Most people still haven’t heard of schizandra, but it’s taking the health industry by storm. If you’re a self-described “health nut,” here’s a berry that you might want to check out.

What Is It?

The berry itself is native to China, and grows on a vine that wraps around the trunk of a tree. The berries are red, and contain 5 different flavors. In fact, the word “schizandra” is derived from a Chinese word that means “five flavor berry.”

it’s salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent or spicy, all at the same time. If that sounds intense, it’s because it is. The berry is often used as a health food, and taken for its many health-promoting effects.

The Benefits

There are many benefits to taking the schizandra berries:

As a liver cleanser: The schizandra berry is said to protect the liver from harmful toxins. Radiation and unwanted environmental exposures are soaked up and expelled from the liver, excreted out of the body.

Schizandra liberates the liver from toxins, and it’s perfect for a springtime cleanse. It’s even been used to treat liver diseases like hepatitis.

As a longevity herb: This herb maintains your vitality. The schizandra berry is anti-inflammatory, and it’s also a rich antioxidant that supports healthy cellular functioning. This, in turn, helps slow down the aging process. In China, they believe the berry contains the “three treasures”: Jing, Qi, and Shen. These life forces are said to restore vitality and extend lifespan.

Skin health: The schizandra herb is said to help improve skin health, wellness, and beauty with long-term use. Schizandra has been used in some treatments of skin disorders because of its ability to cause radiance.

It’s said that 100 days of use will cause your skin to glow, and your energy will be greatly improved.

It works by deactivating free radicals that attack liver cells.

Increasing brain activity: Schizandra will give you a boost of energy comparable to what you might get with some vitamins or minerals, like B-12. It increases your sense of focus.

Menopause: It helps ease the symptoms of menopause and supports the adrenals, while balancing the hormones in the body. In Korea, schizandra is used to treat some cardiovascular illnesses related to menopause.

Stress: The schizandra berries act as an adaptogen, which helps the body cope with stressors. It’s also supposed to help decrease blood pressure and fight adrenal fatigue.

Insomnia: Schizandra can help you fight insomnia. While it aids in mental clarity, it also relieves anxieties and stressors which helps you relax and sleep.

Increasing stamina: Many athletes have reported using schizandra to increase stamina and performance. It reduces fatigue and improves physical power and endurance. Some athletes have even shows better performance results with long-term use.

Cardiovascular help: The schizandra berry is helpful for your lungs. It improves blood flow and helps your body maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.

It can also lower your cholesterol, and it’s been used to ease coughing and increase energy. Some people with asthma have reported amazing improvement in their condition.

How To Consume It

There are many ways to consume the schizandra berries:

Juice: While it’s not the most popular method, it’s catching on. Juice made from the berries is often sweetened to cut the bitterness. But, the berry itself is bitter and sour, so depending on the formulation, it might come through in the juice.

You can drink this straight or have it as part of a smoothie.

Powder: A lot of Schizandra berry extract is consumed in pill form because it’s easy to take and it can be standardized. In pill form, most people take the equivalent of ½ to 1 teaspoon per day. The powdered form can also be put directly into smoothies and mixed with almost anything.

It adds a little heat to your smoothie, which can be interesting. But, it also adds a complexity not found with any other supplement.

Straight: Most people do not eat the berries straight because the sourness and bitterness tend to dominate. However, some people find this to be an interesting and unique health challenge. Eating the berries fresh gives you the most powerful experience.

However, finding fresh berries is difficult, because they’re only grown in certain parts of the U.S. and China, and Russia. Unless you shop at local farmer’s markets that sell them, or have a supplier that can ship them to you, you will probably have to settle for the extract.

Nick Eberle is a lifelong student and health/fitness enthusiast. As the owner of Lucidera he is proud to operate a transparent American company and hopes he can inspire people to live closer to the land that supports them and to live a healthier happier life.

Your Dining Center aims to be your one-stop blog for anything that is related to coffee.

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