Schisandra is a great adaptogenic herb, which I like to use for calming the nervous system. It’s up there as one of my favorite supplements.

What is Schisandra?

Schisandra, also referred to as Schizandra or Schisandra Chinensis, comes from a vine native to China and parts of Russia. Its berry is used as a form of traditional Chinese medicine. The Schisandra fruit is also known as the Five Flavor Berry because its taste captures the five major favors – sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy [1].

This wholesome and exotic berry is categorized as an adaptogen, which helps prevent physical and chemical stress on the body. When consumed, it accumulates in the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, and mostly liver tissues [2].

Schisandra is typically used as a performance enhancer and a treatment for various illnesses. The antioxidants in this fruit lead to its therapeutic, preventative, and life-enhancing properties that promote general well-being [1].

Schisandra Snapshot

  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Increases energy and improves physical performance.
  • Enhances the immune system and protects against cancer.
  • Improves cognitive function, including attention and memory.
  • Not recommended for people who have acid reflux (GERD) or ulcers.
  • Also contraindicated in epilepsy or high intracranial pressure.
  • Not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing

The Health Benefits of Schisandra

1) Improves Blood Flow and Circulation

Taking a daily dose of about 130mg of Schisandra has shown an approximately 9% improvement in blood circulation in healthy adults [3].

Improving the blood flow throughout the body helps regulate body fluids [3].

A regular intake of Schisandra increases the flow of nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes smooth muscles and expands blood vessels [4].

Increased blood flow could lead to improvements in physical performance [4].

2) Improves Cardiovascular Health

An increase in blood flow and nitric oxide availability promotes cardiac protection [3].

Schisandrin B appears to help protect heart tissue and prevent damage to the heart [5].

Sheng-Mai-San, a supplement consisting of Schisandra fruit extract, is used to treat heart disease [6].

3) Combats Stress

Schisandra reduces corticosterones (animal version of cortisol), the stress hormones in the body [7].

A small dosage promotes calmness and relaxation, which is beneficial for sleeping [8].

Schisandra’s adaptogenic properties help maintain an internal balance and reduce biochemical indicators of stress on the body [7].

These adaptogenic properties help the body calm down and cope with mental and physical stress [9].

Schisandra is effective in controlling changes in adrenaline and serotonin changes caused by stress [10]. It fights adrenal fatigue linked to stress [11].

4-5) Protects the Liver and Increases Anti-Oxidant Response

Schisandra is used to treat liver disease, including Hepatitis C, and poor liver function [12].

Compounds found in the core of the seed help protect the liver from harmful toxins and radiation [13].

Schisandra extract increases the level of the glutathione enzyme in the body, which helps combat oxidative stress [14].

It tends to elevate Heat Shock Proteins and anti-oxidative enzymes in the mitochondria of each cell, which gives cells a greater anti-oxidant response [14].

Schisandra anti-oxidants help maintain function and regeneration while preventing damage to the liver [15].

Besides increasing anti-oxidants, it reduces liver inflammation [13]. Schisandra reduces stress-induced liver damage by lowering the feeling of stress on the body [7].

It protects liver tumor cells that are activated by stress [16].

Schisandrin B reduce triglycerides in the liver and decrease the chances of developing fatty liver diseases [17].

TJ-108, consisting of Schisandra and Japanese medicine, is used to protect from Hepatitis C and toxicity of the liver, lungs, and brain [18].

6) Increases Energy

Antioxidants, Wuweizisu C and gomisin A, protect cells and promote healthy cell function [19].

Schisandra promotes neural ATP synthesis, increasing energy metabolism [20].

Higher energy metabolism benefits SIRT expression, which inhibits muscle aging and age-related cardiac dysfunction [21].

A component of Schisandra, Schisandrin B is connected with an improved functional capacity of the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys, which can aid in the anti-aging process [22].

7) Improves Mental Health

Schisandra is a common treatment for insomnia [10].

Its stress-reducing effects also promote anxiety reduction [8].

Schisandrin C, a component of Schisandra, appears to have anti-inflammatory effects on the brain [23].

A study in rats concluded that Deoxyschizandrin in Schisandra improved cognition and memory [24].

Research on human studying found the Schisandra improved attention, cognition, and accuracy of people under stress [9].

Schisandrin B, a component of Schisandra, preserves glutathione levels, which helps protect the brain from memory impairment [25].

8) Improves Physical Performance and Counters Fatigue

Schisandra reduces fatigue when exercising by resisting changes in corticosterone and glucose that occur during high levels of activity [26].

Nitric Oxide is increased in beginner and elite athletes before exercise, which can improve physical power and endurance during a workout [4].

Long-term use can increase endurance and time until exhaustion [27].

It increases acetylcholine transmission in the body, which is a key neurotransmitter for skeletal and muscle movement [7].

Schisandra counters fatigue, which increases the capacity for mental and physical exercise [11].

9) Good For Asthma and Respiratory System

Supplements containing Schisandra extract are used to treat a cough and asthma [1].

Schisandra is an expectorant, so it clears airway passages and expulses mucus from the lungs [1].

10) Enhances Immune System

Since Schisandra is an adaptogen, the immune system can take over while avoiding additional stress and anxiety [7].

Stress is linked to lower immune system function, so the lessening of additional stress on the body allows the immune system to function quickly and efficiently [7].

Components of Schisandra bind to proteins in the blood plasma, which allows it to be carried to peripheral tissues, such as the lungs and skin, areas easily are exposed to pathogens [28].

11) May Help Cancer Prevention

Studies are currently being conducted to test Schisandra’s interaction with cancer cells. One study found that components of Schisandra hinder the growth of lung cancer cells. Further research is being done to determine if Schisandra extracts could be incorporated into cancer treatment [29].


Schisandra is not recommended for people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, epilepsy, peptic ulcers, or high intracranial pressure. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing [1].

Buying Schisandra Supplements

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