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Regarded by ancient herbalists as the ‘mushroom of immortality,’ reishi is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to support healthy immune system function and promote a healthy stress response. A famous Shen tonic, reishi is recommended to calm and balance the Spirit, and to enhance sleep quality. It strengthens the Heart, Kidneys, Lungs, and Liver - it is one of those special herbs that work on all Three Treasures (Jing, Qi, and Shen), as well as all the five Taoist organ systems.
In China, reishi is known as ling zhi, which means 'spirit plant' or 'tree of life mushroom.' The Chinese character for ling zhi is composed of three characters that represent a shaman praying for rain. The Latin translation of Ganoderma is ‘gano’ (shiny) ‘derma’ (skin).
Reishi is extremely rare in the wild and was once reserved for use amongst emperors and royalty only. Immortalised all throughout Chinese art, temples, statues, and paintings, reishi mushroom was held in the highest esteem among Chinese royalty and is surrounded by many legends over the past 4 millennia. Kuan Yin, known as the goddess of healing, was occasionally depicted carrying a reishi mushroom. This polypore was extremely prized amongst the Orient and often hung above doorways as a protector.
Reishi is high in beta-glucans and over 100+ distinct varieties of polysaccharides. Triterpenes are the compounds in reishi responsible for the bitter taste that reishi possesses. Triterpenes are only extracted via ethanol and hot water; this is why we dual-extract SuperFeast Reishi.
Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra berry*)
10:1 extract powder
All herbs in this formula are sourced Dì Dào from herb-producing regions of China. Sourcing herbs from their spiritual homeland is born from the Taoist philosophy Dì Dào. Dì Dào poetically translates as ‘the way of the Earth’ and shows us where to harvest herbs if we wish to experience the herb’s true Spirit. From its ‘original place’ or ‘spiritual homeland’, a method that results in a product that is both full spectrum and medicinally robust.
Our carefully dual-extracted schisandra is sourced Dì Dào from China's Changbai Mountains.
Caution use in those with an active peptic ulcer. Caution use in pregnancy - schisandra may cause uterine contractions and is useful postpartum to assist healing.
Schisandra, Detoxification and Hormonal Health
One of the core elements of long-term health is the capacity to detox and cleanse the body. From the perspective of the ancient herbalists, this embodied detoxification is more broadly viewed as a smooth flow of Qi through the Liver system. Schisandra’s ability to enter all 5 of the major organ systems within the body ensures that the many detoxification pathways (the skin, Kidneys/Bladder system and the Lungs) are also being supported.
Smooth-flowing detoxification channels, specifically through the Liver are very much related to hormonal balance. One of the primary active constituents in schisandra is called lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that are found in a variety of plant foods. Bacteria in the digestive system convert lignans to lignan precursors which are known to have weak, but beneficial estrogenic activity within the body. These lignan precursors and the plant’s fibre attach to excess oestrogen so it can be removed via the body’s systems of elimination. This process ensures the body is able to maintain healthy oestrogen levels which is key to preventing the manifestation of a number of hormonal conditions including PMS, dysmenorrhea (period pain) and even low libido.
Schisandra & Adaptogens
For a herb to be classified as an adaptogen it must embody certain characteristics; Its consumption must not cause harm or place additional stress on the body. It must promote healing within the body via a non-specific action, providing support for all of the body’s vital systems, including the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system. It must be adaptive in nature, assisting the body to overcome any physical, psychological or environmental stressors.
Through the lens of Western Herbalism, schisandra is classed as an adaptogenic herb. It has been found that two active compounds within the herb express this adaptogenic quality: schisandrin and gomesin. These two compounds have been shown to have a protective effect on the nervous system, support the HPA axis and reduce inflammation in the body.
In ancient Taoist medicine, tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms were used to nourish and tonify specific systems within the body. These systems correlate with the natural elements, and their direct effect can be classified as either Major or Minor.
Major: Liver Wood/Kidney Water/Lung Metal/Spleen Earth/Heart Fire
When there is harmony between the body systems and elements, we cultivate the expression of health known as our Treasures.
Major: Yin Jing/Qi/Shen/Blood
Time of day
Whatever feels best for you! You can enjoy Schisandra any time throughout your day.
Generally, we recommend taking the herbs daily in small doses, to begin with. This allows you to develop an understanding and acknowledgment of how the herbs are unfolding their medicinal magic for you. Follow the dosage instructions on the package, or start with 1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon per day, adjusting the dose if you feel it necessary within your unique body system.
Doses can be taken as high as two teaspoons per day, however, most people find their sweet spot with 1/2 to one teaspoon per product, per day. We call this sweet spot your "lifestyle dose". We don't recommend taking more than two tablespoons of herbs a day. These extracts are potent, and you want to take care not to overload the body with too much of a good thing.
Berry Refreshing Beauty Blitz
It's high summer here, and we've been keeping cool with this beautiful and very (berry) refreshing and beautifying summer frappe. It's a pretty simple mix of our fave summer fruits blitzed in a blender to create a refreshing beverage.Read more
Recipe: The Beautifying Schisandra Detox Lemonade, Delicious
This morning detox water is the ultimate upgraded detox lemonade that will Invigorate your morning. Perfect for those wanting to support healthy skin.Read more
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take Schisandra whilst pregnant?
Tonic herbs are generally warming, building, and nourishing. In the context of health optimisation and the Taoist tradition, tonic herbs are not directly used to treat individual symptoms, but instead to create harmony and strength within the system as a whole.
In this regard, we generally only recommend our Reishi and Eucommia Bark during pregnancy as there is quite a lot of empirical use of these herbs in pregnancy in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoist Tonic Herbalism.
To learn more about the tonic herbs best to take during pregnancy, read this article.
As pregnancy is a very individual journey, we recommend checking in with your health care provider when starting on any new herbs or supplements as they will have a more comprehensive scope of your medical history.
Can I take Schisandra while breastfeeding?
We do not recommend Schisandra at this time as this herb influences the body’s detox pathways, especially through the Liver. Mobilising toxicity while breastfeeding is not ideal. If intuitively you feel that Schisandra is relevant to use at this time, please do so in small quantities or under the guidance of your health care provider.
Schisandra and Detox Go Hand In Hand
When was the last time you gave your Liver some love? Read on to find out how this pleasantly zesty-tasting Schisandra berry will detox your Liver system and tonify ALL major organ systems within the body.
Schisandra: The Magical Berry with Mason and Tahnee From SuperFeast (EP#57)
Mason and Tahnee explore schisandra's adaptive qualities, the herbal lore surrounding its historical use, its potency as a Liver and sexual tonic and so much more!