Imagine seeing a small bright-red fruit. It looks like a dried cranberry. You put it in your mouth, expecting a sweet and sour taste. But once you start chewing, a strange and unusual flavor explosion surprises you. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy all at once. It’s as if the fruit could not decide what to taste like.

This is the extraordinary Schisandra berry, which is referred to as “wu-wei-zi” in Chinese. The woody vine is native to North-East China and Far Eastern Russia. In Chinese herbalism it has been popular as a powerful herb for centuries while in other parts of the world it has remained almost completely unknown. When it comes to consuming the berry, it is worth knowing that the Schisandra is rarely eaten raw. The preferable preparation is in the form of herbal tea or dried.

“Calm the heart and quiet the spirit”

Due to the different flavors and properties, Chinese believe the fruit to be Yin-Yang balanced. When referring to food, Yin-Yang is a concept used within Taoism, explaining whether food has a warming or drying effect. A balance between those effects is optimal and desirable for overall health.

Schisandra berries appear in many folklores and ancient stories as a fruit with beautifying and strengthening properties. Apparently, there is a painting showing the goddess of beauty and eternal youth, Magu, serving Schisandra as a symbol for longevity and immortality. Another story revolves around a man with astonishing beauty after having consumed the Schisandra Berry for over sixteen years.

A source of energy on long hunting trips

Another intriguing story centers around hunters in Siberia and Northern China who would consume dried Schizandra berries in order to boost their energy-levels and help survive the tough conditions, including the cold weather and the lack of other resources during the hunts.

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Bio Berries
Nazareth, Belgium