What is Schisandra chinensis?
Schisandra chinensis is a woody vine in the Schisandraceae family. This vine is native to northeastern China, Russia, and Korea. As one of the 50 most important herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Schisandra chinensis is medically used as a general adaptogen, as a kidney and lung tonic, as well as for night sweats, insomnia, and physical exhaustion. Clinical studies have largely borne out the claims made about this herb. Side effects are uncommon.
Her Chinese name wu-wei-zi (schisandra chinensis) talks about her unusual combination of flavors of fruit (a mixture of sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter).
Schizandra, schisandra usually grows to a height from 15 to 25 meters and in width from 5 to 10 meters, and blooms from April to May. Schisandra chinensis is dioecious, which means that the one plant has only one male, the other female flowers, so it is clear that for the fruits we must have both plants. However, there are hybrids such as “Eastern Prince” where one plant has male and female characteristics and is therefore self-pollinated.
Most schizandra is dried in the sun and then used in various formulas to improve vitality. But some berries are deep refrigerated, and eventually used to make health juices, primarily for the Korean market.
Schisandra chinensis enjoys millennia of traditional use for prolong life, retarding the aging process, increasing energy, as a fatigue-fighter, and as a sexual tonic. Schizandra also possesses significant protective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Thus it helps to maintain healthy cells throughout the body. It is considered one of the most highly protective of all medicinal plants, and the berry is included in many traditional herbal formulas for improving energy and mental health.
in Russia arises from results of ethnopharmacological investigations of Russian scientists in the Far East regions where the berries and seeds were used by Nanai (Goldes or Samagir) hunters to improve night vision, as a tonic and to reduce hunger, thirst and exhaustion since “it gives forces to follow a sable all the day without food”
Schisandra has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2,000 years. Despite this long history, schisandra is still relatively unknown in the US market. But due to its age-old use for enhancing vitality and its strong science base, schisandra and its preparations should get a good market boost in the years ahead. Once people experience the mental and physical benefits of this super berry, they will want it as part of their health regime.
Chemical constituents of Schisandra chinensis Extract
The main active ingredients Schisandrins, Schizandrol A and dibenzocyclooctadiene. Recent studies have demonstrated that schisandrin exhibits anti-oxidative effects in vivo.
γ-schizandrin, gomisin A, γ-terpinene, bisabolene (+)-gomisin K2, gomisin S, Pregomisin, Schisantherin A, Schicantherin B, Angeloylgomisin Q , Rubrildilactione .
Benefits of taking Schisandra chinensis Extract supplements:
Chinese medicine use
Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically documented liver protecting effects. The primary hepatoprotective (liver protecting) and immuno-modulating constituents are the lignans schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin, which are found in the seeds of the fruit. It should not be used by pregnant women.
Anti-fatigue – laboratory tests show that schisandra berry can improve performance, increase strength and reduce fatigue, also increases stamina and speed and improves concentration. It stimulates the nervous system by increasing the speed of nervous responses, leading to quicker and stronger reflexes.
Boosts mental function – studies show that schizandra chinensis can increase mental performance in humans: concentration, fine coordination, sensitivity and endurance in healthy young men. Schizandra has also beneficial effects on eyesight and hearing, increased field of view and improved adaptation to darkness.
In the Pretreating mice with schisandrin B (Sch B), an active dibenzocyclooctadiene derivative isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, at a daily dose of 0.125-0.5 mmol/kg for 3 days protected against the THA/bis(7)-THA induced hepatic oxidative damage in a dose-dependent manner, found that Sch B treatment (0.025-0.5 mmol/kg/day x 5) also enhanced the passive avoidance-response in mice as assessed by the step-through task experiment. The ensemble of results suggests that Sch B may be useful for reducing the potential hepatotoxicity of THA/bis(7)-THA in anti-Alzheimer’s therapy, according to “Schisandrin B protects against tacrine- and bis(7)-tacrine-induced hepatotoxicity and enhances cognitive function in mice” by Pan SY, Han YF, Carlier PR, Pang YP, Mak DH, Lam BY, Ko KM.(11)
Immunomodulatory effects– Research has shown that the active component of lignan which can be found in schizandra berry prevents inflammation, protects the liver and stimulates the immune system. Modern Chinese research has shown that schisandra chinensis can help people with hepatitis. In China, raw schisandra berries are widely used for the treatment of progressive degeneration of the liver caused by hepatitis or chemical damage.
>In the evaluation of the immuno-modulating effect of a water-soluble polysaccharide named SCP-IIa of the fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.), using the immunosuppressed model induced by cyclophosphamide, found that SCP-IIa was involved in immunomodulatory effects leading to the exploration for SCP-IIa as a potential immunostimulant, according to “An immunostimulatory polysaccharide (SCP-IIa) from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill” by Chen Y, Tang J, Wang X, Sun F, Liang S.
In the identification of the chemical compounds of the essential oils of Schisandra chinensis seeds and berries without seeds extracts and their antioxidant effect found that the antioxidant activity of essential oil of berries without seeds (EOB) was higher than essential oil of seeds (EOS. The IC(50) values of EOB and EOS were 8.4 and 15.8 mg/mL, respectively. This study concluded that EOB and EOS were not only different in extraction yield but also in chemical composition and antioxidant activity, according to “Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of essential oil from berries of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill’ by Liu CJ, Zhang SQ, Zhang JS, Liang Q, Li DS.
In the investigation of isolation of the fruits of Schisandra wilsoniana. The structures of 1-3 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods to determine their effects on HIV-1, found that compounds 1-3 were also evaluated for their anti-HIV-1 activities and showed bioactivity with EC(50) values of 3.26, 6.18, and 2.87 microg/ml, respectively, according to “Dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans from the fruits of Schisandra wilsoniana and their anti-HIV-1 activities” byYang GY, Li YK, Wang RR, Xiao WL, Yang LM, Pu JX, Zheng YT, Sun HD.
In the determination of Schizandra chinensis and its anti-cancer activity on colon carcinoma HCT-116 cells found that an active compound was found and identified to be Gomisin A. It displayed apoptotic activity through caspase-7 cleavage in colon carcinoma HCT-116 cells. In addition, we further assessed the effects of this compound using long-term survival clonogenic assay with HCT116 cells, according to “A compound isolated from Schisandra chinensis induces apoptosis” by Hwang D, Shin SY, Lee Y, Hyun J, Yong Y, Park JC, Lee YH, Lim Y.
In the comparison of the pro-apoptotic effect of two dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans, gomisin A and gomisin N, isolated from Schizandra chinensis Baill, in U937 human promyelocytic leukemia cells in vitro, found that the cytotoxic effects and apoptotic characteristics induced by gomisin N were significantly inhibited by z-DEVD-fmk, a caspase-3 inhibitor, demonstrating the important role that caspase-3 plays in the process. We conclude that gomisin N induces the apoptosis of U937 cells through a signaling cascade of mitochondria-mediated intrinsic caspase pathways and gomisin N may be a useful chemotherapeutic agent, according to “Apoptosis induction of human leukemia U937 cells by gomisin N, a dibenzocyclooctadiene lignan, isolated from Schizandra chinensis Baill” by Kim JH, Choi YW, Park C, Jin CY, Lee YJ, Park da J, Kim SG, Kim GY, Choi IW, Hwang WD, Jeong YK, Kim SK, Choi YH.
An aqueous extract of Schizandra chinensis (ScEx) was examined for its cardioprotective effects,
found that ScEx treatment restored endothelial function in rats that underwent balloon-induced carotid artery injury, and it reduced serum cholesterol levels in OVX rats. Similar to E2, ScEx exhibited hypotensive effects in OVX SHR. Therefore, ScEx and E2 exhibited similar cardioprotective effects, thereby suggesting that ScEx is a potential candidate to replace estradiol in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, according to “Cardioprotective effects of aqueous Schizandra chinensis fruit extract on ovariectomized and balloon-induced carotid artery injury rat models: effects on serum lipid profiles and blood pressure” by Kim EY, Baek IH, Rhyu MR.
In the investigation of Schizandra chinensis Baillon (SC) and its effects on atopic dermatitis (AD) is an allergic inflammatory skin disease caused by aberrant and over-reactive immune responses, found that SCE lessened DNCB-induced histamine receptor mRNA expression in skin tissue and the splenic expressions of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and high-affinity IgE receptor B protein. Conclusion: SCE appears useful for suppression of AD, even though the active pathway(s) remain unknown, according to “Inhibitory effects of Schizandra chinensis extract on atopic dermatitis in NC/Nga mice” by Kang YH, Shin HM.
In the evaluation of the effects of Schisandra lignan extract (SLE) with short- and long-term pretreatment on regulating rat hepatic and intestinal CYP3A for a comprehensive evaluation of metabolism-based herb-drug interaction found that this study provides a comprehensive map for showing the complicated effects of SLE and its components on regulating rat CYP3A. The important findings are that SLE possesses a much stronger inducing than inhibiting effect on CYP3A, as well as a more intensive regulating effect on intestinal than hepatic CYP3A, according to “Effects of short-term and long-term pretreatment of Schisandra lignans on regulating hepatic and intestinal CYP3A in rats” byLai L, Hao H, Wang Q, Zheng C, Zhou F, Liu Y, Wang Y, Yu G, Kang A, Peng Y, Wang G, Chen X.
Side effects and safety of Schisandra chinensis Extract
Side effects are rare. Some who take Schisandra chinensis may experience a skin rash, decreased appetite, or gastric upset.
Dosage of Schisandra chinensis Extract supplement:
People with hepatitis usually take 20mg of Schisandra Chinensis per day to help control their systems.
Those who use Schisandra Chinensis to improve their physical abilities and mental focus have a couple ways to control how much they take. They can have between 500 to 1000mg of Schisandra Chinensis extract up to twice a day. Or they can drink 5 to 15mg of Schisandra Chinensis tea every day.