The Health Benefits of Schizandra Berry
Schizandra berry (Schisandra chinensis), also known as Wu Wei Zi in traditional Chinese medicine, is a small red fruit native to China and Russia. It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for its medicinal properties and is believed to be a potent adaptogen, which means it helps the body cope with stress and adapt to changing conditions.
In this article, we will explore the many health benefits of Schizandra berries.
What is Schizandra Berry?
Schizandra (also spelled Schisandra) is a plant native to forests of Northern China, the Russian Far East, and Korea. It is sometimes referred to as the "five-flavor-berry" as it is said to possess all five flavors in the Chinese medicine system—sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and bitter. Schizandra berry has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
It is believed to have a range of health benefits, including improving liver function, reducing inflammation, and boosting energy levels. Schizandra berry is also used to treat respiratory infections, improve digestion, and enhance cognitive function.
What is Schizandra Berry Used For?
Schizandra berry is used for a range of medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to improve liver function, reduce inflammation, and boost energy levels. Schizandra berry is also used to treat respiratory infections, improve digestion, enhance cognitive function, and reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, Schizandra berry is used in skincare products to protect the skin from oxidative damage and reduce the signs of aging.
What Are the Health Benefits of Schizandra Berry?
Schizandra berry has many impressive health benefits. Some of the top health benefits of schizandra berry include:
Schizandra Supports Liver Health
Schizandra berry contains lignans, which are compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (1) These lignans help protect the liver against damage from toxins and other harmful substances. Schizandra also contains a compound called schisandrin, which has been shown to have liver-protective effects. (2)
Additionally,schizandra berry has been shown to increase levels of an antioxidant called glutathione in the liver. (3) Glutathione is important for detoxification processes in the liver, and increased levels of this antioxidant can help protect the liver against damage.
Overall, schizandra berry appears to support liver function by protecting the liver against damage, promoting detoxification processes, and increasing antioxidant levels. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which schizandra berry supports liver health.
Schizandra May Reduce Inflammation
Schizandra berry has been widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties. There are several ways in which schizandra may help to lower inflammation in the body.
Schizandra berry is rich in antioxidants, including lignans and schisandrins, which help to reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals. (1, 2) Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation.
Schizandra also contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, including gomisin A, gomisin N, and schisandrin B. (2) These compounds have been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta).
Schizandra may also help to lower inflammation by modulating the immune response. Inflammation is often triggered by an overactive immune response, and schizandra has been shown to help regulate immune cell activity and reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Lastly, schizandra has been shown to help regulate stress hormones such as cortisol. By reducing stress, schizandra may help to lower inflammation. (4)
Schizandra May Boost Energy Levels
Schizandra has often been used to boost energy levels. Its primary benefit to our energy is that it helps the body better adapt to stress. The reduction in stress relieves a significant burden on the body, which can lead to a big boost in energy.
Additionally, schizandra is believed to enhance the body's production of ATP, which is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. By promoting the production of ATP, schizandra may help to boost energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue and lethargy. (5)
Schizandra May Improve Cognitive Function
One of the major uses of schizandra berry is for enhancing cognitive function. Schizandra contains compounds called lignans that have antioxidant properties. These lignans protect the brain from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals, which can improve cognitive function.
In animal studies, schizandra has been shown to enhance memory. It may improve memory by increasing blood flow to the brain, improving the brain's ability to retain and recall information. (5)
Schizandra's anti-inflammatory effects may also help to reduce inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is associated with cognitive decline, and by reducing inflammation, Schizandra may help to improve cognitive function.
Because of the impressive cognitive benefits of schizandra berry, we use it as one of the primary ingredients in our Brain Flow Tonic.
Schizandra May Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Schizandra berry is a popular adaptogen. Adaptogens are compounds that help the body better adapt to stress. Schizandra appears to reduce the body's response to stress by lowering cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
Additionally, the antioxidants in schizandra may help to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress has been linked to anxiety and other mental health conditions, and by reducing oxidative stress, schizandra may help to alleviate anxiety.
Schizandra May Have Anti-Aging Benefits
Schizandra berry is commonly used as a longevity tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic properties, as well as its effect on liver health, all make it beneficial for supporting health and preventing illness.
The antioxidants in schizandra help prevent oxidative damage and may slow down the aging process. Additionally, schizandra may support skin health and help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. It contains vitamins A and C, which are important for skin health, as well as lignans, which may protect against UV damage.
What Are The Active Compounds in Schizandra Berry?
The health benefits of medicinal plants are attributed to the compounds found within them. The active compounds in Schizandra berry are believed to be a group of lignans, which are phytoestrogens that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These lignans include:
- Schizandrin - It is the primary lignan found in Schizandra berry and is believed to be responsible for many of its health benefits, including its ability to protect against liver damage, improve mental function, and reduce inflammation.
- Gomisin A - It is another lignan found in Schizandra berry that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.
- Schisandrol A - It is a bioactive compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Schisandrin B - It is a lignan that has been shown to have liver-protective effects and can improve physical performance.
- Deoxyschizandrin - It is a lignan that has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and may improve cognitive function. (6)
Additionally, schizandra contains vitamins A and C, which also have beneficial effects on health.
How to Use Schizandra Berry?
Schizandra berries can be consumed in various forms, including fresh, dried, or as a supplement. Schizandra berry tea is a popular way to consume the fruit, and the dried berries can be added to recipes, such as smoothies or oatmeal. Schizandra berry extract is also available in supplement form, and skin care products containing Schizandra berry extract can be applied topically.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Schizandra Berry?
Schizandra berry is generally considered safe when used in recommended doses. However, some people may experience side effects, such as digestive issues or allergic reactions. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before using Schizandra berry, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.
Schizandra berry, also known as Wu Wei Zi, is a small red fruit native to China and Russia that has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. It is believed to have a range of health benefits, including improved liver function, reduced inflammation, boosted energy levels, enhanced cognitive function, and reduced stress and anxiety. Schizandra berry can be consumed in various forms, including fresh, dried, or as a supplement, and is generally considered safe when used in recommended doses. Consult a healthcare professional before using Schizandra berry, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.