Picture of Schisandra Vine

Schisandra Vine

Schizandra Benefits

Schizandra (sometimes spelled Schisandra) berries are a powerful adaptogen. This means that they will help you adapt to your environment allowing you to better handle stress, whether mental or physical.

An adaptogen is used as an overall wellness tonic. It is beneficial to the whole body. Like any adaptogen, Schizandra exerts a normalizing effect on the entire body. It will take you from any extreme back to a balanced state. In China, it is said to be the most protective of all herbs and plants.

Schizandra can have a very beneficial impact on your health. It can increase capacity for physical and mental exercise and protect you from environmental stress.

This herb can increase your energy by stimulating the central nervous system without making you nervous like caffeine would. But since it’s an adaptogen, it can also calm the nervous system when facing stress.

Many people take this herb to increase energy. It is especially popular with athletes as it boosts nitric oxide levels in the body. It fights fatigue as well, making it even more beneficial. Schizandra increases energy at the cellular level.

The Health Sciences Institute states that schizandra berry can raise the body’s enzyme, glutathione. This enzyme detoxifies the body in a way that improves mental clarity. It is widely taken by students in China for this reason.

Probably its best known property is as a protector of the liver, due to the lignans it contains. It helps maintain its proper functioning and regeneration and is also used to prevent liver damage. Schizandra uses its fat soluble compounds found in the core of its seed to protect the liver from toxins.

Schizandra is often used in the treatment of hepatitis C. Besides its liver protecting properties, it is also beneficial to the kidneys as it helps balances the fluid in the body.

This amazing herb also contains antioxidants, such as gomisin A and Wuweizisu C, to protect your cells from free radicals and prevent oxidation. This is why it’s often used in longevity formulas in Chinese medicine.

Schizandra is very popular among woman for its ability to make the skin soft, smooth and beautiful. It has been taken for many hundreds of years in China for this purpose. It is believed to work by balancing the fluids of the skin.

This herb is popular with people who suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and mood swings. Though it’s unknown how it works for these symptoms, Schizandra has been used for these ailments for many hundreds of years with much success.

Though not enough research has been done in this area, there is some preliminary evidence that Schizandra my inhibit cancer cell growth for some types of cancers, such as leukemia. Much more research needs to be done before this will be considered a truly effective treatment.

For men, this herb may be beneficial for impotence and erectile dysfunction since it has the ability to dilate the blood vessels, helping men achieve erection.

As far as heart health goes, this herb’s blood vessel dilating properties are also good for lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and improving heart function in general.

Schizandra is beneficial to the respiratory system too. It rids the body of lung mucus by acting as expectorant. It is also used to treat coughs.

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Schizandra Uses

  • As a powerful adaptogen
  • Increase strength and stamina
  • Increase energy
  • For clarity of mind
  • Fight fatigue
  • Treat asthma
  • Treat influenza
  • Treat pre menstrual syndrome
  • Help digestion and treat indigestion
  • Treat liver disease
  • Enhance the working of the immune system
  • As a powerful antioxidant
  • Treat respiratory ailments
  • Improve the functioning of the respiratory system
  • As an aphrodisiac
  • For anti-aging and longevity
  • Treat sore throats, colds and coughs
  • Protect the liver and lungs
  • Treat insomnia and night sweats
  • Treat mental and physical exhaustion
  • Relieve stress
  • Treat depression
  • Increase circulation
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Recuperation following surgery
  • For it’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
  • treat chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Protect and enhance vision and hearing
  • Treat insomnia
  • Lower high cholesterol
  • Treat asthma

Scientific Name

Schizandra chinensis

Common Names

Schisandra, Five flavor berry, Omicha, Wu wei zi, Magnolia vine

Where It’s Found

Schizandra is native to northern China

Which Part Is Used

The berry

Picture of Schizandra Berries

Schizandra Berries

How It Works

Schizandra contains many important substances for better health. Some of these are phytochemicals, essential oils, acids and lignans, vitamins A and C, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, silica and beneficial fats and antioxidants. These bring health to the body in and of themselves but some of the workings of the specific actions of this herb are still unknown to science.

Besides the vitamins and minerals, this herb also contains lignans called schizandrol, gamma-schizandrin, Schizandrin and deoxyschizandrin. These are beneficial to the pulmonary, intestinal and the cardiovascular systems of the body. Schizandra also contains immunomodulating compounds that exhibit cortisone type effects. These are what are thought to relieve stress and normalize the metabolic functions of the body.

How It’s Used

These delicious berries can be eaten raw or dried, mixed into beverages or food such as soup. You can also obtain the dried powder in capsule form.

Precautions and Side Effects:

Schizandra should not be taken by people who have gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD), epilepsy, peptic ulcers or high brain (intracranial) pressure. Do not take Schizandra if you are pregnant or nursing. Always talk to your doctor before taking any health supplement.

Description and History Of Schizandra

Schizandra is a woody vine that grows in China, Korea and Russia. It has attractive green foliage, pink flowers and red berries. These flavorful berries are often eaten raw, dried or cooked in soup.

Schizandra was prized for thousands of years by Chinese emperors as an anti-ageing tonic and for it’s stress and fatigue reducing properties. The ladies of the court used the berries as a beauty aid for the skin.

Editor’s Comments

I often take Schizandra for its adaptogen properties as well as for the skin. If you take it for at least a month, your skin will look much younger and more beautiful.

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