schizandra tea Schisandra Berry – Flowerfolk Herbal Apothecary | Herbalist Steph Zabel

schizandra tea Schisandra Berry – Flowerfolk Herbal Apothecary | Herbalist Steph Zabel

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Home » Korean Drinks » Omija Tea (Five Flavor Berry Tea)

Omija Tea (Five Flavor Berry Tea)

Last Updated: 7 Comments

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Learn how to make omija tea! It’s a popular summer drink in Korea.

Omija Tea (Omija Cha) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

The other day I ventured out to the largest Korean grocery store in my city, which is 40 mins drive each way. Still, it’s nothing like Hmart in the US by comparison, but I do need to go there from time to time because my local Korean grocery store doesn’t stock much variety of Korean ingredients.

On this occasion, I spotted some dried omija. These lovely, bright, dried red berries immediately grabbed my attention. Aren’t they just gorgeous? Also, I had never tasted them before, so I was quite keen to try them out.

Omija (Omija Berry, Schisandra Berry, Five Flavor Berry) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

What is Omija?

Omija (오미자, 五味子) in Korean literally means “five flavor berries”. That’s because these berries give five different flavors namely, sourness, sweetness, bitterness, pungentness, and saltiness.

Ironically though, because of these complex flavors, not everyone appreciates the taste of omija on its own! You’re bound to make a funny face afterwards! Lol.

Anyway, in other cultures, omija is known as schisandra berry, schizandra berry and magnolia berry.

Omija is commonly used in making tea – omija tea (omija cha, 오미자 차, also known as schisandra tea or schizandra tea), in making fruit punch or alcoholic beverages. – Don’t forget to check my sparkling strawberry punch with schisandra berry!

Omija (known as schisandra berry) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Benefits of Omija

Omija is also commonly used in oriental medicine.

Because, it is known to

  • improve kidney and liver function
  • be good for blood circulation
  • increase resistance to disease and stress
  • beautify skin

There are more benefits (as well as side affects) that I did not mention here. So, if you want, you can read about it from here . Finally, these are written for your information only. If you want to use it for health and medicinal purposes, please talk with your health / medical professionals.

Anyway, making omija tea is quite simple and straight forward. So, I hope you give this a try soon!

P.S. I will share a good fruit punch recipe using omija in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

P.P.S. If you like Korean tea, check out these recipes! Korean Barley Tea and Korean Plum Tea .

Ingredients for Omija Tea

  • 10 g / 0.35 ounces dried schisandra berry
  • 1 L / 1 quart water
  • (Optional) honey or sugar, to taste
  • (Optional) Korean / Asian pear, peeled and flesh carved into flower shape

How to Make Omija Tea

  1. Steep the dried omija in cold water overnight. Strain the berries and discard them (keeping the liquid). Add some honey or sugar if preferred. Optionally, you can also add some Korean / Asian pear pieces. Serve. (You can refrigerate the tea then serve cold too.)

Steeping Omija Tea (Cold Brewed) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note

Essentially, each omija tea comes with instructions on the package, so follow what the package says. Though, I read that when omija is boiled or brewed in hot water, it will bring out the sourness and bitterness too much. So it is highly recommended that you brew omija in cold water.

Korean Omija Tea (Schisandra Tea. Also, known as Five Flavor Berry Tea ) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

5 from 1 vote
Omija Tea (Omija Cha) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com
Print

Omija Tea (Five Flavor Berry Tea)
Prep Time
12 hrs

Total Time
12 hrs

 

How to make omija tea (schisandra tea)

Course:

Drinks
Cuisine:

Korean
Keyword:

omija, schisandra, tea
Servings: 6
Calories: 2 kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 10
    g
    dried schisandra berry
    (0.35 ounces)
  • 1
    liter
    water
    (1 quart)
  • honey
    or sugar, to taste (optional)
  • korean pear
    or asian pear, peeled and flesh carved into flower shape (optional)

Instructions
  1. Steep the dried omija in cold water overnight. Strain the berries and discard them (keeping the liquid). Add some honey or sugar if preferred. Optionally, you can also add some Korean / Asian pear pieces. Serve. (You can refrigerate the tea then serve cold too.)

Recipe Notes

Essentially, each omija tea comes with instructions on the package, so follow what the package says. Though, I read that when omija is boiled or brewed in hot water, it will bring out the sourness and bitterness too much. So it is highly recommended that you brew omija in cold water.

How to Make Omija Tea (Schisandra Tea) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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Comments

  1. I grew up with 五味子 (Wu wei zi) because it is used a lot in Traditional Chinese Medicine but I’ve never been fond of the weirdly spicy taste!

    Reply
    • I don’t blame you! Lol. Certainly an interesting tea experience. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Oh my God I have these dried Berries in my fridge. My Korean neighbor gave them to me. After languishing in my refrigerator for nearly a year, now I know how to make this. Wow. Yes I have been to the H mart store in Los Angeles too. What a small World. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • You should give it a go! Particularly since you already have it! Hope you enjoy the taste. 🙂

      Reply

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    Schisandra Benefits

    Schisandra
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    Schisandra

    Latin Name

    Schisandra chinensis

    Also Known As

    Wu-wei-zi, Magnolia Vine, Japanese Gomishi, Korean Omicha, Fruit Of Five Flavors, O Mi Cha

    Origin

    China, Japan, Korea and Russia

    Parts Used

    Berries

    Traditional Use and Health Benefits

    Schisandra has long been used in the traditional medicines of China and Russia for a wide variety of ailments, including; respiratory disease, asthma, insomnia, kidney problems and diarrhoea. Also classed as a herbal adaptogen, hunters and athletes would use this bright red berry to combat fatigue under physical stress and to increase endurance.

    Chinese folklore says that Schisandra can “calm the heart and quiet the spirit”, and has been used since the dawn of Chinese civilisation as a tonic herb.

    Schisandra Benefits

    Stress & Anxiety

    Research surrounding Schisandra is fairly conclusive in the fact that it is a powerful anti-anxiety herb, in addition to its ability to boost ones mood through lowering stress levels and enhancing mental performance. Its adaptogenic qualities mean that it specifically reduces both mental and physical stress, exerting a normalising effect on the whole body.

    It has been found that Schisandra reduces cortisol levels in the body (the stress hormone) and is effective in controlling changes in serotonin and adrenaline caused by stress. This adaptogenic berry also fights the adrenal fatigue that is linked to stress.

    Longevity

    Often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine longevity formulas, the Schisandra Berry has long been known to maintain vitality and support healthy cellular function. It is a fantastic liver detoxifier – the liver is largest elimination organ in the body and keeping the liver in tip-top condition plays an important part in how well we age. Schisandra actually works to deactivate free radicals that attack liver cells.

    Schisandra is also a natural beauty tonic, protecting the skin from environmental stress, toxins and over-exposure to extreme weather, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines. Its astringent quality helps the skin to retain moisture and builds the immune defence energy that flows beneath the surface of the skin. This adaptive quality helps to open and close the pores, promoting the healing of various skin issues and helps skin to retain its elasticity, hence why it has been used for millennia by Asian women to enhance and preserve a youthful appearance.

    Anti-Inflammatory

    Extremely high in powerful antioxidants, Schisandra helps to fight against free radical damage, thus lowering inflammatory responses. This in turn positively affects the immune system and can help to protect the arteries from hardening, regulate blood sugar, prevent diabetes and keep the body’s PH levels normal. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been found to have chemo-protective qualities, meaning it will help to protect healthy tissues from the damaging effects of certain anti-cancer drugs.

    Skin Health

    The Schisandra berry was cherished by Chinese royalty for its beauty and anti-aging qualities. Packed with antioxidants, including key vitamins C and E, Schisandra’s strong astringent qualities enable the skin to hold in moisture for more fullness. Schisandra may also protect against UVB induced skin damage and is still used as an important botanical in many Eastern skin formulas.

    Typical Use
    Swanson Full Spectrum Schizandra Berries 525mg (90 caps)

    £10.42

    Swanson Full Spectrum Schizandra Berries 525mg (90 caps)

    1 to 3 grams up to twice a day.

    Folklore and History

    Also known as the “five flavour fruit”, Schisandra is documented in early Chinese medical texts as a superior herb, capable of promoting overall well-being and enhancing bodily vitality. As far back as 2697 BCE Schisandra was classified as superior by Pen-Tsao in the classic Yellow Emperor’s Study of Inner Medicine, an encyclopedia of healing plants. Hunting tribes of Northern China would take supplies of the dried berries whenever they went on long hunting trips during cold weather. Eating Schisandra berries helped them to stoke their internal fires and renew flagging strength.

    The classical treatise on Chinese herbal medicine, the Shen Nung Pen Tsao Ching, describes Schisandra as a high-grade herbal drug useful for a wide variety of medical conditions, especially as a kidney tonic and lung astringent. In addition, other textbooks on traditional Chinese medicine note that Schisandra is useful for coughs, night sweats, insomnia, thirst, and physical exhaustion.

    Schisandra

    Constituents

    – acids
    – lignans (deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, pregomisin, schizandrin, and others)
    – phytosterols (beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol)
    – vitamins C and E
    – volatile oils

    Schisandra fruit contains at least 30 different lignans. Lignans, which are sometimes described as phytoestrogens (plant-derived compounds with estrogen-like activity), are known to have liver-protective (anti-hepatotoxic) action and to regenerate damaged liver tissue.

    Precautions

    The Chinese say that Schisandra berries have all five flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty) and have long consumed them as a food. Average doses of herbal preparations are considered safe and nontoxic. Mild side effects may include indigestion and skin rash. Schisandra may promote contractions of the uterine muscles and thus should not be used by pregnant women.

    Swanson Full Spectrum Schizandra Berries 525mg (90 caps)

    £10.42

    Swanson Full Spectrum Schizandra Berries 525mg (90 caps)

    Schisandra Powder

    £9.99-£34.99

    Schisandra Powder

    Schisandra Tincture 100ml

    £11.99

    Schisandra Tincture 100ml

    Schisandra Berries (whole dried berry) 100g

    £9.99

    Schisandra Berries (whole dried berry) 100g

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