Chinese Magnolia Vine (Schisandra chinensis) Project Report
Ever increasing public concern about healthy eating is opening a whole new market for exotic fruits and vegetables. Traditional Chinese medicine is becoming widely accepted as a healthy alternative to our traditional staple foods. Increased use of traditional herbs and medicinal plants has stretched the supply of these products, because most of them are imported in limited quantities directly from their places of origin. There is increased awareness of the potential ben efits for growing these products in the United States rather than rely on outside sources. Many of these plant materials are native to areas that have climates similar to various regions within the United States, raising the possibility of growing these plants domestically. Added benefits to developing domestic sources are better control over safety, freshness, and quality. One of the plants that has been used by traditional practitioners of Chinese medicine is Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinencis, Turc.), which in Chinese is known as five flavor fruit. The plant originates from upper China and Mongolia and is a hardy, woody, dioecious vine. The fruit is thought to provide treatment for heart, lung, and kidney problems among other claims. Cultivation requirements are thought to be similar to those of grapes.