Exit

Nutritional Supplement

Schisandra

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.”

How It Works

The major constituents in schisandra are lignans (schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin) found in the seeds of the fruit. Modern Chinese research suggests these lignans have a protective effect on the liver and an immunomodulating effect. Two human trials completed in China (one double-blind and the other preliminary) have shown that schisandra may help people with chronic viral hepatitis.2,3 Schisandra lignans appear to protect the liver by activating the enzymes in liver cells that produce glutathione, an important antioxidant substance.4

References

1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 469-72.

2. Liu KT. Studies on fructus Schisandrae chinensis. Annex 12: Studies on fructus Schisandrae chinensis. Plenary lecture, World Health Organization Seminar on the Use of Medicinal Plants in Health Care, Sept 1977, Tokyo, Japan. In: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific Final Report, Manila, 1977, 101-12.

3. Chang HM, But P (eds). Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica 1. Singapore: World Scientific, 1986.

4. Ip SP, Poon MKT, Wu SS, et al. Effect of schisandrin B on hepatic glutathione antioxidant system in mice: Protection against carbon tetrachloride toxicity. Planta Med 1995;61:398-401.

5. Park JY, Kim KH. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Schisandra chinensis for menopausal symptoms. Climacteric 2016;19:574–80.

6. Park JY, Kim KH. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Schisandra chinensis for menopausal symptoms. Climacteric 2016;19:574–80.

7. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

8. Westphal J, Hörning M, Leonhardt K. Phytotherapy in functional upper abdominal complaints. Results of a clinical study with a preparation of several plants. Phytomedicine 1996;2:285-91.

9. Baba S, Takasaka T. Double-blind clinical trial of sho-seiryu-to (TJ-19) for perennial nasal allergy. Clin Otolaryngol 1995;88:389-405.

10. Foster S, Yue CX. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 146-52.

11. Shu HY. Oriental Materia Medica: A Concise Guide. Palos Verdes, CA: Oriental Healing Arts Press, 1986, 624-5.

12. Foster S, Yue CX. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 146-52.

13. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, et al. American Herbal Product Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 104.

Copyright © 2020 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes 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. 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 December 2020.