Schisandra Berries (Schisandra chinensis)

Schisandra Berries: Botanical Name (Schisandra chinensis)

Who doesn’t looove berries? Sweet strawberries, tart and sweet blackberries, tangy and sweet blueberries are just a few of my favorites. Schisandra is a unique berry in that it has FIVE different flavors! Sour, bitter, sweet, salty and pungent. So… would you make a Schisandra berry pie with this? Not so much. Some people add Schisandra to food for flavor, but it’s mostly used for its therapeutic properties, so you wouldn’t necessarily want to make a pie with just Schisandra, but you can add a small handful to your favorite pie. You could make a syrup with these gorgeous berries, too!

The flavors/tastes ‘explode’ in your mouth, very tart. There are palatable ways to include these berries in your foods. In her book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, Rosemary Gladstar suggests soaking the berries in fruit juice or wine to drink as a tonic. I will sometimes soak dried berries overnight to remove the tannins and then add them to a hot herbal infusion the following morning. Very tasty!

Once, I infused these gorgeous berries in honey, thinking they would be more palatable, but I won’t do that again because they are very tart even in the honey. I did consume a small teaspoon every day of this herbal honey infusion until it was gone for the health benefit and because I hate to waste anything I’ve worked on, but it wasn’t as pleasant as I thought it would be. LOL


Nowadays, I simply create tinctures with these berries. Tinctures can be a nice way to consume herbs when they’re not the most pleasant tasting. And tinctures are quick and easy to use when time is an issue. Surprisingly, Schisandra tastes REALLY good as a tincture! At least, I think it does. Simply add a full dropper to water or warm tea and drink. I love the ease of use of herbal tinctures, so I use them often. I’ll share a future post explaining the craft of tincturing.

Why I like using and talking about Schisandra Berries!

These berries have a long history of use for their robust medicinal and therapeutic properties. This herb all-by-itself can provide a long list of health benefits. It is often used in formulas or by itself to promote a long life, enhance energy levels in the body, it is a strong antioxidant, and can reduce inflammation.

Scientific research on this herb has shown its ability to protect brain function and cardiovascular disease. The promising research on the herb’s ability to moderate neurodegenerative diseases is exciting with dementia and Alzheimer’s on the rise.

All great reasons to incorporate this herbal remedy into our daily regime, wouldn’t you agree?

I love the idea of using a plant to promote health and enhance the body’s ability to withstand stress and slow down the aging process because we connect to the plant energetically when we consume it, which simply enhances its efficacy. Consuming herbs is a relationship with the plant.

I’m not stopping there, though. This herb provides even more amazing benefits to the body… it’s known as an adaptogen.

What are Adaptogens?

An adaptogen is non-toxic herb that supports the body and mind during stressful times. Adaptogens help us adapt to the daily stressors of life by supporting the body with powerful active ingredients. In the case of Schisandra, it has a strong tonic feature that increases energy and endurance, as well as decreases fatigue and mental fog. It is also known to decrease stress-hormones in the body. For me, all of this is great news! I’ve been dealing with a LOT of stress lately, so I want to give my body and mind a little extra herbal love!

Liver Support, too? What? 

So, we’re making our way down the list of ALL the benefits of this amazing herb, and we can’t leave out the positive effects it has on the liver and liver function. Many of you probably know how important it is to support the liver (after all, it works very HARD for our bodies). The liver is the body’s ‘filter’, it’s always working to clean out what we’ve been exposed to or what we’ve allowed into our bodies. If the liver is healthy and strong, the body, as a whole, is better able to battle disease.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) suggests that if you have propensities toward anger, frustration or bitterness, your liver may need some tender loving care and Schisandra can help with this.

Now, let’s be honest with ourselves! There’s no such thing as a ‘silver bullet’. Not just one ‘herb’ is going make us feel better. If we’re consuming lots of sugary caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, eating an unhealthy diet, or living a sedentary lifestyle, herbal remedies have an ‘uphill battle’. As we remove unhealthy eating habits, add more intentional movement to our daily routine, and then add some gentle healing herbs, we just might find that we’re feeling better and better each and every day!

Give it Some Time and Patience

Herbal remedies typically take time. It’s not like taking pharmaceuticals or even OTC medication. Some people report they experience immediate health benefits, but often it’s likely to take at least a couple of weeks and up to two months to experience the improvements you’re looking for. Using herbal remedies is a reminder to ‘slow down’ and let the body rest. Stay consistent and give yourself a little extra herbal love.

How have you used Schisandra in your herbal toolbox?

If you’d like to try this gorgeous adaptogen, visit the C.R.Y. Herbals store.

Resources used for this post:


Disclaimer: The information written in CRY Herbals’ emails, blog & website is for creative and educational purposes only. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. All questions regarding any health condition should be addressed to your primary care physician or other healthcare provider. We are simply ordinary folk who love experimenting and working with natural herbal products to enhance and support the body in health and well-being. It is joy and honor to explore the historical and contemporary practices of herbalism for the purposes of education and personal fulfillment. ?


  1. Sarah

    Thank you Deborah. I am in North Carolina! I did do the double extraction just as I do my reishi, and it came out a nice pink color and looks and tastes great! A very potent tincture!

    Thanks for your help, Sarah

    • Deborah Burroughs

      Yay!! I’m glad it worked out. It sounds delightful.?Thanks again for reaching out!

  2. Sarah

    I grew schisandra and this is the first year I got a harvest of berries! I made a syrup with some of them (yum!) and the rest I put in a jar with everclear for 6 weeks now. Now my questions is, should I do a double extraction method and also boil the berries in water and add it to the tincture? There is not a lot on the internet about this. Thanks!

    • Deborah Burroughs

      Hi Sarah!! First, how fun that you grew your own Schisandra!! I’d love to know what part of the world you’re in. 😉 As far as the dual extraction goes, I’ve never done a dual extraction with berries, only medicinal mushrooms & Usnea. It’s an interesting idea (extracting the water-soluble constituents this way). However, since you used fresh berries, it’s likely you’ve got most of the water-soluble constituents already. Perhaps, try doing the dual extraction for part of your tincture, and then compare the two in terms of taste and effect to decide which you prefer. Please let me know how it goes!!


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