In Chinese wǔ wèi zi, literally "five flavor berry" which is its common name.
It is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. The plant likes some shade with moist, well-drained soil. The species itself is dioecious, thus flowers on a female plant will only produce fruit when fertilized with pollen from a male plant.
Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Chemical constituents include the lignans schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin, which are found in the seeds of the fruit. It should not be used by pregnant women.
- acts as an antidepressant
- supports the nervous system, strengthens resistance to stress, improves concentration, balances emotions, stimulates synaptic neurotransmission (improves thinking, quickly providing biochemical information to the cell)
- effectively supports the fight with insomnia and nightmares
- in combination with Aloe Vera it is used in treatment of leukopenia
- strengthens the heart (improves ventricles contractility)
- supports metabolism
- helps in the fight against liver diseases (prevents inflammation of the liver, is much more effective in the regeneration and detoxification compared with other means of liver detoxification)
- excellent agent for those with hepatitis C virus type A, hepatitis B, cirrhosis of the liver
- great with strenuous exercise, including athletes
- is a powerful antioxidant
- an important factor to the treatment of retinopathy, myopia, diabetic cataract
- has adaptogenic properties - it adapts the immune system to the current needs
- has antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic properties
- exhibits anti-HIV activity
- relieves cough
- acts anti-inflammatory
- a prophylactic effect for the tumors of the colon, breast, prostate