We call this plant lemongrass, the Chinese call it "wu wei ji", which translates as "a plant with five flavors." In lemongrass berries you can really taste the classic tastes: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty, and their eastern sages associate with 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Hence the belief in the magical properties of this plant.
In the Chinese tradition, lemongrass is used to treat kidneys and lungs, it is useful for removing excess fluid from the body, calming nerves and increasing fertility. Oriental herbal therapists in their practice usually use only 50 plants, called the "main". And lemongrass is one of them. By the way, "wu wei ji" in the East is as respected as the famous ginseng.
Schisandra is a deciduous plant from the family Schisandra, which, as a rule, is found on sandy soils, in mixed forests and near streams. "Wu wei ji" is a photophilous plant, it feels good on moist soil. This is a tree liana dotted with clusters with small bright red berries. Its natural range is the east of China and the adjacent territories of Russia and Korea. Liana can grow up to 9 m, wrapping around a tree trunk, like ivy. The thickness of the creeper rarely exceeds 2 cm. In April-May, the first fragrant white, pink or yellow flowers appear on it, in the place of which the berries then flaunt. And at this time, the plant looks very attractive.
It is interesting that the plant that we know as the Chinese magnolia vine in China itself is called northern, since it grows mainly in the north-eastern provinces of the country. And "wu wei ji" with orange fruits, common in the southwest, is called southern in the Middle Kingdom.
Schizandra fruits are a good source of organic acids, lignins, phytosterols, vitamins A, C and E, essential oils, healthy fats, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, nickel. More than 30 different lignins were found in the berries, which are primarily useful for the liver. Vitamins contained in fruits are known for their powerful antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.
Not so long ago, researchers have determined that Chinese magnolia vine is useful for diabetes. In addition, it is known that the extract of this plant protects the cardiovascular system, prevents inflammatory processes, and inhibits the activity of free radicals. I wonder what else berries are useful for.
This is one of the most powerful plants with a tonic and restorative effect. Chinese healers knew about this a thousand years ago. Modern research confirms: the plant strengthens the body's immune system and improves its performance. "Wu wei ji" contains substances that help cleanse the liver, remove toxins from the body, and substances have been found in the seeds of the plant that increase the body's working capacity and physical stamina. In the East, they believe that if you use lemongrass for 100 days, you can cleanse the blood, improve memory and brain function, normalize the functioning of the kidneys and reproductive system, the skin will acquire a healthy color, acne will disappear.
Due to the high concentration of antioxidants, lemongrass helps fight free radicals, prevents inflammatory reactions, which in fact are the causes of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac diseases. Free radicals are the most dangerous enemies of man, as they cause mutations at the cellular level and accelerate aging.
In addition, by preventing inflammatory processes in the body, lemongrass protects against atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and regulates the optimal acid-base balance. When it comes to lemongrass's ability to prevent cancer, it's important to remember lignins. Researchers studying the effect of lemongrass on the body have determined that these berries inhibit the growth of cancer cells and lead to their death.
Effect on the nervous system and brain function
Studies confirm that lemongrass naturally affects the balance of hormones in the body. Hence the ability of berries to maintain mental and physical health. Schisandra affects the adrenal glands, inhibiting the production of cortisol (stress hormone). As a result of this effect, the physical endurance of the body increases, metabolism and resistance to stresses improve. The effectiveness of Schisandra chinensis berries as natural antidepressants has also been proven.
By the way, increasing the body's resistance to stress is not only protection for the nervous system. It has long been scientifically proven that, against the background of frequent stresses, the body loses its protective functions, which means that it often becomes easier and more sick. For this reason, lemongrass is useful not only to maintain a stable emotional state, but also to prevent other diseases.
Despite the fact that lemongrass is known as a natural energy drink, it also has mild sedative properties. Chinese healers say that this plant is able to "pacify the spirit and heart." Therapists call this ability of the herb a sedative effect. Tea with lemongrass will relieve insomnia, soothe nerves, and relax before bedtime. And I must say, scientists are still unaware of how opposite properties can “get along” in one plant.
In addition, lemongrass berries are useful for the treatment of certain mental and neurological disorders, including neurosis, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, impaired concentration and coordination. Schisandra stimulates the work of the spinal cord and brain, improves coordination.
Improves the digestive system
Experiments have shown that these small red berries contribute to the proper production of digestive enzymes. It was also noted that lemongrass enhances blood flow to the organs of the digestive system, thereby improving their functionality.
Some of the chemicals in the berries are useful for treating infections in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as gastritis with hyper- and hyposecretion, and stomach ulcers.
Schizandra berries contain lignins - substances with a pronounced antihepatotoxic effect. 30 varieties of lignins were found in this plant, which makes it extremely useful for the liver, including as a protection against fat degeneration. At the end of the last century, the effectiveness of schisandra in the treatment of hepatitis of various etiologies was proved. Almost 76% of patients taking the plant extract showed improvement.
Studies conducted in 2010 showed that lemongrass can be useful for patients after liver transplantation, as it enhances the production of a chemical compound that prevents transplant organ rejection. The liver also benefits from high levels of antioxidants, which prevent free radical damage to cells. In addition, lemongrass contributes to detoxification of the liver, which is also important for the healthy functioning of the body.
Contributes to weight loss
Not so long ago, Korean researchers discovered another property of lemongrass. It turned out that this berry is very useful for overweight people. The special chemical composition of "wu wei ji" regulates the intestinal microflora, thereby contributing to the proper digestion of food and the removal of toxins. But besides this, lemongrass noticeably improves metabolism, promotes active burning of subcutaneous fat, elimination of triglycerides and bad cholesterol from the bloodstream.
An experiment with 28 obese women showed improvement at 12 weeks of taking the plant extract.
Improves skin condition
Lemongrass juice is an excellent tool to protect the skin from UV radiation and toxins. This berry is useful for treating dermatitis and eliminating allergic rashes. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory abilities, lemongrass is useful for treating acne, acne, and other skin blemishes. In addition, the plant is useful for healing wounds caused by burns or frostbite.
In cosmetology, lemongrass extract is used to care for oily and problem skin. The juice of the plant is well rubbed into the scalp. This procedure stimulates hair growth and even helps in the initial stage of baldness.
There is reason to believe that lemongrass enhances sexual desire in men and women, activates the secretion of sexual fluid, and prevents premature ejaculation. Plant extract has a beneficial effect on the female reproductive system. Activating blood flow to the genitals, enhances their sensitivity, increases sexual desire.
In addition, lemongrass has a positive effect on the production of hormones, in particular estrogen.
Use in traditional medicine
The oldest written memory of the benefits of lemongrass dates back to 2697 BC. In the ancient Chinese book on medicinal plants, "wu wei ji" is mentioned as one of the most important substances for the kidneys, liver, intestines, lungs. It is spoken of as a means to restore energy and male strength, a cure for night sweats and insomnia, a remedy for cough and chronic fatigue. Since ancient times, the Chinese used this plant as an antiseptic, astringent and tonic. Traditional healers used lemongrass to treat hepatitis and other liver diseases, it was used to improve brain function and strengthen memory.
Since ancient times, this plant is known to the inhabitants of Russia. Here traditional healers used it for diseases of the kidneys and urogenital system, for respiratory diseases, sexual impotence, diarrhea and asthma. Berry fruit drinks were used as natural energy drinks and believed in the anti-aging power of the plant. Hunters appreciated this plant. They ate small red berries before each hunt to restore physical strength and increase endurance.
Used in folk medicine and lemongrass bark. It was used primarily for the treatment of caries. Herbalists advise to pour half a liter of boiling water a tablespoon of lemongrass bark and insist for several hours. The finished medicine should rinse the oral cavity.
How to use
Schisandra is useful for the body in various forms. From dried berries, you can prepare a decoction or infusion (mix berries and boiling water in a ratio of 1: 6). If you pour fresh berries with vodka and insist 2 weeks, you get alcohol tincture, which is useful to take 20-30 drops per day (or twice a day). Dried berries can be crushed to a powder and added to drinks (no more than 3 g per day). Pharmacists offer plant extract in tablets, capsules or as tinctures. But the easiest way is to brew tea from berries and / or leaves, plant stems. To do this, pour a few grams of raw water with boiling water and insist 3-5 minutes. You can add honey and ginger to tonic lemongrass tea.
Do not get involved in lemongrass people with high acidity of the stomach, as large portions of this berry can cause heartburn. Refrain from the “five-berry berry” is necessary for pregnant women (this plant tends to stimulate uterine contractions) and people prone to allergies. Increased intracranial pressure and hypertension are also a reason to abandon berries.
Schizandra, from the point of view of chemistry, is a complex grass, due to which it is multifunctional for humans.
Schisandra has a beneficial effect on the central nervous system, endocrine, immune, digestive, supports respiratory organs, heart and blood vessels.
Studies show that this plant reduces oxidative stress and increases the health of the body. But what is most surprising, almost all the useful properties of the plant "wu wei ji" ancient Chinese and residents of Siberia knew many centuries ago. We are just beginning to discover the amazing properties of lemongrass.