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Schisandra chinensis (五味子 in Chinese, pinyin: wǔ wèi zi, literally "five flavor berry") is a deciduous woody vine hardy to USDA Zone 4 and is dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female, thus both male and female plants must be grown if seeds are desired. It is very tolerant to shade. Its Chinese name comes from the fact that its berries possess all five basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter.
Additional recommended knowledge
Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically documented liver protecting effects. The primary hepatoprotective (liver protecting) and immuno-modulating constituents are the lignans schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin, which are found in the seeds of the fruit. It should not be used by pregnant women.
In China, a wine is made from the berries.
In Korean the berries are known as omija (hangul: 오미자), and the tea made from the berries is called omija cha (hangul: 오미자 차). In Japanese, they are called gomishi.
In 1998, Russia released a postage stamp depicting S. chinensis.photo
Use in traditional Chinese medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, Schisandra chinensis (known as wu wei zi) is believed to:
Wu wei zi is believed to enter the Lung, Heart and Kidney meridians and its properties are considered to be sour and warm. The typical dose is between 1.5 and 9 grams.
Contraindications include: Internal Excess Heat with External Syndrome, early stage cough, rash, rubella, or peptic ulcer, epileptic seizure, hypertension, and intercranial pressure.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Schisandra_chinensis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|