Schisandra Background and Benefits
Schisandra is a genus of climbing vines in Asia that contains about 25 species. Schisandra chinensis is one of the most well-known of these species and has the common name five-flavor berry. It originates from Northern China and Eastern Russia, and is cultivated in temperate regions throughout the world up to USDA Hardiness Zone 4.
Schisandra grows best in partial shade with well-drained soil. The natural species is dioecious, meaning that an individual plant produces flowers of only one gender. However, a hybrid of Schisandra is commercially available that has perfect flowers, allowing a plant to fertilize itself.
Schisandra is commercially cultivated in a manner similar to that of grapes, especially in Russia. The fruit is used to make juice, wines and desserts. Extracts of Schisandra are also used in health supplements, especially by people over 30 years of age.
Schisandrin is one of the most significant biologically active components in Schisandra extract and is most abundant in the fruit. It’s chemically classified as a dibenzocyclooctadiene lignin, and other chemicals of this type are also present in Schisandra. Additional active components in Schisandra include gomisins, schisantherins, gamma-terpinene and rubrildilactione. Schisandrin exhibits a variety of protective effects for various systems in the body, including the liver and nervous system.
Uses of Schisandra
Schisandra extract has many applications in herbal medicine, with liver support being one of the most common. It may also support cognitive functions and overall health.
Oral consumption of Schisandra extract may support cognitive functions such as attention and concentration. This use of Schisandra is often combined with Siberian ginseng and rhodiola.
Liver health support
The lignans in Schisandra may support liver functioning and growth. These fat-soluble compounds may help support the liver from various toxins.
The gomisins in Schisandra extract exhibit significant antioxidant activity, which may help to support cells from various types of damage.
Schisandra extract help to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide in the body. This benefit helps to provide physical energy.
Signs You May Need Schisandra
Poor liver function is one of the most significant problems that may mean you need Schisandra, especially when it’s cause by a toxin. Visible signs of aging in the skin may indicate that Schisandra could help you. Slow healing and a compromised immune system are also signs of oxidative stress that may be minimized by Schisandra. Cardiovascular signs such as an unhealthy blood sugar and blood pressure may mean that you need Schisandra.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Schisandra
Schizandra, Schisandra chinensis, five-flavor berry