Join Mase today as he raves about his favorite berry. What he covers:
Hello, beautiful people. Always really excited, not only to talk to you, but to talk about Schizandra. So that's going to be, got a little focus on Schizandra. Just because it's by far one of the most incredible tonic herbs. It's up there in reverence. It's one of those ones that was really admired by just sort of the elite in the ancient days, like the emperors and the concubines and those with wealth, would just be drawn to Schizandra. Why were they drawn to Schizandra? That's because over thousands and thousands of years, the medicine men and women, those people living off the land, and then what later became known as the Taoist and the Taoist herbalists, they knew that Schizandra was up there and one of the absolute most life-giving herbs, one of the tonic herb's, the superior herbs that you'd include in your diet, and it would get into your organs, and generate life and flow through those organs.
Now, which organ is Schizandra focusing on? Wu Wei Zi is its traditional name, and it's the five-flavoured fruit. Five-flavoured berry is another translation, but because it is containing all of those five flavours, it is said, and does enter into all five major organ systems. And so this is what's known as a quintessential herb. So it's one of those herbs that if you go back as far as we can conversations with Taoist herbalists and hermits, it was like that whole, it seems like a very Western question. What's one herb you would take? Schizandra is quite often the answer, over reishi, and over ginseng, because it is such a quintessential all-around holistic herb. Now predominantly though, the flavours are of sourness entering into the Liver, and saltiness entering into the Kidneys. And this is really where Schizandra shines, right?
And it's also got a little bit of that pungent, that bit of that pungency as well, it's known as a Lung herb. It's just known as an everything herb. But let me stick to the Liver and the Kidneys. So within the Kidneys, when you look at the law around Schizandra, its legacy through thousands of thousands of years, very simply, it's known as a youth preserver, right? It's known as a beautifying herb. And it is prized as being a sexual tonic. And whenever something is especially a sexual tonic, you're going to see it being put aside with that reverence for preserving youth, because our sexual fluids, our sexual vigour is associated with our longevity, basically. And with our exuberance, we want to be, when you think about our own, I'm assuming everyone is going to be able to look back to their early twenties or late teens and think about their sexual vigour at that age, that's what is being preserved. Because in general, without, with a herbalism and Taoist practices, but especially with Schizandra berry.
And why is that? It's because it's one of the primary Yin Jing herbs, and it's also an astringent, and so it's in that astringing nature, it's actually coming in and it's locking in that sexual fluid, and helping also in its Yin nature, generating that Yin salty flow of Qi through the Kidney system, supporting our body in the generation, and holding of those sexual fluids, which really creates a lot of that fertility for that youthfulness to continue to come forth as we gracefully age over time. And this isn't anything to sneeze at, Schizandra is, you don't rise to the top of a system that has tens of thousands of herb's, if not more, without actually being able to back it up and Schizandra completely backs it up in terms of being a sexual, libido, cultivating, youth-preserving, beautifying herb when you take it longterm.
Now it's kind of known as an aphrodisiac when you mix it with other things that are an aphrodisiac like epimedium and cistanche and these kinds of herbs, but it's not going to act like a traditional aphrodisiac like boom, take, now straight away like I'm ready to go. Maybe in the beginning, but what it will do is get in there in the Yin nature and cultivate that Kidney essence over time, so that there's an ever present burn of that underlying health that is sexual vigour. So it was a beautiful sexual tonic, and we need to be able to say that without it being gimmicky or anything like that. As I said, youth preserving, sexual tonic. They're always put side by side, and so it's one of these herbs that I just think everybody should really have either the Schizandra from our range or the Beauty Blend, because the Beauty Blend has a really good dose of the Schizandra in them, and it's a supporting herb also in the I Am Gaia.
So you're getting a little bit there in the I Am Gaia. It is such an incredible herb. And you don't hear me say this, I might say it about medicinal mushrooms, but I know you don't really hear me say it too often. Schizandra is one of those ones I think everyone should have there in their apothecary. And at least have experienced once taking it consecutively longterm. In fact, it's one of the primary initiations into Taoist tonic herbalism is the hundred days of Schizandra. And we gently put out this message about a hundred days of Schizandra. You should experiment on yourself, because it's actually life changing in what it can do. And why it's great is because then we move on to our... We've gone from our salty Kidney flavour, and now we're kind of coming up into the sourness, going into the Liver, in the Chinese system anyway.
When you can completely bring a flow of Qi and a regeneration into Kidney, and to a lesser extent, but especially Liver function, and I mentioned Kidneys there because when the Kidneys are full, I've mentioned this before, for those of you that are playing along, when the Kidneys are the mother organ of the Liver, right? And so the Liver is the child, and when the mother's full, this is incredible adaptogen as well, when you're peeling stress off the body, when you're physiologically able to adapt to emotional, psychological stress, and physical stress, right? Your adaptability is up, which is happening with Schizandra. It's one of the primary adaptogens that the Russians were studying in the 70s, and were like, that is an adaptogen. That is a herb that has a nonspecific action in the body. We don't know where it's going to go, but it's going to take you towards a capacity to perform at a higher level.
That's an adaptogen. That's what Schizandra was right up there, so you've got all that going on, that's protecting your Jing essence in your Kidneys. They're filling up, and then boom, straight away the child, the Liver system, which archetypically is, yes, it's a bit of the artist, the creative, Schizandra and the Wood element in general, but Schizandra is said to absorb the Qi of the East. And so it's that sunrise energy, it's that springing up energy. It's the creation energy, it's birthing energy, which is spring season element, which is Wood. Liver, Wood, and so naturally Schizandra is going to be a incredibly famed Liver tonic for bringing a smooth flow of Qi through the Liver. And I like it, because it does it in a way that isn't aggressive. It's not like doing a big liver flush, which I'm a fan of, don't get me wrong, but I'm talking about ensconcing a herb in your practice, whether it's something you might take it daily for a while, and then it might just come down to, you're having a Schizandra a couple of times a week, or a week on, a week off.
It just fits into your diet after a while, but it's one of those ones that stays in your diet, Schizandra, because very gently, but progressively you're upping, yes, if we go into the actual physiological liver, you're upping your phase one and phase two levels of detoxification. Remember that the amount of clearing of toxins, not dictating, conducting of the hormonal orchestra is occurring within the liver, which hormones to decommission, leave in, recycle, so on and so forth. This is all the intelligence of the liver. You put that on top of the fact that you are upping the capacity for the liver to cleanse the blood, remember we're not storing toxins in the liver. That's a fallacy, but in this toxic world, our liver needs all the help it can get in its function for phase one, and phase two.
And so remembering that the liver actually isn't storing toxins, that's a fallacy. What it is doing is supporting your body in decommissioning that toxicity from the blood, cleansing that blood, and then once it gets decommissioned, getting it into a form where it can be through phase three, released through the bile, down into the digestive system where it can be captured by binders like clay, and fibre, and just a good peristalsis, digestive system, because you're all healthy people that move a lot. But when that occurs, the amount of stress that comes off the body is so intense, and that comes off the Liver is so intense that its ability has the energy to go and be the conductor of the orchestra of the endocrine system, decommissioning some hormones, leaving them in. Because it's such a finite, the secretions and where hormones and the level of hormones and where they need to go is so intricate, you need to your Liver to be on. If it's been absolutely plowed by excess toxicity, so you've got to get the toxicity out of your body, out of your life and out of your diet. But then having herb's like Schizandra, they're just enabling its capacity to do that with efficacy.
What happens then is your endocrine function goes up, and the Liver system, back in the Liver system now. That's governing your vision, so it has a lot to do with your actual eyesight, and the peripheral nervous system. So when it comes to tension, people think, remember the Spleen is governing the actual muscle and the generation of muscle, but the Liver, and Schizandra has a lot to play in this, is controlling that peripheral nervous system and those nerves which are controlling that contraction and relaxation of those muscles. And so if you've got stagnation going on through the Liver, which a lot of people do, because the Liver has absolutely been smashed and everyone's angry and frustrated and upset and resentful. So emotionally, you're backing up at the same time. Very healthy to release those. And absolute warning. Sometimes people get onto good quality Schizandra, and I probably don't even have to mention it, I don't like turn it into a competition. But this is, in terms of a powdered extract, it is by far the best Schizandra you're going to find. Very effective.
And because it's very effective, the way that we grow it and harvest it, partially wild and partially beautifully farmed Di Tao, right up in the hills, takes ages to get up into Changbai Mountain farms where these are grown. With companion planting, not a pesticide in sight. Mushrooms grow, weeds growing all over the place. It's beautiful. It's wild, and it's rough. And there's pine and birch forest all around it. It works. And so emotionally, you can start releasing some of those little emotional molecules. And so you've got to be aware that there might be a bit of processing of anger and resentment and these kinds of emotions. It's physiologically related, right? And related heavily to the Qi. And so if you do get onto especially a hundred days of Schizandra, you're going to have an opportunity hopefully to process some of those emotions. Then basically, what we are looking for is it's a gradual, gentle upping of the flow of Qi and the capacity to take toxins, and get them out of the body, and be the maestro of the hormonal orchestra.
At that point, the Liver Qi is flowing so beautifully that all of a sudden, you've completely renewed your Blood, right? The Liver isn't stressed out, so we can store Blood. That's quite often what happens is it's such an overload of resentment and anger and toxicity in the body, that it stresses the Liver. The Liver can't store Blood, and that's what it's meant to do. So all of a sudden that can lead to then stressing out the Spleen, and the Kidneys, pulling on them to generate more Blood, because we can't create this storehouse of them. And so it's a huge organ, and Schizandra's just by far my favourite herb for that major organ, which is just pure life. And I talked about it being the archetype of the creator, but it's also the general, right? It's the general in the body. And so it can take stock of everything that's going on in the body. What are my reserves, what's my best possible attack, what's trying to attack me?
How do I move forward in life with the best laid out plan based on my blueprints, based on that little bit of creative energy that you can draw from the artist as well, because the general needs a little bit of that, because he's a military man. But it's like the heart's the emperor, but it doesn't really do much, it just sits there and represents life itself. If the heart fails, everything fails. But the general is the one actually running the show. And really protecting the heart. Schizandra is also known to be a herb, just to bring a smooth flow to your own life. In the real old texts, the Shennong texts, it's known as a herb that through what it does for the Liver, and the Liver is a place, the Liver is governing a lot of the wind in the body. But mostly the communication of wind in the body. And remember, I've got a nice breeze coming in here now you can see, you know, it's bringing that nice little bit of life and animation, moving things along slightly.
And so wind is a definite animator, and of course wind can be, it's known as one of the primary pathogens in classical Chinese medicine as well. But wind is kind of seen and talked about in the Shennong Materia Medica produced over 2,000 years ago where we first hear about these tonic herbs in a Materia Medica collated form. Wind is like for a fish being in water, but not realising its in water, we're in wind, without realising we're in wind. And so Schizandra is one of these, and the Liver in particular, that they talk about in relation to Schizandra being a primary herb being able to help us regulate and get that function so that we can almost become aware of what we are amongst, and also just get a smooth, basically just get smooth passage. As we get smooth flow of Qi through the Liver, we get smooth flow through the wind, and we become less susceptible to it, especially because Schizandra is an astringent.
So if you're excessively sweating as well, here's where we get to the point where it's actually little issues and things, Schizandra's really wonderful clinically, but however, just in terms of just like locking you up and helping your skin regulate. Open, close, open, close, open, close. When there's winds, when there's other pathogens that are coming in, it helps you regulate that. There's a lot more that I could talk about with Schizandra. Good for a hangover. Everyone should be having a bit of Schizandra there just in case you're a little dusty. For sharpening the mind, it is absolutely one of the most incredible, incredible herbs. You get Schizandra, and Neural Nectar combined at times, watch out, your mind's like popping. It's on. As a Lung tonic and a Lung invigorating tonic, it is really, really held in high regard. But ultimately, I could just go on and on and on. Blood sugar regulation, as I said, immunity. But it's worth talking about immunity as well. One of these herbs, it just doesn't hurt to have them in your life.
Don't look for... you will feel things with Schizandra, especially if you do a hundred days, and especially if you cut out alcohol and a lot of other toxins and pesticides and things. But what you want to do is you want to just stop putting immediate pressured expectation on your Schizandra use in this instance, and see what happens when you take it for five years. That's really where it's at, if you're called. If you're really not called to it, don't worry, just leave it. There's lots of other herbs. Most of you are going to be called to Schizandra, most people are. And the flavour is intense, beautifully intense. This is, you won't be able to see anything in the camera, but this Schizandra here from our farm, just little vibrant red. They're still juicy. Such high quality. Bang. Sourness, a little bit of saltiness, a little bit of bitter. I tell people, this isn't one to like mix in with the JING and the Reishi necessarily.
It is kind of like a stand on its own flavour profile, but that sourness goes great in a lemon water, in a smoothie, about to do a video on a sangria, that kind of vibe. But just in a bit of hot water, a schiz tea in the afternoon, first thing in the morning, really opens up life, especially first thing in the morning in your lemon water, maybe with a little bit of MSM in that detox morning water. Really absolutely perfect. I could go on more. It's an incredible herb. Please try Schizandra. Start at a quarter teaspoon. Get yourself up to a teaspoon.
Sondrine Kehoe is the founder and creative visionary behind Cygnet Perfumery; The most heavenly slow scent range of botanical extrait de parfum's, handcrafted for our pleasure senses. In this episode Tahnee and Sondrine discuss all things botanical perfumery, regenerative skincare, conscious business and so much more.