Stabilizing And Binding Chinese Herbs

Wu Wei Zi  五味子

Pharmaceutical name: Fructus Schisandrae Chinesis
Botanical name: Schisandra chinesis
Japanese name: Gomishi
Korean name: Omicha
English name: Schisandra fruit
Literal English translation: “five-flavored seed”
Alternate pinion names: Bei Wu Wei Zi (Northern Schisandra), Ruan Zao Zi (Shandong), Shan Hua Jiao, Shan Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra sphenanthera), Wu Mei Zi (NE China)
Properties: sour (dominant) and sweet
Qi: warm
Qualities/Taste: thick taste and light quality, a drug of Yin with slight Yang that functions in the blood of Lung channel of Hand Initial Yin and qi of Kidney channel of Foot Lesser Yin.

“By the power of sour!” 酸
Sour gathers and astringes fluid out of tissues.
Su Gong: The fruit of the herb has five tastes.  The peel and flesh is sweet and sour.  The kernel is pungent and bitter.  The whole thing has a salty taste.  That’s why it is called Wuweizi, the “fruit of five tastes.”  In the Shen Nong Bencao Jing, it says that this drug is sour.  This is because sourness is the taste of the wood, which should come before all the other tastes.  The sour flavor functions on the Liver and the salty flavor tones the Kidney.  The bitter flavor functions on the Heart and the pungent functions on the Lung.  Sweet as it is, it tones the Spleen and Stomach.
Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu) Volume III