Schisandra berry (Schisandra Chinensis) is a unique Qi-boosting adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries throughout Asia for a wide range of health benefits.
The main Schisandra uses and Schisandra benefits shine in the berry's ability to support liver detoxification and regeneration, restore a depleted nervous system, calm the mind, improve kidney function and boosts cognition and brain health.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the pinyin for Schisandra berry is “Wu Wei Zi” which translates to “the five flavours fruit”.
In TCM, the five flavours correspond to sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Each flavour works to nourish and support a Yin organ–the Spleen (sweet), Liver (sour), Heart (bitter), Lungs (pungent) and Kidneys (salty).
Schisandra berry benefits are unique in that it nourishes all five organs which adds to its superiority and diverse utilisation in transforming the body and promoting balance and harmony.
Known for centuries in Asia as the “beauty berry”, Schisandra Chinensis is one of the best beauty tonic herbs for nourishing the skin and improving skin health.
Schisandra uses are now being implemented into more beauty products both internally, such as collagen powders, and topically as a cosmeceutical.
This article is going to explore how Schisandra benefits will transform your body and how you can add Schisandra Chinensis into your everyday routine to improve your health.
Table of Contents
What is Schisandra Berry?
Like other medicinal mushroom supplements, Schisandra berry (Schisandra Chinensis) is classified as an adaptogen–a class of superior herbs that brings homeostasis (or balance) back to an individual.
The Schisandra Chinensis plant is sometimes referred to as Chinese Magnolia Vine or Five Flavored Fruit. The five distinct flavours found in the berry correspond to the five phases or Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Sour (Wood), Bitter (Fire), Sweet (Earth), Acrid (Metal) and Salty (Water).
Hence its name in Chinese is Wu Wei Zi. Schisandra berry is considered a Harmonizing Tonic or “King” remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) because of its well-balanced energetic nature.
The Schisandra berry, which has been utilized to support a healthy functioning endocrine system, digestive system, and proper liver function, is mentioned in every classic literature on TCM. When the kidney system is affected, Schisandra Chinensis can also serve as a tonic herb that promotes health.
Schisandra berry is one of the only known adaptogenic herbs that help rejuvenate the liver cells called hepatocytes and promote the production of endogenous glutathione-the body's key antioxidant chemical within the liver. It does this precisely by influencing the HPA axis (brain-adrenal axis).
Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian medicine has a long history of using Schisandra berry benefits to treat a wide range of illnesses, including fatigue, phlegm, renal problems, excess fluids, low immune function, sleeplessness, and respiratory problems like asthma and wheezing (4).
Due to its antioxidant ability for preventing DNA damage from environmental contaminants in the epidermis (outer skin layer), Schisandra berry benefits have also historically been utilized for enhancing beauty and skin health (5).
Since stress is a major factor in the breakdown of collagen, which is one of the primary structural proteins in our skin, Schisandra benefits help maintain healthy, glowing skin by preventing the breakdown of collagen. Its high vitamin C content also encourages the creation of collagen.
How It Works For Your Body
The Schisandra berry benefits (Schisandra Chinensis) your body by promoting liver cleansing, harmonizing the neurological system, and enhancing cognition and brain power.
Schisandra Chinensis is best taken in a more potent form as a concentrated extract powder, like medicinal mushroom supplements. Traditionally, Schisandra berry uses were drinking as a longevity-promoting tea elixir.
In order to reduce cortisol secretion, organic Schisandra berry compounds circulate throughout the body, calming the nervous system and enhancing focus.
I believe the powerful effects of Schisandra berry supplements truly lie in aiding detoxification by encouraging the creation of glutathione from hepatocytes within the liver.
Processes 1, 2, and 3 are the liver's three primary detoxification phases. Phase 1 converts toxic substances into more water-soluble forms, allowing for excretion from the body (via sweat, urine, stools etc.)
Due to the fact that these intermediate metabolites are more reactive and hazardous, the liver must swiftly initiate phase 2 detoxification in order to conjugate or bind up these substances.
Damage to liver cells occurs between phases 1 and 2, and here is where the Schisandra berry benefits come in, functioning as a powerful antioxidant to aid in the healing of damaged hepatocytes that are attempting to remove toxins from the body.
The movement and disposal of these bound, no longer reactive metabolites into the digestive tract for stool excretion constitutes phase three. Alcohol, drugs, pesticides, sex hormones, stress hormones, heavy metals, bacterial endotoxins, food additives, and environmental contaminants are all detoxified by the liver.
We can now see how important Schisandra berry benefits are is in rebuilding these liver cells to keep our bodies healthy and functioning at their best after we have a better understanding of how important the liver and the function of these hepatocytes are to the working of our body.
Potential Benefits of Schisandra Berry
The Schisandra benefits for overall health and well-being are broad and profound.
The most active constituents in Schisandra berry are the lignans: Schizandrins, schizandrols, gomisins, schizandrers, schisantherins, wuweizisus, deoxyschizandrin. Other constituents include citral, stigmasterol, and vitamins C and E.
These active compounds facilitate the broad Schisandra benefits that we will discuss further.
These are the Schisandra Chinensis benefits you need to know;
- Decreases NAFLD (Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) and liver disease
- Lowers cortisol and other stress hormones
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves liver detoxification
- Supports blood circulation
- Promotes better sleep
- Calms the mind and reduces stress and anxiety
- Helps balance hormones
- Improves cognition and brain function
- Schisandra immune system support
- Protects the skin from DNA damage and accelerated ageing
- Boosts antioxidants and upregulates glutathione–the body’s master antioxidant
This is a broad overview of Schisandra Chinensis benefits. Let’s dive into the Schisandra benefits even further.
Helps You in Fat Loss
When compared to herbs like Gymnema, Ginseng, or other mushroom supplements, the Schisandra benefits for fat loss may not seem like the obvious choice, but when we look at the science behind it, it makes perfect sense.
We are aware that among people who lead active, healthy lifestyles, unbalanced blood glucose, stress, and a sluggish liver are the top 3 factors that inhibit fat reduction.
The hepatocytes, which are in charge of recycling, metabolism, and transformation of everything from hormones to pesticides to alcohol to cholesterol, are protected by the schisandra chinensis herb, one of the most powerful and amazing herbs for liver function. Schisandra benefits acts as an antioxidant.
We can have a good impact on blood glucose, cholesterol, metabolic health, hormone excretion, and the total toxic load in the body by using Schisandra health benefits to boost hepatocyte function.
The liver's function is to filter the blood, but it also mobilizes adipose tissue (stored fat) to be used as energy and moves the poisons that adipose tissue stores out of the body.
Schisandra benefits are able to enhance muscular function, growth, and recovery because the liver's job is to release nutrients from food into the bloodstream to support cellular activity, which also increases metabolic rate and aids in fat loss.
Improve Your Immune System
The immune system has long been strengthened by the use of Schisandra powder extract in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Schisandra immune system benefits may offer immune-boosting qualities, according to some preliminary studies, but more research is required to substantiate these potential advantages.
For example, one study found that the T lymphocyte and natural killer cell (NK cells) activity could be increased by Schisandra powder extract, similar to the immune system benefits of mushroom supplements.
White blood cells known as T lymphocytes are important components of the immune system because they can recognize and target infectious cells. Another type of immune cell that aids in defending the body against diseases and cancerous cells is the natural killer cell.
This is partly why Schisandra immune system benefits are so powerful.
According to a different study, mice treated with Schisandra powder extract produced more immune-related proteins like interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma. A molecule called interleukin-2 activates immune cells and encourages their growth and development, which is important for the immune system. A protein called interferon-gamma aids in the activation of immune cells and the defense of the body against illnesses.
Another study found that two particular chemicals found in Schisandra Chinensis, lignans schizandrin (Sch) and gomisin A (Gom A), can boost immunological function (6).
Schisandra berry is known to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities in addition to their possible Schisandra immune system effects.
Antioxidants are molecules that aid in the body's defense against dangerous free radicals that can injure cells and advance the onset of chronic illnesses. Anti-inflammatory drugs aid in reducing bodily inflammation, which is a major contributor to the emergence of many chronic diseases.
Our skin serves as our first line of defense since it works to defend us against harmful substances and outside invaders. Antioxidants found in Schisandra berry benefits the immune system by preventing DNA damage from outside sources, protecting against UVA radiation, and preventing collagen breakdown.
Additionally, we are aware that chronic stress weakens and shuts down the immune system, leaving us open to infection by pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, and parasite eggs.
Another reason why the Schisandra immune system benefits by helping to reduce stress, calm the mind and support the central nervous system.
To stop the release of cortisol, Schisandra benefits the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland axis). Our main stress hormone, cortisol, is in charge of reducing immunological response.
By including wild-crafted and organic Schisandra berry powder extracts in our diet, we maintain cortisol levels, avoid immunological suppression brought on by ongoing stress, and bolster our immune system.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Schisandra chinensis was one of the first botanicals discovered, used, and classified as an adaptogenic herb during the 1960s in the USSR's search for such a plant to improve its soldier's performance. The name "adaptogen" was originally used in Soviet Russia in the 1940s (4).
Adaptogens help the body become more resilient to stress. Alongside other medicinal mushroom supplements, Schisandra berry is one of the first Western and oldest Traditional adaptogens that helps to relax the nervous system and has a stress-protective impact, boosting energy and lowering anxiety.
When one's mind and spirit are restless, we notice worry, insomnia, overthinking, and disorder within our thoughts and behaviors. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoism, Schisandra berry is classified as a Shen tonic, which translates to the spirit, or soul in Western words.
Schisandra benefits help cultivate the Shen energy, which is traditionally known to quiet the spirit, reduce the impacts of stress and enhance a person's welfare.
Improves Mental Performance and Brain Health
Through its anti-fatigue and anti-stress characteristics, as well as its antioxidant capabilities and increase in oxygen utilisation, Schisandra benefits enhance mental performance (9).
Better blood flow, nutrient delivery, and neuronal function are all made possible by increased oxygenation. As Schisandra berry extracts boost nitric oxide levels, which improves blood flow and, in turn, cognition, it is also known to increase endurance and working ability (9).
Additionally, Schisandra Chinensis includes the antioxidant component chlorogenic acid. By avoiding plaque buildup in the brain and neurodegenerative illnesses, antioxidants are proven to enhance mental function and brain health (10).
Schisandra benefits have been shown to improve endogenous glutathione levels and antioxidants in the body, as well as reduce inflammation, which is linked to a reduction in cognition, mental function, and brain health, in mouse studies (10).
Schisandra Lowers Cortisol
Organic Schisandra berry, which acts as an adaptogen, is a mild central nervous stimulant that enhances cognition and focuses while also calming an overly anxious and agitated nervous system, promoting a focused and relaxed state (4).
The main component of organic Schisandra berry, shisandrin, is an adaptogenic compound that works to increase the body's resilience to stress.
Stress, which keeps our body in a fight-or-flight mode and deposits adipose tissue primarily around our waist, is one of the biggest inhibitors of fat loss, as we explained in the section on fat loss.
Schisandra benefits and its adaptogenic power help to stop the release of CRH (corticotrophin-releasing hormone) from the hypothalamus, the brain's master controller, and cortisol (from the adrenals). This signals the nervous system to remain in our parasympathetic or rest and digest state and prevents glucose from being shuttled to be stored as body fat. (7)
In addition to promoting fat loss, Schisandra also soothes the neurological system, easing stress, insomnia, mental tiredness, inflammation, and inflammatory aging–or "inflamm-aging". This promotes a balanced stress response and restful sleep.
Improves Digestive Health
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, all five flavors are present in Schisandra Chinensis, but sweet is particularly present which helps feed the spleen.
In TCM, the spleen transforms Chi (energy) from meals and distributes it to the body's other organs and tissues.
The spleen is the organ that needs to be fed when weariness, bloating, constipation, and depressive symptoms are present in order to increase energy and chi flow.
Since Schisandra berry is an adaptogenic herb, its abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities is very well known. The main cause of GI symptoms like bloating, IBS, irregular bowel movements, and feeling lethargic is gut inflammation.
Schisandra Chinensis benefits contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals that support healthy GI function, and its bitter, astringent flavor characteristic encourages bile production, which further enhances digestion and microbial balance.
A recent study demonstrated the advantages of Schisandra berry polysaccharides in improving the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
SCFA are anti-inflammatory mediators and fuel enterocytes (gut cells), and in modulating the gut microbiota favourably in mice. These Schisandra benefits were demonstrated to be advantageous in the management and treatment of IBS. (8)
Supports Adrenal Function
By acting as a nervine, or a substance that protects the nervous system and, by extension, the adrenals, Schisandra berry benefits work to enhance adrenal function.
The brain senses stress through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which then communicates to the adrenal glands to either activate our sympathetic nervous system or parasympathetic nervous system so we can survive.
When the HPA axis is activated, our fight-or-flight response is triggered, which suppresses the immune system, diverts blood away from internal organs, and releases cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline from the adrenal glands.
This is good in the short term, but in the long term, inflammation, illness, and exhaustion start to show up.
In research, Schisandra health benefits have been shown to reduce total serum cortisol and protect the cells of the adrenal cortex from oxidative stress and damage, hence supporting the HPA axis and being referred to as "adrenoprotective" (11).
Improves Liver Health
Schisandra benefits have a remarkable impact on stabilizing blood sugar levels, lowering cortisol, increasing endogenous glutathione and antioxidants, and protecting the liver.
Schisandra health benefits are known for their hepatoprotective and hepatic regenerative properties, which literally shield liver cells (hepatocytes) from harm and degeneration brought on by free radicals, promoting improved liver function and regeneration.
My favorite liver herb is Schisandra powder since it has such a distinctive and potent flavor.
Since ancient times, Schisandra berry uses has been utilized to cure liver diseases; triterpenoid and polysaccharide components have been found to be important contributors to this effect.
In a fascinating 2021 study, Schisandra benefits were shown to have liver-protective properties against Cyclosporine A (CSA), an immunosuppressive medication.
The results of the study demonstrated that Schisandra chinensis had beneficial effects on hepatic regeneration by increasing liver cell replication and protecting liver cells from harm and early cell death (12).
Protects the Skin
The antioxidant properties of the Schisandra powder shield the skin from harmful UV radiation and environmental contaminants.
Schisandra Chinensis, often known as "the beauty berry," has been used for generations as an anti-aging herb and beauty tonic, further demonstrating its advantages for the skin.
It has been demonstrated that Schisandra health benefits shield skin cells from UVB radiation and harm.
Two lignans found in Schisandra Chinensis, Deoxyschisandrin (SA) and Schisandrin B (SB), have powerful antioxidant effects. They absorb free radical cells that harm skin cell DNA, resulting in mutagenic damage, premature cell death, and an acceleration of the indications of physical aging (13).
Due to their strong antioxidant and astringent content, Schisandra berry uses are also moving into topical skin care products. This improves skin contraction and tightness as well as protection from environmental toxins.
Schisandra for Sexual Function
Due to its capacity to stimulate nitric oxide production, which dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow and sexual function, Schisandra powder extract is also recognized as an aphrodisiac and libido-boosting tonic.
Furthermore, stress is the main cause of decreased libido and sex drive. By reducing stress and promoting the health of the brain system and adrenal glands, the adaptogenic characteristics of Schisandra health benefits help aid in enhancing sexual performance.
Like Cordyceps mushroom supplements, organic Schisandra berry supplements are a wonderful option for enhancing sexual function since it promotes physical performance, endurance, and recovery.
Schisandra berry supplements have long been utilized for these purposes by the USSR army and have been supported by mouse studies.
Side-Effects of Schisandra Berry Uses
The ideal way to use adaptogenic herbs, like Schisandra powder, is daily over an extended period of time. Schisandra powder extract is generally safe to use for most people when following the recommended dose.
However, there may be some Schisandra berry uses that are not suitable for everyone.
For instance, individuals who have stomach ulcers or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) should keep to the appropriate dose of Schisandra berry supplements because excessive doses might cause heartburn and suppress appetite.
Additionally, Schisandra Chinensis berries are members of the Schisandraceae family, and they may cause allergies.
Before including any new mushroom supplements or adaptogenic herbs in your diet, including Schisandra powder extract, pregnant and nursing women should consult a health professional.
To sum up, the Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis) is a plant that has historically been used in Traditional Chinese and Russian medicine to support health and longevity.
There are a lot of health advantages to this adaptogenic herb.
Schisandra Chinensis possesses antioxidant qualities that could aid in preventing free radical damage to the body's cells. Schisandra berry powder extract has been discovered to be advantageous for enhancing liver function, which can aid in bodily detoxification and advance general health.
By promoting liver detoxification and the removal of toxins from the body, organic Schisandra berry benefits are able to remodel the body while also enhancing brain health, cognition and mental performance, energy, sexual function, weight loss, and skin health.
Additionally, Schisandra powder extract benefits might increase stamina and facilitate stress adaptation in the body.
Schisandra berry uses as a treatment for various respiratory problems such as asthma, dry coughs, night sweats, and insomnia are highly beneficial.
Additionally, Schisandra immune system benefits are profound. Schisandra powder can be utilized to promote digestion, balance bodily fluids, lower anxiety, and support a strong digestive system.
Speak with your doctor first if you're thinking about using any Schisandra berry supplement, especially if you're expecting, nursing, or taking any medications.
- Top 5 Schisandra Benefits That Will Transform Your Body - https://switchnutrition.com.au/blogs/news/top-5-benefits-of-schisandra-that-will-transform-your-body
- Schisandra Benefits (Schisandra Chinensis), Side Effects, and Forms - https://www.healthline.com/health/schisandra
- Adaptogens & Mushroom Supplements: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston & Steven Maimes - https://www.amazon.com/Adaptogens-Strength-Stamina-Stress-Relief/dp/1594771588
- Inhibitory effects of Schisandra Chinensis extract on acne-related inflammation and UVB-induced photoaging - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27328727/
- The Immuno-Regulatory Effects of Schisandra Chinensis benefits and Its Constituents on Human Monocytic Leukemia Cells - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264271/
- Schisandra Chinensis benefits and Rhodiola Rosea exert an anti-stress effect on the HPA axis and reduce hypothalamic c-Fos expression in rats subjected to repeated stress - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26889268/
- The Anti-colitis Effect of Schisandra Chinensis benefits Polysaccharide Is Associated With the Regulation of the Composition and Metabolism of Gut Microbiota - https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2020.519479/full
- Pharmacology of Schisandra Chinensis benefits Bail.: An overview of Russian research and uses in medicine - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887410800216X
- Potential of Schisandra chinensis benefits (Turcz.) Baill. in Human Health and Nutrition: A Review of Current Knowledge and Therapeutic Perspectives - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412213/
- Effect of Schisandra Chinensis benefits on interleukins, glucose metabolism, and pituitary-adrenal and gonadal axis in rats under strenuous swimming exercise - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25141817/
- Schisandra Chinensis benefits polysaccharide protects against cyclosporin A-induced liver injury by promoting hepatocyte proliferation - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464621004485
- The Protecting Effect of Deoxyschisandrin and Schisandrin B on HaCaT Cells against UVB-Induced Damage - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25978330/
Written by Eliza Hedley
Eliza Hedley is an Australian-born health, mindset and abundance enthusiast obsessed with helping millennial's experience living at a higher level.
Eliza's relaxed new-age approach and understanding of nutrition and wellness see her empowering and coaching individuals to understand that their health is the ultimate asset. Upon experiencing first-hand the power and place of tonic herbalism and medicinal mushroom supplements in everyday life, Eliza’s become an adaptogen fangirl and feels their utilisation in today’s world is essential for abundance and wellbeing.