by Faye Sakellaridis
Every major national holiday elicits some kind of collective ritual, and for the new year, it's making resolutions. While the loftier goals may be hard to reach, we can also set simple ones to ensure better health.
Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham describes the potent healing benefits of four herbs -- schizandra, cranberry, cordyceps, and jiaogulan -- which that he refers to as "longevity herbs for the new year." From boosting stamina, energy, and endurance and detoxing the body to protecting against disease and strengthening immune function, scientific researchers shows these herbs to great allies for ushering in many healthy and vibrant new years to come.
On Schizandra, an herb used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he writes:
Schizandra is the berry of a climbing vine native to northeast China and parts of Russia. It is now also cultivated in the northeastern U.S. The berry is known as an adaptogen, and aids in energy, stamina, endurance. It is considered a valuable sex tonic, and demonstrates liver-protective properties.
New science published in 2015 showed that schizandra possesses anti-HIV properties, and may inhibit the replication of the virus. This does not mean that the berry and its preparations are HIV cures, but they may prove valuable in helping to control the disease.
Schizandra also now has been shown to help combatting inflammatory bowel disease. We have seen this same activity with elderberry and some other berries, and now schizandra. This anti-inflammatory activity is likely due to the deep red pigments in the berry.
Additional 2015 science showed that schizandra provides valuable protection to the kidneys, helps to inhibit some human lung cancers, and acts against chlamydia bacteria, an STD.
In the cosmetic world, additional science shows benefits for skin revitalization. Some of this is due to antioxidant protection, and some to the skin-renewing properties of the berry.
Learn more about the other herbs over at Medicine Hunter.