Schizandra Berry (also spelled Schisandra) is regarded as the top herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for balancing the body, as well as one of the top herbs in all of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Schizandra Berry is a scientifically-classified adaptogen, capable of regulating many bodily functions and bringing systematic balance to the body. Schizandra Berry is revered as a Superior or Tonic Herb for its ability to extend energy, vitality, and life.
Of the three classes of herbs in TCM, Schizandra Berry is considered to be one of the top herbs in the highest Superior food class. This class of herbs is said to provide vitality, balance and strength and can be taken daily to promote overall health and wellbeing. Schizandra Berry is revered for its ability to balance chi – life force energy and help the body maintain vitality, health and wellness.
Active ingredients including lignans, vitamins and phyto-nutrients in Schisandra chinensis provide a normalizing effect on the body. Schizandra Berry lignans have been scientifically found to act as liver, lung and kidneys tonics and balance the immune system, while normalizing the nervous system and acting as a digestive aid. Schizandra has also been studied based on its numerous anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inhibitatory and anti-depressant properties.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Schizandra Berry has been used for many health-related conditions including: boosting energy at the cellular level, conditions of the digestive tract, stimulating the immune system, stress, fatigue, exhaustion, irritability, insomnia, radiation protection, regulating blood sugar, counteracting the effects of sugar, regulating blood pressure, regulating cholesterol, anxiety states, depression, dyspnea (shortness of breath), vision, night vision, eye fatigue, speeding recovery after surgery, coughs, enuresis (bed-wetting), frequent urination, involuntary discharge of semen, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, generating bodily fluids, wakefulness, regulating concentration, regulating coordination, motion sickness, regulating endurance, suppressing hunger, and alleviating thirst.
For thousands of years, Schizandra Berry has aided countless people in living longer, healthier, more active lives. The use of Schisandra Berry for medical purposes is attributed to the Chinese. Schisandra Berry is said to “prolong the years of life without aging” in the Divine Husbandman’s Classic of the Materia Medica written prior to 200 C.E.. Schizandra Berry has been used for at least 3,000 years by people in China and has been used, praised, and recommended additionally by the cultures of Korea, Siberia and Japan for centuries. Schizandra Berry’s reputation has been earned for its remarkable ability to help balance the body, prolonging life, helping the body adapt to stress, and nourishing chi - life force energy.
Scientists are continuing to discover remarkable properties of Schizandra Berry and continue research into its scientifically-proven results. Schizandra Berry has been extensively studied by scientific and medical researchers. There are over 156 scientific studies on Schisandra chinensis listed at PubMed.gov, The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website, and there are hundreds more scientific studies on Schizandra Berry in Russian and Chinese that have not as of yet been fully translated into the English language.
Schizandra Benefits and Health
Schizandra Berry has been used for thousands of years for a variety of health-related needs including overall healthy: energy, vitality, cell function, calming relaxation, mental clarity, stamina, immunity, detoxification, reproduction, digestion. In addition, Schizandra Berry is recognized for its general health and body regulating abilities. Schizandra Berry is regarded as one of the premier tonic herbs for balancing chi in the body. Chi – life force energy is the animating force in the body responsible for keeping the body alive.
Schizandra Berry is known as a whole body tonic herb capable of balancing the body. The following are lists of body organs, organ systems and pathways that Schizandra Berry is recognized in supporting:
Schizandra Berry in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Schizandra Berry is considered one of the great treasures in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Schizandra Berry has all 5 tastes: sweet, pungent, salty, sour and bitter. Each of the 5 tastes corresponds to an organ system in the body. Each of these organ systems contains a Zang (solid) Yin (receiving) organ and Fu (hollow) Yang (giving) organ in balance. The following Zang Fu Organ System Diagram illustrates how each Zang and Fu organ needs to be balanced to help balance the body.
Chinese herbalists practicing have long recognized Schizandra Berry as one of its most important medicinal plants. It is considered one of the Fifty Fundamental Herbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an honor especially impressive as there are over 4,500 plants utilized in its practice. Robert Bidleman writes, “In the traditional view, herbs are considered to have a unique ‘signature’ in appearance as well as taste and other attributes. In this case, Schizandra Berry being called ‘Wu Wei Zi’ or ‘five flavored seed’ is very much considered a balanced herb due to this quality of having every flavor. This characteristic of containing all five flavors also relates to its inherent quality of imparting the energy of the five elements in a balanced and profound manner. We may perceive this balance in different manners, and the results cannot be denied as these powerful little red Schizandra berries have an unique ability to tone and balance not only physiological but emotional states as well
Cleansing and Detoxifying
Importantly, Schizandra Berry has been shown to assist the body in the detoxification process, helping rid the body of toxins including heavy metals, harmful chemicals, alcohol, tobacco particles and more. An extremely important attribute of Schizandra Berry is its usefulness as a detoxifying agent. When taken on a regular basis, it has shown itself to be an important liver and blood cleansing aid, helping the body rid itself of toxins to help avoid serious damage to the body.
Schizandra is said to promote the production of semen. It is famous for its ability to relieve sexual fatigue and for increasing the sexual staying-power in men. Schizandra is one of the most important astringent herbs used in Chinese herbalism. An astringent herb conserves fluids, and in the case of Schizandra, it tends to retain sexual fluids until the appropriate time of release”. Schizandra Berry has been scientifically shown to increase moisture of the female genitalia and increase sensitivity. Schizandra Berry is known to increase libido and promote a heightened sense of sexual euphoria.
Schizandra Berry has been used for many health conditions worldwide, and continues to be used to maintain health. Schizandra Berry is considered one of the great herbs and its use is prescribed by many leading health practitioners to restore the body to balance and help the body maintain its health. Schizandra Berry is used to establish harmony in the body to allow the body to heal itself.
Schizandra and Glutathione
Glutathione research provides new possibilities for the role Schizandra Berry plays in improving the body’s resistance to stress, aging and disease. Schizandra Berry enhances glutathione production enabling healthy cell growth, balance and energy production.
Glutathione is produced by the body in response to stress. Glutathione provides powerful free radical scavenging capability as a recognized anti-oxidant. It is responsible for many healthy cell functions and provides the body with: cellular protection, detoxification, improved immune response, cellular repair, anti-oxidant recycling, protein synthesis, and enzyme regulation and activation.
Recent research has demonstrated that Schizandra Berry increases glutathione levels in heart muscle cells. Schizandra Berry was also researched to determine if it had a role to play in effecting glutathione levels within cell mitochondria, the cell’s ‘powerhouse’.
Most strategies to increase glutathione levels have been aimed at raising the overall levels in the cells, not within the cell mitchondria were anti-oxidant protection is needed to a high degree.
The study did prove that Schizandra Berry did increase glutathione levels inside the cell mitochondria.
(Ball-and-stick model of the glutathione molecule, C10 H17 N3 O6 S)
While additional reasearch is needed to exactly understand how Schizandra Berry works to enhance glutathione levels within cell mitochondria, the fact that Schizandra Berry did provide anti-oxidant capability within the cell’s powerhouse opens new areas of potential for human longevity, health and wellbeing.
- Read this important article about Schizandra Berry and glutathione: Schisandra Strengthens Your Liver – Anti-Aging Tonic Also Battles Stress and Exhaustion