Schisandra has recently become a popular herbal supplement that provides various health benefits. This unique plant is native to parts of Asia, characterized by its brightly-colored berries containing many compounds with reported therapeutic effects.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the therapeutic uses of this powerful herb and a closer look at some potential risks or side effects. We’ll also answer the most crucial question—should you incorporate this supplement into your routine? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
What is Schisandra?
Schisandra, commonly known as the “five-flavor berry,” is an ancient medicinal plant used for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine and alternative health practices. It has risen rapidly in popularity due to its numerous potential health benefits: from improving cognitive functioning to enhancing heart and liver health.
It can be used as an adaptogen—a natural substance intended to help people cope better with stressors—and research suggests possible benefits with cognition, mood, immunity, inflammation, cardiovascular health, and more.
What Does Schisandra Do to the Hormones?
Schisandra contains compounds called lignans.  These bioactive chemicals affect hormones, specifically estrogen, and testosterone. As a result, it has a so-called phytoestrogenic effect, meaning it can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
This means that it could be beneficial for people who need to balance their hormonal levels, such as women going through menopause or those with PCOS. Additionally, Schisandra may reduce symptoms of menopausal hot flashes and improve menstrual cycle regularity.
Schisandra Health Benefits
Schisandra is one of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs used in traditional medicine for its numerous potential health benefits, such as the following.
1. Reduces Inflammation
Damage to cells and tissues, accelerated aging, and the activation or silencing of genes are just a few of how free radicals risk human health. Schisandra has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial for reducing inflammation throughout the body and protecting against free radical damage. 
This herb’s anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties may explain why it slows the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), controls blood sugar, and protects against diabetes.
Also, its active lignans, particularly schizandra A, have been identified, and they exhibit chemo-protective properties, making them a promising agent in cancer prevention.
Its anti-inflammatory and tissue-repair properties have been uncovered via studies of the plant’s effects on organs, tissues, cells, and enzymes. It also favors platelet-activating factors, metabolism, oxygen consumption, bone formation, and toxin tolerance.
2. Improves Mental Performance
Research suggests Schisandra can improve cognitive functioning, focus, and concentration. It also reduces symptoms of stress and fatigue, making it an excellent choice for those struggling with mental exhaustion.
It has been used for centuries for its ability to increase focus and vitality. Also, unlike coffee, it doesn’t boost energy by decreasing stress hormones or raising blood sugar. As a result, it has no negative consequences, such as agitation or rapid heart rate, and has the opposite effect. It has the dual effect of relieving stress and keeping you awake. 
Schisandra has been linked in studies to a reduced risk of developing neurosis, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, alcoholism, and even Alzheimer’s disease. 
3. Protects the Skin
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Schisandra has been used for centuries as a natural beauty aid.
Its extract has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects by reducing signs of inflammatory skin problems in people, including skin dermatitis, immune cell filtration, and inflammatory cytokines. 
4. Improves Liver Function and Digestion
Anecdotal studies have mostly examined its effects on the liver, particularly on developing several liver detoxifying enzymes. However, it has broad immune-enhancing effects because it enhances enzyme synthesis, increases antioxidant activity, and enhances circulation, digestion, and waste elimination.
While this herb is beneficial for preventing infections, indigestion, and various gastrointestinal ailments. This is because a healthy liver is linked to a stronger immune system.
Schisandra plant pollen has a powerful antioxidant impact that helps prevent cell death caused by toxins. Patients with acute and chronic hepatitis may benefit from Schisandrin C’s ability to reduce liver damage. 
5. Aids in Healthy Sexual Function
If you’re having trouble conceiving or maintaining a healthy pregnancy, this powerful herb may be able to help. It’s been shown to stimulate ovulation, balance hormones, and increase libido, among other benefits.
Because it has a beneficial effect on the synthesis of hormones, particularly estrogen, it can assist with the mending of bones and the formation of bone mineral density. This helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which tend to affect older women due to hormonal shifts.
It’s also helpful for reducing the severity of certain menopausal symptoms, such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, and hot flashes. 
6. Reduced Stress and Improved Mood
Adaptogenic herbs and superfoods have been used for millennia to strengthen the body’s defenses against stress, anxiety, toxic exposure, emotional trauma, mental weariness, and mental disease.
Schisandra is an adaptogenic herb that aids in natural hormone balance and boosts resilience to environmental and emotional stresses. It may strengthen the immune system, making you less susceptible to illness, and help your body deal with the consequences of anxiety and stress.
Adaptogens assist the body save energy that may be used toward more important tasks, such as reproduction, skin healing, vision, cardiovascular health, and the prevention of infectious diseases like the flu, chronic sinusitis, and even the common cold.
In addition, because of their inhibiting properties, adaptogens may benefit hormones and brain functioning even when the body is under stress or physical strain.
Can I Take Schisandra Every Day?
Schisandra can be taken in capsule form or brewed into tea. It is generally considered safe. Daily usage is risk-free, even for those with delicate stomachs and poor supplement tolerance. It has been used safely for up to 12 weeks in certain cases.
Schisandra Risks and Side Effects
Generally, healthy individuals who have used Schisandra have not experienced any serious adverse effects. Nonetheless, the vast majority of research has focused on animals. Therefore, Schisandra should not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding as well.
Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate dietary supplements. Since it is unknown how Schisandra can interact with the body’s absorption of other drugs and supplements, anybody taking prescriptions for preexisting problems should discuss using it with their doctor first.
Schisandra has been shown to interact with cancer medications in several trials. In addition, due to its influence on drug metabolism, it can potentially worsen the toxicity of otherwise life-saving medications.
Schisandrins A, B, and C are chemical compounds with biologically active structures. They are taken from Schisandra berries. They come in powder, pill, or liquid form and may be prescribed to you by a doctor. You may also get this herb in the form of juice or dried entire berries.
Schisandra is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. You may find them in powder, tablets, extracts, and elixirs. There is usually a dose recommendation included on the label of dietary supplements. Therefore, you should follow the instructions provided on the label and stay within the recommended amount.
Bottomline: What is Schisandra? Health Benefits vs. Risks
Overall, Schisandra has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and is gaining popularity due to its numerous potential health benefits. It can be consumed as a dietary supplement or juice, with likely minimal side effects when taken in moderation.
Schisandra may provide many potential benefits, but it’s important to weigh the risks carefully before incorporating it into your daily routine. Discussing these supplements with your healthcare provider before use is essential.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
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