What is your morning ritual? The way you start your morning can set the tone for the day to come. Committing to a few positive self-care practices upon waking can help you to be more productive, relaxed, and connected to the world around you. At Nectar, we recommend a breathing exercise, water with lemon and chlorophyll, a gentle dose of adaptogenic herbs, and a five-minute journal entry to set an intention for the day.
Schizandra berry is praised for its ability to promote sustained energy and mental clarity and therefore, is an ideal herb to take in the morning. Learn about the diverse health benefits of schizandra and experiment with our Schizandra Sunrise Tea recipe that will invigorate the senses and prepare you for whatever adventures and challenges the day may bring.
What is Schizandra Berry?
Shizandra berry is the small fruit of a climbing vine that is cherished in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Used in healing practices for over 2,000 years, schizandra is referred to as the “quintessence of Chinese tonic herbs.” Historically, it has been valued for its ability to increase energy, prolong life, and promote overall balance in the body. It differs from other health supporting berries in that it is not consumed as a food but rather as an herb in small, regular doses.
Why Consume it?
Classified as an adatptogen, schizandra is a highly effective and safe herb to ingest. It feeds all of the elemental energies in the body recognized in TCM. As stated by master Chinese herbalist Ron Teegarden,
“Schizandra is one of these rare herbs that can actually boost our power on all levels. On a fundamental level, as you take schizandra your resistance becomes stronger. You can handle a lot more adversity in your life and you don’t notice it. Therefore, you can succeed more effectively in whatever you’re doing, because you don’t get knocked off the horse so easily. That’s Schizandra.”
The team at Nectar adores schizandra berry because it helps to:
Manage Stress - reduces levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Improve Brain Function – has a calming effect while enhancing concentration, coordination, and memory.
Support Liver Detoxification – purifies the blood and gently aids the liver in the elimination of toxins without provoking detoxification symptoms.
Improve Skin Health – regarded as a beauty tonic as it helps to retain moisture in the skin and protects against UVB induced skin damage.
Enhance Sexual Function – promotes hormone balance and strengthens libido.
How Often to Take It?
Schizandra berry is a tonic herb that can be taken daily. While some herbs are taken for specific ailments or to target particular body parts, adaptogenic / tonic herbs promote overall well-being and vitality. The words “tonic” and “adaptogen” can pretty much be used interchangeably. In order to be classified as such, an herb must regulate bodily processes, provide resistance to disease and infection, and decrease levels of stress and anxiety without negative side effects. Tonic herbs such as schizandra are intended to be taken very regularly and long-term, as the beneficial effects are cumulative. There are many ways you can incorporate this powerful berry into your daily ritual through teas, tinctures, and supplementation.
What does it Taste Like?
The Chinese name of the berry is "Wu-Wei-Zi", which translates to "Five-Taste Fruit." It is the only herb that contains bitter, sour, pungent, salty, and sweet tastes. The sour and sweet elements are most prominent providing a pleasantly tart flavour. In Chinese medicine, each of the five tastes corresponds to an organ system. They are as follows:
- Bitter – heart
- Sour – liver
- Pungent – lungs
- Salty – kidneys
- Sweet - spleen
Often, strong dislikes or cravings for specific tastes can correspond to the impairment of an organ. Schizandra berry touches on all organ systems to balance bodily functions with its complete taste profile. The berry can be paired with both sweet and savoury foods and can also stand on its own.
Have you tried our hydrator Poise? It features schizandra berry, hibiscus, and marine collagen. We are currently alchemizing a new schizandra based nectar so keep an eye out for it in the new few weeks. For now, enjoy this schizandra tea recipe you can make at home!
Schizandra Sunrise Tea
Schizandra comes in different forms. You can find fresh berries, dried berries, and powder. The berries need to be soaked to release tannins before they are consumed however, the powder is often pre-soaked. This recipe makes 1 litre of tea that can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed hot or cold.
- 1L water
- 2 tablespoons soaked schizandra berries
- 1 tablespoon goji berries
- 1 tablespoon licorice root
- organic lemon and orange peel
*1 teaspoon local raw honey & squeeze of lemon juice
- Soak berries overnight or for a couple of hours. Strain off water when ready to use.
- Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Strain and discard ingredients.
- Mix in fresh lemon and honey to taste.
- Ginger root
- Turmeric root
With Love and Nectar,
Photography by Alexa Mazzarello.