This Chinese Magnolia Vine plant information (Schisandra chinensis) post provides you with a recipe, edible and medicinal information and how to grow the vine. This deciduous woody vine is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 – 10 and likes some shade and moist well drained soils. It is native to Northern China and the Russian Far East. The vine can grow up to 30 feet in length and can grow up to 3 feet a year.
The Chinese Magnolia vine is dioecious, requiring both a mail and female to reproduce. There is a hybrid called ‘Eastern Prince’ that is self fertile. They can grow up a trellis or on the ground. The stems that spread over the ground produce neither flowers nor fruit.
They are not tolerant of drought and need consistent moisture. Schizandra is also called Wu Wei Zi or “five flavored berry” because it contains all of the five tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, astringent and sour.
The Chinese Magnolia vine has elliptic or oval deep green leaves with red petioles.
The bright red berries in 4” grape-like clusters ripen from mid August to mid September. The fruit ripens in late summer on year-old wood.
This plant can be propagated by suckers, softwood cuttings, seeds, and layering. The seeds need to be soaked in water and require cold stratification.
In the late winter or early spring prune out dead and weak growth. Then cut last year’s stems just above the 12th-15th well developed bud.
Chinese Magnolia is used in Russia in the commercial manufacture of juices, wines, extracts, and sweets. The fruit can be eaten raw or processed. The young leaves are often cooked and used as a vegetable.
Schisandra is used as an “adaptogen” for increasing resistance to disease and stress, increasing energy, and increasing physical performance and endurance.
Schisandra is also used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery.
It is also used for treating liver disease (hepatitis) and protecting the liver from poisons. The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra.
Other uses for schisandra include treatment of high cholesterol, coughs, asthma, sleep problems (insomnia), nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, involuntary discharge of semen, thirst, erectile dysfunction (ED), physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss.
Some people use schisandra for improving vision, protecting against radiation, preventing motion sickness, preventing infection, boosting energy at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of sugar, and improving the health of the adrenal glands. *
Schizandra Tonic Tea Recipe
When making schizandra berry tea you should simmer it for only 15 minutes as extended cooking times tend to release tannins, creating an overly tart and astringent tea. Unlike other tonics, such as ginseng, the berries should be dis-guarded after use and not re-used.
- 1 quart water
- 3T schizandra (soaked and drained)
- 1T goji berries
- 1T astragalus root
- 1t orange peel or a couple of pieces
- 1t fresh ginger root
Simmer the above ingredients in one quart of pure water for no longer than 15 minutes. Strain and drink alone with super sweeteners or allow to cool and blend into a smoothie or iced drink.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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