I invested in a bag of schizandra. This is a light red berry that grows in clusters on trees, and which can be dried and used in herbal teas. There is a varient powdered form, which I believe uses fructose, and may not actually contain that much genuine schizandra fruit content. You just need to add a few of these dried berries to hot water, and you get a strong-tasting fruit tea, a bit like rosehip or hibiscus tea.
Schizandra is supposed to have many health benefits. It is an adaptogen, which means it can help your body adapt to stresses. It boosts the central nervous system, nitric oxide levels, and gluthathione, an enzyme that helps detoxify the body. There are also a lot of other claimed benefits, from warding off cancer, minimizing pre-menstrual symptoms, to helping with erectile dysfunction, and insomnia. I'm not sure I'll ever have to worry about erectile dysfunction, but I'm sure desperate for help with insomnia!
Whether it truly offers all these properties, again, I cannot claim to notice any immediate effect, (I certainly didn't sleep at all last night even though I had a glass of schizandra not long before bed) but I at least feel a psychological benefit in that I am trying to use a natural ingredient directly rather than in a heavily processed, chemically laden form.
For more information on the health benefits of schizandra, check out herbs list.