Schisandra is sometimes called five-spice fruit because it includes all five basic flavors in traditional Chinese medicine. The five distinct flavors found in this berry correspond to the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Sour (Wood), Bitter (Fire), Sweet (Earth), Acrid (Metal), and Salty (Water). It is considered a harmonious remedy in Chinese medicine because of its balanced energy nature. Other herbs in this category include, but are not limited to Licorice, Dong Quai, Panax Ginseng, Jujube Dates, and Bupleurum. Schisandra is found in every classic text of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used with many health benefits like to support the healthy functioning of the endocrine system, digestive system, and liver function.
- 1. The active ingredient in Schisandra
- 2. Top 5 Schisandra health benefits
- 3. Notes when using Schisandra
1. The active ingredient in Schisandra
✅ In traditional Chinese medicine, Schisandra is considered an “adaptive substance”, meaning a plant or herb that balances the body’s functions. The berry itself is often referred to as the “five-spice fruit” because it possesses all five basic flavors of Chinese herbal medicine: salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter. Having these flavors means it can benefit all five organ organs: liver, lungs, heart, kidney, and stomach.
✅ According to modern medicine: Schisandra contains Schisandrins A, B, and C which are bioactive chemical compounds. While Schisandrin B has many beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease, Schisandrin C is effective against liver damage in people with hepatitis. They are extracted from the berries of the Schisandra tree and can be used in powder, tablet or liquid form.
2. Top 5 Schisandra health benefits
2.1 Schisandra health benefits: Support treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
✅ A 2017 study found that Schisandrin B’s biologically active substance in Schisandra has many beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that Schisandrin B could prevent the formation of excess beta-amyloid peptides in the brain. These peptides are one of the ingredients that contribute to the formation of amyloid plaque, a substance found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Another study indicates that Schisandrin B may be effective against both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is due to Schisandrin B’s anti-inflammatory, the neuroprotective effect on cells in the brain.
2.2 Schisandra health benefits: Treatment of hepatitis
✅ Schisandra contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress on the liver and improve liver function. Most of this is thought to be due to the flavonoids in Schisandra, especially quercetin and doperetinin, which act as antioxidants, removing the body of free radicals that cause long-term cell damage. Recent research has supported these claims. According to a 2010 study from China, the flavonoids in Schisandra can significantly reduce liver inflammation in rats with severe liver damage (measured by the enzymes ALT and AST). Other studies have shown that Schisandra reduces another type of liver enzyme, called SGPT, as a sign of liver damage.
✅ In addition, Schisandra helps improve viral hepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – which can be the result of many liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. There are many fatty acids and hepatitis in NAFLD. The researchers found that Schisandrin B had reduced these fatty acids in mice. It also acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. A 2013 Animal Study found that Schisandra plant extract has powerful antioxidant effects against toxic damage caused in rat liver. Schisandrin C is effective against liver damage in people with acute and chronic hepatitis.
2.3 Schisandra health benefits: Improve mood
✅ One of the central benefits of Schisandra, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is its ability to increase endurance and mental performance. This means it can help the body fight the effects of anxiety and stress. A 2009 review of studies from Sweden reported that Schisandra can stimulate the adrenal glands and produce hormones like epinephrine, increase heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and sugar metabolism. These physiological changes increase alertness, energy, endurance, and feelings of happiness. Several other herbs have been found to possess similar properties, including Rhodiola, Ginseng, and Ashwagandha.
2.4 Schisandra health benefits: Improve menopausal symptoms
✅ A 2016 study analyzed the effects of Schisandra extract on women with menopausal symptoms. The study followed 36 menopausal women for a year. The researchers determined that Schisandra was effective in alleviating a number of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, sweating, and a fast heartbeat.
2.5 Schisandra health benefits: Improve asthma
✅ Several recent studies have suggested that Schisandra extract may play an important role in treating a number of disorders in the respiratory system, including asthma. A 2014 study in South Korea reported that this fruit has an anti-asthma effect by inhibiting allergy-stimulating antibodies while reducing the enhanced response that causes airways to constrict and close again.
3. Notes when using Schisandra
When using Schisandra herbal extract or supplements, you should note the following:
- Too high doses can lead to symptoms of stomach pain, such as heartburn. For this reason, Schisandra may not be suitable for people with diseases such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or hyperchlorhydria (high stomach acid).
- Schisandra may not be suitable for pregnant or lactating women. Discuss this with your doctor before you start taking it.
- Schisandra may also cause allergic reactions in some people, such as itching or skin rashes.
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