Northern China is the native home of the Schisandra plant (Schisandra Chinensis). It is a fruit and has also developed as medicine.
Schisandra is regarded as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that may help to boost the body’s resistance to physical, environmental, and emotional stresses. Additionally, the chemicals in Schisandra enhance liver function and may boost energy to enhance stamina and coordination. Learn more about Schisandra and its benefits and uses to our bodies in this article.
Uses and Forms
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses Schisandra to encourage yin-yang harmony. By favorably influencing the brain, kidneys, liver, and lungs, it is said to aid in “calming the heart and quieting the spirit.”
Although Schisandra has been safely and successfully used for generations, very few human trials have been carried out. Those trials proved that Schisandra might effectively reduce fatty liver disease, enhance liver function, and combat chronic hepatitis C virus. Other studies show that it is a natural stress reliever, enhances cognitive function, and lessens digestive side effects related to liver transplants .
Chemicals called schisandrins A, B, and C has biological effects. These chemicals are extracted from the Schisandra plant’s berries. You can take these in the form of powder, pills, or liquid, and a medical professional might recommend them to you.
Schisandra is also available as dried whole berries or juice. Additionally, It is accessible as a supplement in a variety of forms. These consist of elixirs, pills, extracts, and dried powder. The packaging of supplements typically includes a suggested dosage that you can follow .
The use of Schisandra is widespread in the field of medicine. Studies on animals and people have produced scientific evidence suggesting that Schisandra may effectively treat various conditions and diseases. The conditions mentioned below show the potential health benefits of Schisandra.
A 2017 study discovered that Schisandrin B effectively treated Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to Schisandrin B’s ability to inhibit the formation of excess amyloid beta peptides in the brain . These peptides are one of the elements present in forming amyloid plaque, a substance found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to another study, Schisandrin B may effectively treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease . This is because of the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effect on the brain’s microglial cells.
A 2013 study on animals discovered that pollen from the Schisandra plant had a potent antioxidant effect against toxicity-induced liver damage in mice . Additionally, in patients with acute and chronic hepatitis, Schisandra C effectively prevented liver damage.
Certain liver conditions, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In NAFLD, the liver is inflamed and has a higher level of fatty acids. Researchers discovered that in mice, Schisandrin B decreased these fatty acids. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Further human research is still necessary to determine the right dosage and duration as a treatment.
A 2016 study examined the effects of Schisandra extract on menopausal symptoms in women. For a year, there were 36 menopausal women engaged in the study . The research showed that Schisandra is effective at easing some menopause symptoms. These signs included sweating, heart palpitations, and hot flashes.
Schisandra extract has an antidepressant effect on mice in another recent animal study . This finding was supported by additional mouse studies conducted by the same lead researcher . However, there hasn’t been much research done on humans and their potential impact on depression.
The herb Schisandra might have adaptogenic properties. This means that it can strengthen the body’s defenses against disease and assist the body in fending off the effects of stress and anxiety .
Potential Side Effects
Following the dosage instructions on the label or those given to you by your doctor when taking Schisandra is important.
Too-high doses may cause symptoms of gastric distress, such as heartburn. This is why Schisandra may not be suitable for people with conditions like ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or hyperchlorhydria (high stomach acid). Another potential side effect is a decrease in appetite.
Women who are expecting or nursing should avoid taking Schisandra. Before you start taking it, consult with your doctor as some people may also experience allergic reactions such as rash or itching of the skin .
Understanding Schisandra Dosage
There isn’t enough reliable data to determine an appropriate Schisandra dose. Remember that dosages can be crucial and that natural products aren’t always safe. Before use, make sure to seek the advice of a healthcare professional and follow all relevant instructions on product labels .
Schisandra has been used medicinally for centuries in Asia and Russia. It may be useful in treating various diseases, including hepatitis and Alzheimer’s.
While multiple animal studies have found it beneficial for depression, these findings need to be researched further through human studies before they can be recommended for this purpose.
Schisandra may not be suitable for everyone. Without a doctor’s prescription, women who are pregnant, nursing, or who have GERD should not take them. It’s crucial not to use this substance excessively to prevent side effects.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Zhang, M., Zheng, H. X., Gao, Y. Y., Zheng, B., Liu, J. P., Wang, H., Yang, Z. J., & Zhao, Z. Y. (2017). The influence of Schisandrin B on a model of Alzheimer’s disease using β-amyloid protein Aβ1-42-mediated damage in SH-SY5Y neuronal cell line and underlying mechanisms. Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A, 80(22), 1199–1205. https://doi.org/10.1080/15287394.2017.1367133
- Zeng, K. W., Zhang, T., Fu, H., Liu, G. X., & Wang, X. M. (2012, October). Schisandrin B exerts anti-neuroinflammatory activity by inhibiting the Toll-like receptor 4-dependent MyD88/IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway in lipopolysaccharide-induced microglia. European Journal of Pharmacology, 692(1–3), 29–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2012.05.030
- Cheng, N., Ren, N., Gao, H., Lei, X., Zheng, J., & Cao, W. (2013). Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Schisandra chinensis pollen extract on CCl4-induced acute liver damage in mice. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 55, 234–240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.11.022
- Park, J. Y., & Kim, K. H. (2016). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Schisandra chinensis for menopausal symptoms. Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society, 19(6), 574–580. https://doi.org/10.1080/13697137.2016.1238453
- Yan, T., Xu, M., Wu, B., Liao, Z., Liu, Z., Zhao, X., Bi, K., & Jia, Y. (2016). The effect of Schisandra chinensis extracts on depression by noradrenergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in the forced swim test in mice. Food & function, 7(6), 2811–2819. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6fo00328a
- Yan, T., Xu, M., Wan, S., Wang, M., Wu, B., Xiao, F., Bi, K., & Jia, Y. (2016). Schisandra chinensis produces the antidepressant-like effects in repeated corticosterone-induced mice via the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling pathway. Psychiatry research, 243, 135–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.06.037
- Yan, T., He, B., Wan, S., Xu, M., Yang, H., Xiao, F., Bi, K., & Jia, Y. (2017). Antidepressant-like effects and cognitive enhancement of Schisandra chinensis in chronic unpredictable mild stress mice and its related mechanism. Scientific reports, 7(1), 6903. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07407-1
- Park, J., Han, S., & Park, H. (2020). Effect of Schisandra Chinensis Extract Supplementation on Quadriceps Muscle Strength and Fatigue in Adult Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(7), 2475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072475
- Schisandra: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions. (2021, June 11). RxList. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.rxlist.com/schisandra/supplements.htm#SideEffects
- SCHISANDRA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-376/schisandra