With the amount of health information we are bombarded with via television, media, and online these days, it can be confusing to know where to start with getting on the “Healthy Highway”. Should I eat more sea vegetables, should I be eating less fat, more nuts, less grains, more greens, more superfoods?! And so on.
When working with clients on their diet and helping them to transition to a cleaner greener diet, I always suggest starting off with just one new “food”. For some people it might be introducing them to an ordinary vegetable they may have never previously eaten or for someone more seasoned in raw living, we dive right in to superfoods.
One of the superfoods I love the most are algaes such as Spirulina and Chlorella. These awesome algaes have lived on planet earth longer than any other life form known to human kind. Their potential to heal the body, restore the mind and instill peace is just amazing. Most people could benefit from having more mental clarity and strengthening their connection to themselves and the earth and blue green algae is definitely the place to start.
I am so grateful for the abundance of superfoods available to us and hope to inspire others to investigate for themselves how these righteous remedies can assist them in their health and happiness. They all have different properties and affect the body’s energy system in different and wonderful ways.
One that I am most intrigued about at the moment is Schizandra. It hails from East Asia with its dried fruit, or berries being used medicinally. I had heard of it before but as I was doing my online shopping at Raw Living, something piqued my interest and I decided to read a little more . After reading about it, I then received an email from someone asking about supplements that might help them while undergoing chemotherapy for the second time.
I am a believer in synchronicity and that information is delivered to us at the right times and so with the email arriving just after having read about how Schizandra can help prevent adverse reactions from chemotherapy and radiotherapy and improve recovery post surgery, I felt that it’s my duty to share this nugget with you.
According to Raw Living, Schizandra is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential oils and phytochemicals and is used extensively in Chinese medicine. (Phytochemicals are molecules found in foods thought to protect against disease.)
In my opinion, the Chinese treat illness and disease much more intelligently as they look to heal and cure using the most natural products possible only resorting to snipping, cutting, blasting and poisoning as a last resort. (Hmmm why don’t we follow their lead? Oh yeah I know – it’s all about money. You can’t patent things that grow abundantly in the wild although they are trying!) The Chinese use Schizandra to help fight infections, boost immune and mental function as well as to help protect the liver. In Russia, Schizandra is actually a certified medicine for vision problems.
Like Maca, Schizandra is an adaptogen meaning that it “talks” to the endocrine system helping to balance the body’s response to stress. Here’s what Raw Living had to say about some of its awesomeness…
An adaptogen is a plant (such as Aloe vera, maca, suma and ashwaganda) which has a normalizing effect on the body. If you are too hyper, it will calm you down; if you are feeling a bit lethargic, it will wake you up. Adaptogens don’t have a specific effect on the body, what they do is rebalance the body and restore homeostasis. The more centred we are, the easier it is to deal with life’s ups and downs, and keep up with the 21st century pace of life.
Among schizandra’s main chemical constituents are compounds known as lignans, which are concentrated in the berries’ seeds. More than two dozen lignans have been identified with the prominent ones being schizandrin, gomisins such as gomisin A, and wuweizisu C. Lignans stimulate the immune system, protect and regenerate the liver, and increase the body’s ability to handle stress. They may also have mild sedative effects. Other chemical constituents in schizandra, such as an essential oil, acids, vitamins, and minerals, may contribute to the herb’s tonic effects by increasing cells’ ability to create and use energy and to process wastes or by delivering more oxygen to the body’s cells. They may also help to detoxify blood and tissues and provide nutrients crucial to bodily processes.
I am a big believer in taking an empowered stance – there is always something that can be done or at least attempted to improve our health situation. So if you are currently receiving or have recently received treatment for cancer then why not try some Schizandra to see whether it can lessen the negative side-effects you are experiencing. Similarly, if you are experiencing any kind of stress and feel that your adrenals are being taxed or need calming down, Schizandra could help.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone that is currently taking any. Do you think it’s the schiz?
You can get your hands on Shizandra Berry Powder, and loads of other raw foods and superfoods, from Raw Living!
Written by Polly Noble.