For thousands of years, Schisandra has been a mainstay in herbal medical practices throughout the world. On the surface, this herb is known to support energy, vitality, and longevity. But with a deep dive, you’ll uncover additional benefits of Schisandra which will provide a more complete understanding of this ancient wonder.
“Wonder” is one of the many terms that fit into the puzzle that makes up Schisandra. The reason for this stems from its unknown nature in some parts of the world, including the United States. That said, Schisandra is commonplace in other parts of the world – especially China – and has been utilized in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
Schisandra, or “Wu Wei Zi”, translates to “five-flavored berry.” The berry is known as “Wu Wei Zi” due to the versatile taste it provides. For example, one bite of this bright-red and purple botanical is described as sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent. Although your taste buds may or may not find the crowded nature of tastes to be pleasing, it is important to know that Schisandra isn’t typically used for food.
Although this super berry is edible, you’d be hard-pressed to find it in food or fruit smoothies. Chris Kilham – the word-traveling Medicine Hunter® – proclaims “Nobody eats this stuff with yogurt. Rather, Schisandra berry is made into various medicinal preparations for longevity and overall vitality.” It’s important to note that while this berry is not typically mixed with food, it does, however, provide support for energy, vitality, and more.
Schisandra as an Adaptogen For Fighting Fatigue
It’s important to note that Schisandra acts an adaptogen. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines adaptogen as “a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.” This means that an adaptogen – in this case Schisandra – is a nontoxic plant that supports your body’s fight against stressors of all sorts. Studies have shown apoptogenic properties in Schisandra extracts. The berry has also been shown to play a role in central nervous system health. It appears to increase neurotransmitters in the central nervous system – a key aspect that effects digestion, heart rate, muscle movement, and more.
It’s no secret that adaptogens are sought after to help fight fatigue, and Schisandra is no different. One study found strong evidence that Schisandra supports mental and physical performance in patients with mild fatigue. Further studies from the same source allude to the efficacy of adaptogens being directly related to increased mental and physical performance.
Despite the ability to provide a number of health benefits such as physical endurance and cognitive function, Schisandra has yet to display any known side effects, according to the National Center of Biological Information. Granted, as technology advances, the need for further research will always be relevant. That said, if you’re looking for a nutrient to support energy and fight fatigue without a real downside, then Schisandra just might fit the bill.
A Super Berry That Supports Energy and Vitality
As mentioned, Schisandra is an adaptogen that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. The herb supports both mental and physical health and uses its potency to promote energy levels and even enhance physical performance.
Molecular studies confirm the high potential of this super berry along with the benefits it provides. Energy support is one such benefit that could be the most sought after due to its high demand. Schisandra has a direct impact on energy because the chemicals found in the herb help improve liver function by stimulating enzymes. In turn, some of the chemicals may also support energy levels that improve endurance and focus.
The truth is most people burn a lot of energy throughout the day and seek an extra boost in energy and vitality. In fact, a 2018 survey concluded that 74% of Americans feel tired at work. Although Schisandra isn’t exactly common in the United States right now, there is hope for a future where the average worker chooses a Schisandra-based nutrient over unhealthy sugar-filled energy drinks.
The Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties in Schisandra
Antioxidants are crucial for proper skincare, healthy aging, neuro-protective factors, and more. They help defend our bodies from harmful unstable molecules known as free radicals. We are exposed to a number of things that cause free radicals to form – cigarette smoke, physical exertion, environmental pollutants, and UV-radiation to name a few. Free radicals often lead to oxidative stress throughout the body and further health problems. The antioxidative properties found in Schisandra are strong and may provide protection against free radicals and oxidative stress.
Although Schisandra is known to fight fatigue, manage emotional and physical stress, and promote energy and endurance, it also helps your body combat free radicals. One study concluded Schisandra Chinensis Pollen Extract, or SCPE, possesses strong antioxidative abilities. In turn, the promotion of antioxidants could help fight free radicals and protect the cells and tissues throughout your body.
Schisandra is also widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Schisandrae Fructus, the dried fruit extract of the Schisandra berry, has been clinically tested to promote Nitric Oxide synthase, which plays a key role in anti-inflammatory cases. As a result, the dried fruit of Schisandra might support your body as an anti-inflammatory nutrient.
Schisandra: A Key Nutrient to Consider on Your Healthy Aging Journey
Another benefit of Schisandra is its relationsip to healthy aging. The super berry offers support for healthy skin and helps maintain strong cognitive function and mental sharpness. Plus, by lowering stress hormones in the blood, it can help manage anxiety and could protect your mind and body from the harmful effects of prolonged stress.
For more information on Schisandra and how it relates to healthy aging, check out this video clip from The Dr. Oz Show. The segment provides an in-depth look at the Schisandra berry, featuring Chris Kilham. It’s safe to say this special botanical made a smooth transition to the small screen, as Dr. Oz himself referred to Schisandra as a “natural anti-ager.” Plus, The Medicine Hunter® considers it to be both a “life extender” and “youth enhancer” – and deservedly so!
As mentioned, the Schisandra berry is considered a new and shiny object in the United States, but the Asian world has utilized the herb for thousands of years. The Medicine Hunter® himself supports the idea of Schisandra becoming more well known in the years ahead. He alludes to the “age-old use for enhancing vitality” and “strong science base” to back this claim. It appears that Schisandra’s time has finally come!