Thanks to its high concentration of antioxidant compounds, Schisandra helps fight free radical damage and lowers inflammatory responses — which are at the root of modern diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Free radicals threaten our health because they turn on and off certain genes, cause cellular and tissue damage, and speed up the ageing process.
Due to its ability to positively affect the immune system and fight inflammation, Schisandra helps stall the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), balances blood sugar, prevents diabetes and bring the body into an optimal acid-base balance.
When it comes to cancer prevention, active lignans have been isolated from Schisandra (especially one called schisandrin A) that have chemo-protective abilities. Studies that have investigated the effects of Schisandra on organs, tissues, cells and enzymes have revealed it helps control the release of leukocytes, which promote inflammation and improves the ability to repair tissue. Schisandra also positively impacts platelet-activating factors, metabolism, oxygen consumption, bone formation, and toxin exposure tolerance.
Supports Immune Response and Adrenal Function
Known as an adaptogenic agent, Schisandra helps balance hormones naturally and, therefore, improves our ability to deal with physical and psychological stressors. Adaptogenic herbs and superfoods have been used for thousands of years to naturally raise the body’s resistance to environmental stress, anxiety, toxin exposure, emotional trauma, mental fatigue and mental illnesses. Schisandra helps nurture the adrenal glands and turns down the overproduction of stress hormones like cortisol. Therefore it’s linked with better mental capabilities, physical endurance and metabolic health. Inhibitory effects of adaptogens like Schisandra make them natural antidepressants that positively affect hormones and brain functions even when under stress and tiring conditions. Don’t forget there’s also a link between lower amounts of stress and better immune function: The more stress we’re under, the less capable we are of defending ourselves from diseases. With the help of adaptogens, the body spares bodily energy for functions like reproductive health, skin repairment, visual function, cardiovascular health, and preventing infections like viruses, the flu, chronic sinusitis and even common colds.
Improves Liver Function and Digestive Health
Much of the research on Schisandra has focused on liver function, especially its effect on the production of various liver detoxifying enzymes. Its immune-boosting abilities are far-reaching because Schisandra helps increase enzyme production, boosts antioxidant activity, and improves circulation, digestion and the ability to remove waste from the body. Because liver health is tied to stronger immunity, Schisandra is protective against infections, indigestion and various gastrointestinal disorders.
Dozens of studies done over the past 40 years demonstrate the efficiency of Schisandra in cleansing the liver, healing pneumonia, preventing developmental problems in pregnant women, and reducing allergic reactions, acute gastrointestinal diseases, gastric hyper- and hypo-secretion, chronic gastritis and stomach ulcers. Some small studies also show it helps treat chronic hepatitis.
A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that Schisandra can even benefit patients following a liver transplant since it increases the production of a compound called Tcrolimus (Tac), which prevents the body’s rejection of a new liver following liver transplantation. Blood concentrations of Tac significantly increased in liver transplant patients after receiving Schisandra extract (SchE).
Improves Mental Performance
One of the oldest uses of Schisandra is promoting mental clarity and raising energy levels. Centuries ago, in Russia, it was used by the Nanai people to promote stamina for hunters going on long voyages without much rest or nourishment. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine have used Schisandra to naturally improve mental capabilities and promote sharper concentration, increased motivation and better memory.
One of the great thing about Schisandra is that it doesn't increase energy in similar ways to caffeine by effecting the release of various stress hormones and altering blood sugar. As you probably know, caffeine use — especially caffeine overdose — can cause side effects like nervousness, restlessness and heartbeat irregularities, but Schisandra actually does the opposite. It essentially makes you feel calmer while also fighting off fatigue. Studies also show a link between Schisandra supplementation and protection against neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurosis, depression, anxiety, alcoholism and even Alzheimer's disease.
Helps with Healthy Sexual Function
One of the most famous side effects of Schisandra is its positive effects on the sexual glands and organs in both man and women. Schisandra is beneficial for fertility and hormonal health, promoting a strong libido, preventing sexual dysfunction like impotence and positively affecting the reproductive organs, including the uterus. Schisandra is known to increase water Qi in the kidney and to support water of the genital organs- referring to the sexual fluids. Because it positively impacts hormone production, including estrogen, Schishandra supports bone healing and forming bone mineral density. This is useful for preventing diseases like osteoporosis, which are common among women in pre- and menopause as they experience changes in hormonal levels. For men, the sexual fluids promote the production of semen. For the ladies, Schisandra is said to increase circulation and sensitivity in the female genitals. This feeling will increase orgasms and satisfaction. This makes Schisandra a very powerful aphrodisiac that an compliment intimate relationships. Furthermore schisandra has been shown to enhance vasodilation and the action of other vasodilators which improves sexual performance and enjoyment in both men and women.
Protects the Skin
Schisandra is a natural beauty tonic capable of protecting the skin from wind, sun exposure, allergic reactions, dermatitis, environmental stress and toxin accumulation. Schisandra has been widely used to treat skin diseases due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
BOTANICAL NAME: Schisandra chinensis
OTHER NAME(S): Bac Ngu Vi Tu, Baie de Schisandra, Beiwuweizi, Bei Wu Wei Zi, Chinese Mongolavine, Chinese Schizandra, Chinesischer Limonenbaum, Chosen-Gomischi, Five-Flavor-Fruit, Five-Flavor-Seed, Fructus Schisandrae, Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis, Fruit aux Cinq Saveurs, Gomishi, Hoku-Gomishi, Kadsura chinensis, Kita-Gomishi, Limonnik Kitajskij, Mei Gee, Magnolia Vine, Matsbouza, Nanwuweizi, Ngu Mei Gee, Northern Schisandra, Omicha, Schisandra Berry, Schisandra chinensis var. rubriflora, Schisandra Sinensis, Schisandra sphaerandra, Schisandra sphenanthera, Schisandrae, Schizandra, Schizandra Chinensis, Schizandre Fructus, Schzandra, Southern Schisandra, Wuhzi, Wuweizi, Wu-Wei-Zi, Western Schisandra, Xiwuweizi.