Schisandra chinensis - for body and soul
Schisandra chinensis is easy to grow as a decorative vine, covering something unsightly with a tight weave of its branches. In the course of its lush growth, you can trim and use its shoots and leaves. And after ripening the berries make them very useful preparations. You can leave part of the berries for the winter on twigs, and then make your way to the lemongrass and pick them up a little. In general, lemongrass Chinese is one of the Far Eastern miracles. An incredibly beautiful and healthy plant. Why, I will tell in the article.
Schisandra for the soul
First lemongrass chinese (Schisandra chinensis) amazed me with its appearance in the forest quite late in the fall, when most of the leaves had already circled, the remaining ones were taken by the first frosts, and scarlet brushes of juicy fruits hung from branches of various trees and shrubs.
I cannot help but recall that autumn in the Far East is not just good - it is amazing with its beauty and generosity! September is usually warm, dry and sunny. In September, chum salmon goes to spawn - fish is salted with barrels and frozen with separate freezers. Mushrooms in the forest - just have time to turn: dry, salt, pickle, freeze again. Actinidia has ripened in the forest (locally quiche), Amur grapes, lemongrass, lingonberries, cranberries will follow. And all this against the background of autumn foliage blazing with gold and scarlet.
If Amur grapes are a healthy liana that cannot be overlooked, then lemongrass stems are something “wire-like” tightly wrapping around the trunks and branches of a tree or shrub that happened nearby. And from these "wires" hang the berries.
Of course, she planted lemongrass on her plot. In the shade, because he used to spend the beginning of his life under a canopy of trees, and the bright sun - this will be the subject of his aspirations. On a dry place, because wet everyone is busy. Schisandra was philosophical and began to occupy the space provided to it. And - in all directions.
Several shoots braided the provided support, others climbed, clinging to them, the appendages climbed around and braided the raspberries that appeared nearby. From raspberries and supports they crawled onto a poplar branch bent over the fence ... In general, after 5 years, a natural arbor was formed at the fence (lemongrass sitting at a distance of 1.5 meters from it). The main thing is that lemongrass climbed out to the sun.
For all this time, I did not regulate its growth in any way, I just mowed the shoots that climbed onto the track. He has very good foliage! The flowers that appeared in the fourth year are pretty, fragrant, but to find and see them in the foliage and shoots is problematic. However, bees find and drag nectar and pollen from the flowers of lemongrass. Good honey plant, by the way.
Schisandra densely braids any support, forming a whole "mop" of shoots with cheerful color leaves. The most beauties come in the fall: the foliage becomes first lime and then lemon in color, and red brushes of berries sparkle in this lemon mop!
For this beauty, I forgive him and attempts to creep in different directions, and disorganization (shoots intertwine and braid everything around so that it is impossible to understand them). A whole bunch of shoots has sprouted - we don’t need so many berries anymore, most of the birds are left for the winter. And the hand does not rise to cut the excess.
Schisandra for the body
In lemongrass, berries, twigs, and leaves can be eaten. The shoots are sour taste and have a bright lemon aroma with needles - in winter I make my way to the lemongrass and cut branches for tea. This can be done in the fall - cut shoots and dry, but I like freshly cut branches. Schisandra tea is good both on its own and as a complement to green tea, for example.
The leaves can be dried and also added to tea - essential oils are also present in the leaves. They are even present in the stalks, so lemongrass has no waste.
The berries of lemongrass are acidic, so they are used exclusively with sugar or honey. It’s also very good to throw tea into a tea or make a refreshing healing drink from frozen lemongrass with sugar.
Even lemongrass juice, added during the preparation of wine, for example, from Amur grapes, gives the wine an amazingly delicate lemon tone.
Healing properties of lemongrass
Lemongrass has many healing properties. The local population uses it mainly in two qualities: as a powerful adaptogen or tonic and as a regulator of blood pressure. It is the regulator, because the flesh and peel of the berries increase the pressure, and the bones in a moderate amount lower it. My hypertensive colleagues periodically chewed on the bones, and the familiar hypotonic girl ate the rubbed fruit pulp with honey.
The adaptogenic and stimulating effect of lemongrass is very powerful, not without reason that it has been firmly holding the second place after ginseng in Chinese medicine since ancient times. Schisandra stimulates the nervous system (use only for those who are going to be actively awake at night), increases the photosensitivity of vision (better seen in the dark, twilight, in general, in low light), accelerates reactions, allows you to work longer without feeling tired.
This wonderful “sweet” berry regulates the acidity of gastric juice and is used in the treatment of many gastrointestinal diseases.
And how good a bath with lemongrass! Sprigs, leaves, stalks, 100 grams, brew and pour into the bath. Your body will definitely thank you. There is also a smell that you can enjoy while taking a bath - there are a lot of essential oils in all parts of lemongrass. You can throw berries when brewing - the water will have a pleasant pink color, and organic acids will help to better cleanse the skin.
Since lemongrass is a wonderful stimulant, it is unusually good in the intimate sense (it’s not without reason that there are so many Chinese!)
These are still flowers, lemongrass is in demand in gerontology, as it is able to support not only the physical functions of an aging organism, but also the functions of the brain.
As the Chinese annals say, lemongrass has never been translated into the diet of long-lived emperors. They, smart people, introduced 3,000 years ago to apply for berries of lemongrass.
The chemical composition of the plant
The composition of lemongrass itself has been studied quite well today. It contains diterpenoids and their derivatives, steroids, higher fatty acids and their derivatives, lignans. Lemongrass juice contains a lot of malic, citric, tartaric acids, sugar, pectins, tannins, coloring matter, vitamin C, substances of P-vitamin activity.
In the skin of berries - tocopherols, sterols and other biologically active substances. It is here that the bulk of schizandrins is concentrated (from the generic name Schisandra Schisandra).
The whole plant contains essential oil. In the cortex it is up to 3.14%. Vitamin E (0.03%), lignans and fatty oil (up to 33.8%), resins were found in the seeds. The ash contains iron, manganese, silicon, phosphorus, calcium, copper and other trace elements. At the same time, the fruits practically do not accumulate molybdenum and cadmium, which are characteristic of regions with poor ecology.
The oil of Schisandra seeds golden yellow, with a characteristic resinous smell and taste, bitter. It consists of more than 90% glycerides of unsaturated fatty acids (oleic, α and β-linoleic). Get it by extraction with carbon dioxide. It is clear that it is very expensive and often falsified.
Vitamin C leaves contain 5 times more than in fruits (up to 130 mg%). Therefore, hunters in the taiga used lemongrass not only as a tonic, but also as an anti-zingotic agent. In addition, leaves accumulate manganese, molybdenum, and especially selenium, which makes leaf tea useful for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. But they do not raise the pressure as much as the fruits.
That is, studies have demonstrated the composition of this plant, saturated with useful elements. Having discovered, at one time, schizandrins, as the main active substance, science and production focused on them. It was the schizandrins that began to carefully isolate, cleanse, add to dietary supplements and use as a medicine that tones the nervous system.
At the same time, all other elements and compounds accumulated by the plant remained overboard. It seems to me that this is akin to the agrotechnical approach to plant nutrition: to separate nitrogen from manure and throw out the richest mineral, bacterial, microbial, and indeed balanced biochemical complex.
Fortunately, you can easily grow lemongrass in your area and always have this valuable raw material on hand.
Dear readers! Believe me, without exaggeration - lemongrass warms the soul, pleases the eye, helps the brain and body stay healthy and active for a long time. Plant on your own site - you won’t regret it!