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The dried berry of schizandra, like astragalus, bupleurum, ginseng, and ligusticum, is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for its adaptogenic properties and as a restorative remedy for immune enhancement. Schizandra is referred to as the five-flavored seed because its taste includes the five tastes of sour, bitter, sweet, acrid, and salty. In Shen Nong's Herbal Classic (written about two thousand years ago) and in the Compendium of Materia Medica (written by L.I. Shizhen in 1596), schizandra was referred to as a valuable tonic� an adaptogen with a diversity of indications for its use. It has a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system without being excitatory and enhances both mental and physical capabilities.
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Adaptogen: Derived from the Greek words adapto, which means to adjust and make suitable, and from the suffix gen, which means producing. An adaptogen, therefore, is a substance that produces suitable adjustments in the body. Adaptogens tend to regulate body functions and when the job is completed, they are eliminated or incorporated into the body without side effects. Adaptogens such as the herbs garlic, ginseng, echinacea, ginkgo, goldenseal, and taheebo are natural substances that benefit the body.
Herbs: Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.
Nervous System: A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.