Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, these are all great foods worth eating. Pretty much everyone agrees. They’re vegan-friendly. They’re Paleo friendly. They’re even included in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Even those on extremely low-carb diets sometimes include berries because they’re fairly low in sugar compared to most fruits, while also having a good amount of fiber.
(Though there are always some who disagree. I suppose those on the carnivore diet which is becoming more popular are the only ones that won’t enjoy these.)
As you can see in their color, they’re rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and various polyphenols.
But I’m not here to just talk about these “normal” berries. While these have amazing benefits, they’re far from the most potent berries out there.
There are a variety of other berries from across the world that many people have never heard of.
Here is an important point worth understanding. The food berries may be cultivated using techniques of agriculture in order to make them bigger and sweeter over time. This comes at the cost of having less nutrition. Compare wild strawberries to the ones you find at your local Farmer’s market.
Now, compare this to the rarer berries, which are sometimes grown and harvested from the wild, or when cultivated, are done to maximize their nutrition (meaning the micronutrients, antioxidants, etc.)
What are some of these berries?
Schisandra Berry is known as the five-flavor fruit as it has all five flavors. That being said it is predominately sour and astringent. Still, as ancient medicinal systems look at flavor being a clue for its interaction in the body, this means Schisandra does a lot. Which it does indeed, from supporting liver detox, stimulating the mind, being one of the first adaptogens, beautifying the skin and much more.
Sea Buckthorn Berry is another great sour berry. This rare fruit contains Omega 3’s, 6’s, 7’s and 9’s, being the only thing to do so that I’m aware of. Unfortunately, this won’t come through in the powder that’s made from the juice, but there is still much else there from the 190 bioactive components.
Goji Berry is on the sweeter side. This rising star of the herbal world has been called the “happy berry” for its effects. And science is showing that the lyceum barbarum polysaccharides it contains do many, many different things in the body from immune and metabolic support.
Longan Berry is also known as dragon eyes because of the look of the fruit. Our extract being 10:1 concentrated brings out the bitterness along with the sweetness that is there. The polyphenols help support the spleen and much more.
And then there is the new Elderberry. While the other berries come from Chinese medicine, Elderberry has long been used in European and American herbalism. This sour berry is likely the highest anthocyanin containing berry out there. Our extract is guaranteed to have at least 13% but testing on the first batch came in just over 16%. This may just be the very best berry there is for immune system support.
So that’s a little bit about the berries and their benefits.
The other thing I want to talk about here is flavor and how you can use this to great effect.
These berries can be combined with any of our other herbs that don’t taste great. What this does is two-fold:
1) Makes it taste better
2) Increases the benefits
And who doesn’t want those two things?
That’s why I pretty much always mix berries into any powdered herbs I’m drinking.
One of our formulas, Athena Woman’s Formula, is designed with this in mind. The main pair are Dong Quai and Shatavari, rounded out with Pine Pollen to focus on hormonal benefits, amongst much else. Then the four berries, Schisandra, Goji, Sea Buckthorn, and Longan further enhance the effects while making it more palatable. (Most people I talk to about this say it’s okay, not good tasting, but at least it’s not bad like some of our other formulas).
For a couple other articles and videos around these concepts see these two older posts:
(Please note that I misspoke in the video. With the Chinese model of 5 Elements, Wood which is associated with the Sour taste is right before Fire which is associated with the Bitter taste in the Flow Cycle. This means that Wood controls Fire which is why this flavor combination may work particularly well.)