CHINA. Schisandra chinensis Berry, Whole, Certified Organic
Common names: Magnolia Vine, Five-Flavor-Fruit, Omija, Gomishi, Bei Wu Wei, Bac Ngu Vi Tu, Mei Gee, Ruan Zao Zi, Shan Hua Jiao, Nan Wu Wei Zi, Matzbouza
Schisandra Berries grow on deciduous climbing vines up to 30 feet long. The plants are found in the Russian Far East and northern China, in cold, damp, moderately shady conditions.
Schisandra is said to contain all the tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and pungent. This is considered energetically balancing to the system. It is one of the premier adaptogenic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, strengthening the nervous and endocrine systems, and enhancing immunity and physical, sexual, and mental performance. It is given to aid lung conditions, to protect the liver, to rejuvenate the skin, to reduce inflammation, to promote metabolism, and to restore normal sleep, and quell fatigue and burnout.
Nanai hunters in the Russian Far East used the berries to maintain their stamina on long voyages. Russian scientists have taken an interest in adaptogenic herbs, and have studied Schisandra extensively, beginning in the 1940s. A 2008 review article , summarizing Soviet and Russian research, notes:
Pharmacological studies on animals have shown that Schisandra increases physical working capacity and affords a stress-protective effect against a broad spectrum of harmful factors including heat shock, skin burn, cooling, frostbite, immobilization, swimming under load in an atmosphere with decreased air pressure, aseptic inflammation, irradiation, and heavy metal intoxication.
The phytoadaptogen exerts an effect on the central nervous, sympathetic, endocrine, immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal systems, on the development of experimental atherosclerosis, on blood sugar and acid-base balance, and on uterus myotonic activity.
Studies on isolated organs, tissues, cells and enzymes have revealed that Schisandra preparations exhibit strong antioxidant activities and affect smooth muscles, arachidonic acid release, biosynthesis of leukotriene B4 in leukocytes, platelet activating factor activity, carbohydrate-phosphorus metabolism, the formation of heat shock protein and polyamines, tissue respiration and oxygen consumption, and the tolerance of an organism to oxygen intoxication.
In healthy subjects, Schisandra increases endurance and accuracy of movement, mental performance and working capacity, and generates alterations in the basal levels of nitric oxide and cortisol in blood and saliva with subsequent effects on the blood cells, vessels and CNS.
Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the efficiency of Schisandra in asthenia, neuralgic and psychiatric (neurosis, psychogenic depression, astheno-depressive states, schizophrenia and alcoholism) disorders, in impaired visual function, hypotension and cardiotonic disorders, in epidemic waves of influenza, in chronic sinusitis, otitis, neuritis and otosclerosis, in pneumonia, radioprotection of the fetoplacental system of pregnant women, allergic dermatitis, acute gastrointestinal diseases, gastric hyper- and hypo-secretion, chronic gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, wound healing and trophic ulcers.
Active constituents of Schisandra include lignans, polysaccharides, glycosides, and terpenes. The berries can be eaten, tinctured, or steeped for up to an hour as a tea.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.