Schisandra is a woody vine with numerous clusters of tiny, bright red berries. It is distributed throughout northern and northeast China and the adjacent regions of Russia and Korea.1 The fully ripe, sun-dried fruit is used medicinally. It is purported to have sour, sweet, salty, hot, and bitter tastes. This unusual combination of flavors is reflected in schisandra’s Chinese name wu-wei-zi, meaning “five taste fruit.”
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions
Adaptogens such as schisandra are thought to help keep various body systems—including the immune system—functioning optimally.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
A classical treatise on Chinese herbal medicine, Shen Nung Pen Tsao Ching, describes schisandra as a high-grade herbal drug useful for a wide variety of medical conditions—especially as a kidney tonic and lung astringent. In addition, other textbooks on Traditional Chinese Medicine note that schisandra is useful for coughs, night sweats, insomnia, thirst, and physical exhaustion.2 Adaptogenic herbs, like schisandra, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve the ability of the body to respond to stress.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.