Wu wei zi its Chinese name means five flavoured fruit.
This fruit from this vine encompasses the tastes of sour, sweet. bitter, pungent and salty. Quite a range for one plant. This is a superior tonic herb in Chinese medicine.
Schisandra relates to all five elements and the plant energy enters all twelve meridians. Such is its wide ranging effect that Ron Teeguarden’s Korean Master held it as his personal favourite amongst the Superior tonic Herbs.
It also contains in abundance all three energetic treasures in the Chinese medical system. These are Jing Qi and Shen. This is a personal favourite of mine in the Superior tonic range of Chinese herbs.
An interesting lesson I learned from Schisandra tincture was using a bottle of 12 year old tincture and finding it still good and efficacious. The finer notes of the taste had diminished but the medicinal effect was still good. Whilst this cannot be extrapolated across all plant type tinctures it shows that an alcoholic tincture can be a very long lasting medicine. Far longer than the recommended shelf life codes placed on just about anything these days.
I respond well to Schisandra and with the 12 year old tincture I felt a beneficial effect from just five drops straight away. Powerful tonic herb indeed
From there I moved on to making my own tincture and after pressing out the berries decided to use them on my breakfast each morning rather than throwing them out. They make a nice surprise in the morning muesli with their complex flavour.
Growing this interesting plant from seed is my current project. Richo Cech has this plant down as belonging to the seed whispering category for success. My first attempt is still sitting in a pot with not much happening.
The current second attempt is looking more promising after some internet research revealed a scientific paper on propagating this plant from seed and cuttings. The seed needs to go through a range of very specific conditions especially temperature. This paper hailing from authors in Moldova was a revelation for me.
The link to a PDF of this paper is below.
By the way Schisandra is spelled in a few different ways, the second s sometimes being a z. The Chinese name Wu Wei Zi also varies amongst authors. Scientific name is always the same and I have a related article talking about its American cousin.
Ron Teeguarden – The ancient wisdom of the Chinese tonic herbs
Brandon Daemon – Tonic herbs audio talk
The biology of the propagation of Schisandra chinensis
The paper from scientists in Moldova on propagating this wonderful plant.
Chi Berry Farm
This link takes you to some details about Dr Chang’s Schisandra farm in Western Massachusetts. I have no commercial relationship with Dr Chang.