The Schisandra berry is with us also under the name Chinese split basket known. The most common application is the dried fruit or a tea made from the berries. It is a medicinal plant that is very versatile.
Similar to grapes, the fruits of the Chinese split basket hang together in dense bunches. These berries reach a size of up to eight millimeters and each carry two seeds. The scientific name is Schisandra chinesis. The plant belongs to the star anise family (Schisandraceae). As the popular name suggests, this is Chinese split cups mainly native to China, but can also be found in Japan and Korea. More popular names are Chinese berry grape, Chinese lime tree and Wu Wei Zi.
The climbing plant can grow up to eight meters in height. During the winter time the throws Schisandra berry their leaves peel off, but the stems persist and lignify after a while. The leaves are eight centimeters long and egg-shaped. The red or white flowers sprout from May to July, they are both male and female. The berries develop from these flowers in spring.
Similar to grapes, these fruits hang together in dense clusters. The berries reach a size of up to eight millimeters and each carry two seeds. Similar to its home countries, the Chinese split cage also thrives in the western latitudes in a temperate climate.
The Schisandra berry has its origin as a medicinal plant in its main homeland China. Chinese medical practitioners have valued the plant's broad spectrum of activity for thousands of years. This medicinal plant now enjoys a good reputation worldwide. In our western latitudes it is mainly used in the field of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
The main areas of application of the multi-purpose plant are liver weakness, general weaknesses and signs of aging. The long list of areas of application shows how versatile this little “wonder plant” is. So it helps with colds, coughs and asthma. But it is also used for common diseases such as diabetes, fears, fatigue and burnout syndrome.
But palpitations, exhaustion, eczema, insomnia and Parkinson's are also among the areas of application. Furthermore, the plant is used for poor concentration, stress, forgetfulness, weak libido, fatigue, skin rash, skin inflammation, diarrhea, hepatitis.
The healing effect is adaptogenic, aphrodisiac, balancing, blood purifying, regenerating, antispasmodic and strengthening. The ingredients are schizandrin, gomisin, essential oil, minerals, vitamins, ligans (phytohormones) and deoxyschizandrin. The most common tea is made from the berries. Two teaspoons of dried Schisandra berries are used for this. To get a detectable effect, three cups a day are necessary.
Because the taste of the berries is so important for the effect, it makes sense to eat the dried berries. Five grams a day is enough to achieve a sufficient effect. Since the medicinal plant has a very strong effect due to its natural ingredients, the intake should be interrupted after about six weeks. In this way, possibly undesired long-term effects can be avoided and there is no habituation effect. The medicinal properties of the plant are retained even during the break.
The Schisandra berry is one of the few wild plants whose components can be used safely, as neither the berries nor the leaves are poisonous. Because of this, many people use the berries in their unprocessed form and chew them after they have dried. These natural components of the plants have a positive effect on health due to their high vitamin content and the other ingredients.
The popular Chinese name Wu Wei Zi describes the taste of the Schisandra berries: sweet, sour, salty, hot and bitter. These five flavors correspond to the five basic elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): earth, fire, metal, wood and water. Chinese medicine uses the Schisandra berries to balance different meridians such as the lung meridian, heart meridian and kidney meridian.
The flow of energy within these meridians is strengthened when it is too weak and weakened when it is too strong. This balancing effect is known as adaptogenic. The use of the Chinese split basket is similar to the use of the ginseng berry. Scientifically researched is the effect of the Schisandra berry on the liver function in the area of liver weakness and hepatitis. Chinese medicine proves that the effect of this versatile "all-purpose weapon" can be relaxing, invigorating and rejuvenating. For this reason, it is widely used for depression, signs of aging, all types of memory problems and skin problems.
It is often used in the area of libido strengthening, for women and men, which is attributed to the general strengthening effect on the whole organism. The positive effect of schisandra berries on cancer has not been scientifically proven. However, Chinese medicine uses this as a supportive means that has a strengthening effect on the compromised immune system. This can have a positive effect on the well-being of the cancer patient, especially during chemotherapy.
Many users appreciate the appetite suppressing effect of the berries. Due to their very peculiar taste, which at the beginning takes a lot of getting used to, hunger pangs weaken and the desire for sweets disappears. The healing effect in the area of the eyes and ears is interesting. Eyesight and hearing can improve with regular use. The Chinese split cup is one of the few medicinal plants that are also used in the area of hearing loss.
Despite its diversity, homeopathy rarely uses this medicinal plant, as it relies more on the medicinal plants known to us such as St. John's wort, ginseng, saffron, lavender, curcumin and buttercups. Although even medical research has proven the effect of the Schisandra berry in clinical studies in the area of liver function, there are no long-term clinical studies that control and scientifically prove the effect with regard to its broad range of applications.