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Schisandra

Also indexed as:Schisandra chinensis, Wu-Wei-Zi, Schizandra
Schisandra: Main Image © Steven Foster
Common names:
Wu-Wei-Zi
Botanical names:
Schisandra chinensis

Parts Used & Where Grown

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.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Adaptogens such as schisandra are thought to help keep various body systems—including the immune system—functioning optimally.
Fatigue
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Schisandra fruit may have a weak adaptogenic action, and laboratory work suggests that it may improve work performance, build strength, and help to reduce fatigue.
Hay Fever

(Asiasarum Root, Cassia Bark, Ginger, Licorice, Ma Huang, Peony, Pinellia)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The Japanese herbal formula known as sho-seiryu-to has been shown to reduce symptoms, such as sneezing, for people with hay fever.
Hepatitis
420 mg of silymarin per day1 star[1 star]
Compounds called lignans in schisandra appear to promote regeneration of liver tissue that has been damaged by harmful influences, such as hepatitis viruses or alcohol.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Schisandra supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(Bupleurum, Dan Shen, Ginger, Wormwood)
Take a Chinese herbal formula containing wormwood under the guidance of a qualified practitioner1 star[1 star]
A standardized Chinese herbal combination containing extracts from plants including wormwood, ginger, bupleurum, schisandra, and dan shen reduced IBS symptoms in one study.
Liver Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Schisandra lignans appear to protect the liver by activating the enzymes in liver cells that produce glutathione, an important antioxidant substance.

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.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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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.


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