This plant is sometimes referred to as Chinese Magnolia Vine or Five Flavored Fruit. The five distinct flavors found in the berry correspond to the five phases or Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine; Sour (Wood), Bitter (Fire), Sweet (Earth), Acrid (Metal) and Salty (Water). Hence it’s name Wu Wei Zi in Chinese. It is considered a harmonizing tonic remedy in Chinese Medicine because of its well balanced energetic nature.
It is included in every classic text on Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used to support a healthy functioning endocrine system, digestive system, and to support normal liver function as well as a convalescent tonic herb when the kidney system is involved.
Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Revised Edition. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press; 1993.