mama Poppins says) helps the medicine go down. 

Schizandra is a vine native to the northeast of China, as well as various corners of Russia. It’s cultivated in long rows and harvested around late July to the beginning of August. For over 2,000 years in China, schizandra has been used and regarded as the ultimate balancer between yin and yang. It is said to help calm the heart and quiet the spirit, while simultaneously stimulating the brain, protecting the kidneys and liver, and detoxifying the lungs. Schizandra is also the ultimate adaptogen — balancing out your body’s fight or flight stress response (something many of us modern movers and shakers could use a daily dose of).

Scientifically, schizandra has been studied for it’s miraculous nutritional compounds schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, schisanheno, schizandrol, sesquicarene, citral, stigmasterol, antioxidants including vitamins C and E — all known to symbiotically increase energy, improve mental clarity, fight fatigue, slow the aging process, smooth out the skin, bring shine to the hair, act as an anti-inflammatory, increase life longevity and vitality, and act as the liver’s number one fan (aka, chemical supporter). Whew. What an herb. But above all, schizandra is the liver protector of all time and is frequently used in the treatment of hepatitis.

The Ultimate Berry doesn’t stop there — it’s quite the aphrodisiac. It’s been proven to work as a sex potion between lovers, becoming an herbal kind of Viagra for the weary. 

Schizandra may be a potent herbal tonic, but it blends well into many teas, elixirs, and bakes well in goods (like, say, a Sakara breakfast scone). You can find schizandra in a couple forms: berries in bulk, powdered in health food shops (or Chinatown) and alchemized into Moon Juice dusts. But no matter where you buy or how you use, be sure that you’re getting the schizandra swell of organic, standardized schizandrins — the active compounds you need to reap benefits!

Begin taking this whole-body medical tonic, and you’ll be high-flying to stress-free longevity day after day after day (all with some incredibly shiny hair, supple skin, and a rad sex drive while you’re at it). Sign. Us. Up.

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