Schizandra, also called Schisandra or Schisandra chinensis, comes from a vine native to China and parts of Russia. The Shisandra berry is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and boasts many health benefits. Schizandra extract and its berry derivative are known as an adaptogen, which helps prevent physical and chemical stress on the body. Regarding taste, the Schizandra berry is known as the Five Flavor Berry, due to the fact that it possesses the five major flavor types: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. And as varied as its tastes are, so are its health benefits, ranging from everything to liver detox to boosting sexual function. To learn more about this powerfully healing fruit, read below.
The research alone is testimony enough; you simply cannot deny the health benefits of this fruit! The liver, heart and respiratory system all can benefit from this fruit. But that’s only a handful of all the Shisandra berry can do for your health.
There are at least 10 amazing health benefits of Shisandra fruit. For example:
1) Schisandra Improves Blood Flow and Circulation
Scientific research has demonstrated the positive impact Schizandra extract has on blood circulation. In a study done on healthy adults who took 130mg of Schizandra, researchers saw a 9% improvement in blood circulation. (1)
Furthermore, a regular intake of Schizandra extract increases the flow of nitric oxide in the blood. This relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and expands blood vessels. As this could lead to improvements in physical performance, this is an important benefit Schizandra fruit has to offer. (2)
2) Schisandra Improves Cardiovascular Health
This powerful little berry can do wonders for your heart, as well. And it follows, healthy blood flow can usually indicate a healthy overall cardiovascular system.
Indeed, as Schizandra extract promotes healthy blood flow, it in turn can help protect the heart. In fact, Sheng-Mai-San, a supplement that consists of Schizandra fruit extract, is used to treat heart disease. (3, 4)
3) Schisandra Reduces Stress
Stress can cause a mountain of problems, whether it’s heart attacks, adrenal fatigue, or insomnia–just to name a few! Diminish stress, and you may be able to reduce your risk of developing complications from it. There are many ways you can do this–meditation, restful breaks, keeping a journal or exercise, for example. Additionally, schizandra fruit, as an adaptogen, has been shown to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is one of the things that contributes to excess weight gain, particularly around the middle. If you notice you have extra weight around your gut, cortisol may be at least partially to blame.
In studies involving animal, this fruit was shown to help diminish stress. In small doses, it also promotes calmness and relaxation, which can be extremely beneficial in addressing problems with sleeping. (5, 6) And this, in turn, can help reduce insomnia-induced stress.
Furthermore, Schizandra can help the mind calm down and cope with stressful situations, such as completing a difficult task, as seen in a study published by Phylomedicine. (7)
It can also fight adrenal fatigue, which is linked to stress. (8)
4) Schisandra Protects the Liver
When it comes to liver protection, the Schizandra berry is an extremely attractive candidate. For example, it can treat liver disease, including Hepatitis C and poor liver function. (9) And compounds found in the core of the Schizandra fruit seed can help protect the liver from harmful toxins and radiation. (10)
Plus, Schizandra extract contains antioxidants that help maintain function and regeneration, all while preventing damage to the liver. It also reduces liver inflammation and reduces stress-induced liver damage by lowering the physical signs of stress on the body. (11)
As if all of that wasn’t enough, Schizandra extract also decreases the chance of developing fatty liver diseases. (12)
5) Schisandra May Boost Sexual Function
The Shisandra berry may also be beneficial regarding fertility as well as hormonal health. For example, it can promote healthy libido and can also prevent sexual dysfunction, such as impotence. It also improves the health of the uterus, lending itself to further fertility health. This, perhaps, may be linked to the fact that this fruit can improve blood flow, which is vital for a healthy conception.
Furthermore, the Shisandra berry can help correct issues with estrogen that lead to osteoporosis. (13) To help promote overall sexual health, consider adding the Shisandra berry to your diet, or try sipping Shisandra tea.
6) Schisandra Promotes Longevity
One good deed deserves another. In the case the health of your body, one good deed creates another. That means when you boost the health of one part of your body, it often will create a chain-reaction, improving the health of other areas of your body, as well.
Schizandra has such an effect in the body. It promotes neural ATP synthesis, which increases energy metabolism. (14) And then, from there, higher energy metabolism promotes the expression of sirtuins, or SIRTs. SIRTs play a key part in the aging process, as it inhibits muscle aging as well as age-related cardiac issues. (15)
7) Schisandra Improves Mental and Cognitive Health
Given that it can help reduce stress, Schizandra fruit is also great for treating anxiety. (16)
Furthermore, this fruit can benefit your brain in other aspects, as it improves cognition and current problems with memory. And a component of Schizandra fruit can also protect the brain from future memory impairment. (17, 18)
8) Schisandra Treats Asthma and Helps Respiratory System
If you struggle with asthma, you know it’s like night and day when you’re finally able to breathe properly again. An asthma attack can be like taking in a breath through a coffee straw, all while an elephant sits on your chest. However, there are supplements that contain Schizandra extract which can treat cough as well as asthma. And as those who suffer from asthma often have a cough to go along with it, this is doubly beneficial.
Additionally, this fruit can help you even if you don’t have asthma or a cough, as it is also an expectorant. When you’re sick, you may experience blocked airway passages, making it difficult to breathe. This fruit can help you clear airway passages and expel mucus from the lungs. And this, then, will make it easier for you to breathe, which in turn can make it easier for you to get much-needed sleep….something that is crucial when you’re not feeling well! (19)
9) Schisandra Boosts Immunity
This is another area in which Shizandra can help improve the overall health of your body, through a chain reaction. If you improve your immunity, you are helping to protect your body from illnesses, diseases and infections. As Schizandra fruit is an adaptogen, taking it will give your immune system the break from stress it needs in order to function properly.
Additionally, components of the fruit can bind to proteins in the blood plasma. This allows blood to be carried to peripheral tissues, such as the lungs and skin, i.e., the areas that are easily exposed to pathogens. (20)
10) Schisandra May Help Prevent Cancer
Researchers are currently conducting studies to test Schizandra’s response to cancer cells to see if it could potentially be a cancer treatment. However, one study discovered that components of Schizandra do indeed hinder the growth of lung cancer cells. (21)
Words of Caution Regarding Schizandra Fruit:
Those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, epilepsy, peptic ulcers, or high intracranial pressure should not take this fruit. Furthermore, women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using this product.