Botanical Name: Schisandra chinensis | Family: Schisandraceae

Common name(s): Schisandra, Wu wei zi (Chinese, roughly translates to 5-flavored fruit), Magnolia Vine


  • Perennial woody vine | Zones 4-7 | up to 30 feet long  | Fragrant leaves and flowers followed by red berries
  • Need male and female to get fruit
  • Partial to full shade | moist, well-draining, acidic soil


The ripe red fruit is harvested in autumn. (Above photo’s berries are not ripe.)


Decoction: Simmer 1-2 tsp of the berries in 8-10 ounces of water for 5-10 minutes, then let steep for 20-30 minutes. Take 4 ounces 3x/day.

Tincture: 2-4 ml, 3-4x/day

Capsules: 400-450 mg powdered herb, 3x/day


Constituents: Lignans*, triterpenes, essential oil, vitamins C & E

Actions: Adaptogen, aphrodisiac, astringent, hepatoprotective (liver protector), sedative, tonic

Uses: Anxiety, insomnia, mental clarity, depression, improve reflexes, stress, hepatitis, when taking acetaminophen, tetracycline, or other hepatotoxic medicine, normalizing blood pressure

Cautions: Do not take as a tonic while suffering from acute bacterial or viral infections like cold, flu, pneumonia

Combinations: Use with bacopa, fresh oat extract, and rhodiola for treating ADHD in teenagers and adults


  • Sour, sweet, salty, bitter | pungent, warm, dry


*  The lignans are what help protect and heal the liver

I am so – SO – excited about this plant and definitely want to add it to my property. I can’t believe all the things it is good for. And it appears to be relatively easy to grow and grows in my growing zone.

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