Schisandra is the newest booch in our quite extensive collection. And it is already a favorite one. Also this is the our third Kombucha made with a strong adaptogen.
The first one was Chaga, then came Jioagulan (our next post will be about it).
Photo source: (1*)
And now Schisandra. So what is an adaptogen, you would ask?
Here's the answer:
“An adaptogen is a botanical that greatly improves your body's ability to adapt to stress, whether it's a hectic schedule, heat or cold, noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors. This elite class of herbs impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and improve mental clarity.” – Chris Kilham, Oprah & Friends
And also: "To qualify as an adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health" (2*)
Now back to Schisandra.
Photo source: (3*)
Schisandra or rather "Schisandra chinensis whose fruit is called magnolia berry or five-flavor-fruit, is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East" (4*)
Schisandra is a berry, but a very unusual berry & it has a very special place in TMC. In Chinese it is called 五味子 or Wu Wei Zi which means "five flavored berry". And that is because it has all five flavors packed into this little berry. Meaning it is at the same time sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent.
But it's not the flavor alone that make it unique. It's what's been used for as medicine that make it stand out.
In a wonderful article available online The Medicine Hunter writes:
" Schisandra chinensis enjoys millennia of traditional use for prolong life, retarding the aging process, increasing energy, as a fatigue-fighter, and as a sexual tonic. Schisandra also possesses significant protective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Thus it helps to maintain healthy cells throughout the body. It is considered one of the most highly protective of all medicinal plants, and the berry is included in many traditional herbal formulas for improving energy and mental health." (5*)
" Schisandra also offers special benefits for the mind. Several human studies show that Schisandra extract improves concentration, coordination and endurance. Schisandra helps to prevent mental fatigue and increases accuracy and quality of work." (6*)
" As if all these benefits were insufficient, Schisandra also offers first-rate liver-protective benefits. Schisandra helps in the treatment of hepatitis, as noted in over 500 cases. In fact, an antihepatitis drug was developed from Schizadrin C."
Dr. Axe offers this infographic in an article about Schisandra: (8*)
So taking all of the above into account, we have decided to make a Kombucha with this wonderful berry. And we're glad we have.
We start with these:
After we brew a "tea" with them, we add one of our lucky Scobies, add some of our starter liquid & the adventure begins. We leave the berries throughout the whole fermentation process & after a couple of days our fermentation jar looks like this:
In this particular case the Scoby dropped to the bottom, but it did not matter much as a new Scoby formed on the surface:
And you can also see the happy bubbles from a healthy fermentation.
After the fermentation is done, we take the berries & strain all the precious juice out of them:
Then we bottle our Schisandra Kombucha & it consequently undergoes a second fermentation & slow conditioning in the fridge, before it goes for consumption.
And when it does, it looks like this:
It has a beautiful pink hue & the flavor reminds me of a grapefruit juice mixed with Chinese Sichuan peppercorns. But that is my perception & other people find other flavors in it.
But no matter what, it is delicious!
Ingredients: Filtered & revitalized water, Live Kombucha Cultures, BIO Unrefined Brown Sugar & Schisandra Berries
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