Biological Name: Schisandra chinensis
Other Names: Schisandra, Wu-wei-zi
Parts Used: fruit
Active Compounds: Schisandra contains a number of compounds, including essential oils, numerous acids, and lignans. Lignans (schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin) are found in the seeds of the fruit and have a number of medicinal actions.
History: The classical treatise on Chinese herbal medicine, the Shen Nung Pen Tsao Ching, described schisandra as a high-grade herbal drug useful for a wide variety of medical conditions—especially as a kidney tonic and lung astringent. Chinese herbalists use schisandra for coughs, night sweats, insomnia, thirst, and physical exhaustion.
Remedies For:Useful for the treatment of:
• chemotherapy support
• common cold/sore throat
• liver support
Modern Chinese research suggests that lignans in schisandra regenerate liver tissue damaged by harmful influences such as viral hepatitis and alcohol. Lignans lower blood levels of serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), a marker for infective hepatitis and other liver disorders.
Schisandra fruit may also have an adaptogenic action, much like the herb ginseng, but with weaker effects. Laboratory work suggests that schisandra may improve work performance, build strength, and help to reduce fatigue.
Description: Schisandra is a woody vine with numerous clusters of tiny, bright red berries. It is found throughout northern and northeast China and the adjacent regions of Russia and Korea. The fully ripe, sun-dried fruit is used medicinally. It has 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.”
Dosage: Schisandra fruit: 1-6 grams per day.
Tincture – 2-4 ml three times per day
Safety: Side effects involving schisandra are uncommon but may include abdominal upset, decreased appetite, and skin rash.
Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.