Common name Schisandra

Latin name Schisandra chinensis

Parts used Berries

System affinities

As an adaptogen, schisandra has an effect on the adrenal system. It is also known for its effect on the male and female reproductive system. 

Energetics/characteristics/flower essence/dosha

Schisandra is a predominantly sour herb, which means it is tightening and drying. Therefore, it is most indicated for the kapha dosha. It is also on the warmer side, which can indicate it for the vata dosha as well, but to a lesser degree. Because of the warming, drying nature of this herb, it is not indicated for the hot, dry pitta constitution.

Taste and quality

Schisandra is famously known as the five-flavor berry, because it supposedly tastes like all five flavors known in TCM: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and pungent. 


The most famous action of this herb is as an adaptogen, which means it helps to regulate the adrenal glands, which in turn helps lower stress levels and help the body cope better in times of stress. For this use it is recommended specifically for deficient constitutions. It is also used as a reproductive tonic, for both the male and female reproductive systems, and as an endurance and stamina booster.

History and lore

Schisandra originated in China, where it has been used in TCM for centuries. 


Dosing and formulas

We have schisandra in two forms: straight in a glycerite infusion, and as an ingredient in our Stress Tonic. As a glycerite, the dose is 1-3 dropperfuls added to carbonated water or drinks; it’s meant to be a fun way to interact with herbs, so if you want more or less for flavor, it won’t kill you. The dosing for the Stress Tonic is ½ teaspoon in water 1-2 times a day. It’s best to take this tonic consistently over a long period of time to build up its medicinal effect.