This herb (spelled schisandra orschizandra) has an ancient history of use in China, where it is called wu wei zi, or five flavored fruit, because of it is said to possess the five flavors of classical Chinese medicine: sour, bitter, sweet, salty, and pungent.
Koreans often speak of schisandra’s many beauty aspects and use it in topical creams, which speaks to schisandra’s appearance in many different modern applications.
Schisandra berries are harvested in the autumn and the ideal time for ripeness is right before the frost. With optimum ripeness depending on a few degrees of temperature, it could be tempting for some of the region’s farmers to harvest when the berries are slightly under–ripe. But we look for berries that are just the right color to insure when they are harvested.