Schisandra (SCHISANDRA CHINENSIS)
In Chinese medicine, schisandra is considered a balancing herb, Hobbs explains, because it contains all five flavors of the elemental energies: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy. It is taken as a general tonic, as well as for specific ailments.
INDICATION Schisandra is a delicious way to preserve memory, says James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy.
BENEFITS Improves cognitive function * protects the liver * reduces irritability * promotes sleep.
SIDE EFFECTS Schisandra causes no significant adverse reactions.
DOSAGE 1.5 to 6 grams of dried berries daily; or 500 mg to 2 grams a day of extract.
SCIENCE Asian animal studies indicate that schisandra improves memory and mental coordination. The herb also protects the liver from a variety of toxic agents, and is used to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. It is considered a sexual stimulant, as well, though researchers have yet to confirm this.