Traditional Chinese Medicine in corona times: Schisandra (五味子)

Now we are in a very special situation with the covid-19 outbreak in the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) played a great role in the treatment process in China and it had a very high cure rate. On online courses, doctors who were in Wuhan hospitals share their experience of guiding for a strategy of treatment of coronavirus.

The patients who died did this mostly because of suffocation. The autopsy of the lungs revealed large amounts of sticky substances in the lungs and the trachea. So to keep the lungs clean, nourish the spleen and eliminate phlegm is very important. But why do you need to nourish the spleen? I will write about it below.

We don’t have all the Chinese herbs here in the west, but some good superfoods we have. In the past few years, with the popularity of superfoods in Western countries, more and more Chinese herbs powdered as superfoods have been sold in the world. I was surprised that even some TCM medicins with strong medical properties are used for everybody. In China, we are careful to test which substance suits a certain person. So to sell these herbs to everybody is irresponsible to the consumers who do not understand Chinese medicine. Therefore I only order very safe herbs for our shop, and of course, I only recommend very safe herbs as daily health care. 

Today I will talk about Schisandra (五味子).

Part of the plant used: berry. 

Taste: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty. That is why Schisandra in Chinese by straight translation is called ‘’five tastes”.

Meridian activity:  it acts on lung, heart, and kidney these three meridians.

Effect: It enhances the Qi energy by nourishing the fluid energy (it nourishes Yin), nourishing kidney and relieve mental stress.

Indications for using it: chronic cough, asthma, much phlegm, spermatorrhea, frequent urination, chronic diarrhoea, sweating abnormalities, spontaneous sweating, night sweating, Yin deficiency, thirst, diabetes, palpitations and insomnia.

We often use it combined with other different herbs to cure different the diseases above. Since we have a limited amount of Chinese medicine here, I combine it with food or other superfood that we easily find here in Sweden or for that case in our shop (I will give links).

⚠️ Note!!! DO NOT use Schisandra when you catch a cold.  DO NOT use it during pregnancy, menstruation or if you have epilepsy.

Simple lazy recipe for use:

1. Schisandra powder (6 gram), with boiled water to make a cup of tea. You can add some goji berries in your Schisandra tea. 

2. When you cook your daily soup, add 6 gram Schisandra powder in it. Small amounts will not affect the taste of the soup. 

Advanced recipe: Schisandra powder (6 gram), reishi powder or chaga or cordyceps mushroom powder (3 gram), 2 cups of water, boil for 3-5 minutes then turn to low heat and cook until one cup of liquid remains. This tea can strengthens your immune system very much.

Add or subtract according to your own situation: 

1.  If you often have cold hands or feet and freezes more than others. Add 3-4 pieces ginger or 1-2 gram of cinnamon in your Schisandra tea. 

2.  If you have chronic cough or asthma, gastric swelling or hiccups. Add 1/4 organic orange or clementine peels. Orange peels acts on the lung and spleen meridians. It can regulate the Qi, strengthening the spleen, eliminate wetness and phlegm. 

Why need to nourish the spleen?

1. In TCM, all the organs are not just organs, they are very wise systems working together. So first, the spleen has as its job to absorb, transfer and disperse water and wetness. When it does not work well, you easily get a dysfunction of Qi energy and blood fluid transport. When the water stops flowing easily in the body, it causes accumulation of phlegm by a polymerization process. 

2. Together with the theory of Yin-Yang, the Five Elements Theory forms the basis of TCM theory, diagnosis and treatment. The five elements show us how our internal organs, systems and structures are categorised and connected. They are mutual engendering and mutual restricting. In TCM elements theory, the spleen is attributed to the earth element, the centre, the lungs are attributed to the metal. The earth generating metal. So take good care of your spleen is a great support to your lungs.

3. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, spring has already begun. It means that plants and trees are starting to grow.  According to TCM theory, our body is closely related to the universe – we are one with the universe. So at springtime we should pay attention to nourishing the liver and the spleen. In the five elements theory, the liver is wood and the spleen is earth. Nourishing the earth helps the tree (wood) to grow well. Schisandra also helps to protect the liver, because remember that Schisandra also acts on the heart meridian and the heart is the fire of the five elements and if it is too strong, it burns wood (the liver). 

So how to take care of the liver, what foods are good for the spleen etc? TCM is a holistic view of our bodies and a theory of how all parts work together. So you have to work on the system as a whole to get a good result. I will separately write about the liver and spleen later.

  •   Supplementary note. ⚠️ To drink herb tea is helping your body to get in balance, but it does not mean you can relaxing awareness in public places for the coronavirus, you still have to keep full awareness. Daily disinfection at home with 75% alcohol. Prepare disposable gloves and paper towels in public places and don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth unless you wear a mask. For example, pay attention to the petrol filling handle at the gas station.
  •  On top of it, take care of your emotions, it is of utmost importance for your health. In the next blog, I will share a recipe for a tea, which is a famous classic prescription from over 1800 years ago, which uses only simple food ingredients and has a very good taste. 

Bless you all and take care! ❤️