This deciduous vine has blue-green foliage and pink tinged white flowers followed by clusters of bright red berries that have a tart lemony taste and smell. The berries have long been used in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine and has been gaining popularity in Western herbalism and medicine since it has so many benefits.
These vines can be grown like any other vine on a fence, wall, or arbor and can be grown in full shade to part sun. Schisandra vines only need to be pruned minimally/as needed in February so it is a pretty low maintenance plant.
Some of the benefits of Schisandra berries include promoting restful sleep and helping with insomnia, improving cognitive functions in those with chronic stress, helping protect the liver, cardiovascular system, and other organ systems by modulating inflammation, and there have been some preliminary studies that have possibly found that it could have anti-cancer benefits.
While the main flavor of the Schisandra berries is tart, you can actually find all 5 tastes (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and pungent) if you have a good, developed sense of taste. For this reason, it can be a fun berry to try in different forms. Mainly, the berries are used in decoctions (the dried berries are simmered) and tinctures but are also made into an array of baked goods, foods, and candies. The fresh berries can even be infused in hot or cold water for tea. If you’re looking to make something with Schisandra, you can find powdered, dried, and freeze-dried forms of it. An easy recipe to try is Schisandra berry syrup. It can be spooned over yogurt, added to sparkling water, or just eat a straight spoonful!
Schisandra Berry Syrup
What You’ll Need:
- ½ cup dried Schisandra berries
- 1 cup raw, local honey
- 2 cups of water
- A jar to hold to store the syrup
How to Make it:
- Add water and Schisandra berries to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.
- Strain to remove berries. Allow liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.
- Transfer Schisandra berry syrup to a jar and store in the fridge.
Have you tried Schisandra berries? What did you think of this 5 flavor fruit? If you think you might want to add a plant or 2 to your garden, we still have some 1 gallon and 3 gallon Eastern Prince Schisandra Vine plants for sale here and here.