One of my favorite herbs is Schisandra chinensis (Wu Wei Zi). I don’t think there is anything that schisandra can’t do, and there is no other herb like it.
The Chinese name means five taste fruit (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty). Having all these tastes in one herb provide a variety of actions making it a superior tonic.
Because we are entering spring, I’d like to focus on how to use schisandra for the Liver. Let’s first understand what the Liver is in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as what it does to keep us healthy.
Understanding The Liver From A Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
When talking about the TCM Liver, think protective, healing, regenerative, and detoxifying.
The Liver is the body’s filter and is responsible for the smooth flow of qi, emotions, and cycles. It houses the Hun (ethereal soul) which influences life planning and the sense of direction in life. The emotions associated with the Liver are anger, frustration and resentment. If you are feeling in a rut, stuck in life, weighed down and angry, you may need to focus on your Liver.
In addition, the Liver also:
- Stores blood
- Regulates menstrual and sleep cycles
- Opens to the eyes
- Controls tendons and sinews
- Manifests in the nails
Spring is the most yang season of the year. It is the time to clear toxins and excess winter weight, decongest your Liver and bring your body into harmony with the season. Schisandra is a great herb for this time of year.
If you are doing a cleanse or just looking to supplement a clean diet with a Liver herb, schisandra is a great choice. And since it helps so many other systems, schisandra is not only a big boost to your overall health but also a boost to your daily quality of life.
How To Use Schisandra For The Liver
I personally use schisandra for the liver as a tincture – 20-30 drops daily in water. Tinctures are very portable, have a long shelf life, and are very convenient when you are on the go.
Capsules are available, but be sure to buy them from a reputable company to ensure quality and freshness.
You can use the powdered or freeze dried schisandra at a dose of three (3) grams/day. Brew into a tea and add ginger, cinnamon or turmeric.
Another great way to use the berries or freeze dried plant is to make pastilles.
Schisandra Berry Pastilles
Recipe by Rosalee de la Forêt on Learningherbs.com.
- If the honey is too thick, gently warm to a thin, syrupy consistency in a double boiler on low heat.
- Place the schisandra powder into a small bowl and slowly add the honey to the powder until you reach a thick dough consistency. The dough will be rolled into a ball so add more honey or more schisandra powder to reach your desired consistency.
- Roll the schisandra and honey dough into small pea-sized balls.
- Optional – roll the balls in rose petal powder or any other herbal powder to prevent them from sticking together.
- Place pastilles in an air-tight container, and store in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.
Suggested use: Based on a dosage of 3 to 6 grams a day, the recipe above yields approximately 5 to 10 total servings (Forêt, 2015). The pastilles should be chewed in order to taste shisandra’s 5 flavors.
Do you have a favorite way to use schisandra for the liver during spring? If so, share with us in the comments below.
Forêt, Rosalee de la. (2015). Schisandra Pastilles. Retrieved from http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/schisandra-berry-pastilles/