If you’re looking for the best schisandra supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Schisandra Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Schisandra Supplements
|#1||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Schisandra||More Info|
|#2||Vital Nutrients – Schisandra Extract||More Info|
|#3||Starwest Botanicals Organic Schisandra Berry Powder||More Info|
|#4||Nature’s Answer Alcohol-Free Schisandra Berry||More Info|
|#5||Paradise Herbs Schisandra||More Info|
|#6||Bulksupplements Pure Schisandra Powder||More Info|
|#7||Planetary Herbals Schisandra Adrenal Complex||More Info|
|#8||Herb Pharm Certified Organic Schisandra Berry Extract||More Info|
|#9||Barlowe’s Herbal Elixirs Schisandra Berry Extract||More Info|
|#10||HawaiiPharm Schisandra Alcohol-FREE Liquid Extract||More Info|
Schisandra (also spelled schizandra) is a fruit-bearing plant used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It grows as a woody, creeping vine that flowers and gives grape-like clusters of small, red berries.
The scientific names of the plant are Schisandra chinensis and Schisandra sphenanthera. In TCM the two closely-related vine species are informally called “north” and “south.” Fruit from the schisandra plant is edible. The plant is native to China, Russia, Japan, and Korea. It is related to the magnolia vine that grows in the southeastern United States.
In TCM, schisandra has traditionally been prescribed to help combat mental stress as well as a wide range of physical ailments. Modern medical studies of TCM practices have suggested that patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome may be helped by a combination of schisandra with dan shen (an herb whose root is used in TCM), bupleurum (a type of woody shrub), ginger, and wormwood. A traditional Japanese herbal formulation called sho-seiryu-to that also contains schisandra has been shown to help people with hay fever.
What is a Schisandra Supplement?
Schisandra plants and their fruits have a variety of common names, including Chinese magnolia vine fruit, five flavor berry, gomishi, ngu mie gee, omicha, and wu wei zi. In complementary and alternative medicine and TCM, schisandra has been used for treating the following conditions:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive urination
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- High cholesterol
- Liver problems
- Lung problems
- Memory loss
- Nerve pain
- Night sweats
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Sleep problems
- To increase strength and stamina
The TCM remedy for coughs involves taking the schisandra supplement together with poppy seeds, rolling it in honey, and forming the mixture into a pill. Many of these traditional and complementary medicine uses have not been able to be supported by medical research done through clinical trials.
Benefits of Schisandra Supplements
Animals studies have shown that schisandra supplements have some effect in protecting the liver against toxins, helping the body recover from a certain kind of heart attack called myocardial infarction, increasing endurance, stimulating the metabolism, reducing blood sugar, and protecting cognitive functions.
More research must be done to determine if any of these effects are transferable from animal studies to humans. It’s thought that schisandra supplements help the liver regenerate new cells by stimulating certain liver enzymes, and that in this way, the supplements can help the body heal from liver damage and disease.
Effects on Liver Disease
Only a small number of trials using human subjects have been performed using schisandra supplements. They suggest there may be a benefit to patients with chronic hepatitis who take schisandra supplements along with other antioxidants taken by mouth. Schisandra supplements seem to lower the levels of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) in hepatitis patients, an indicator that liver damage is being repaired. Other clinical trials have suggested that a combination of schisandra supplements with a supplement called sesamin may improve the symptoms of fatty liver disease.
Recipients of liver transplants have reported that schisandra supplements help treat the symptoms of diarrhea that occurs as a side effect of immunosuppressive medication that they have to take post-transplant. This is anecdotal evidence and needs to be investigated further by systematic scientific review.
Mental and Other Effects
A small amount of evidence also suggests that schisandra supplements, used in combination with Siberian ginseng and rhodiola supplements, may have a positive effect on mental performance. Attention, concentration, and speed of thinking all improved after study participants took the supplement containing schisandra. The schisandra, Siberian ginseng, and rhodiola supplements also improved the quality of life of patients with pneumonia.
Schmisandra supplements taken orally also seem to have some effect on exercise performance and endurance. Although more research is needed, early research suggests the supplement may increase endurance and coordination. Further, children with nearsightedness that was non-progressive showed an improvement in their eyesight after being given a schisandra solution every day for 20 to 24 days.
The schmisandra fruit contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help to neutralize the effects of free radicals, molecules that can cause changes in the body that lead to genetic damage and certain types of cancers. These compounds can also help protect against heart disease.
Further research is needed in this area, but at least one study has suggested that schisandra berry extracts may help inhibit the HIV virus from reproducing itself. Specifically, it may help stop the spread of a particular protein made by the HIV-1 virus that has proven resistant to certain HIV drugs that are designed to combat the virus in the human body. Researchers need to study this effect further to see if schisandra can help drug manufacturers overcome drug-resistant HIV infections.
Are There any Side Effects?
Schisandra supplements have been associated with very few side effects in humans and the plant is thought to have a very low level of toxicity in humans. It should be noted, however, that few clinical trials have been done with human subjects.
Minor side effects are said to include cold extremities, decreased appetite, heartburn, itching, skin rash, sleepiness, stomach pain, and stomach upset. People with peptic ulcers should not take schisandra supplements because of a risk of increased stomach acid.
Some authorities claim that people with epilepsy should not take schisandra supplements, although the reason is not entirely clear, but may have to do with the possibility of schisandra supplements affecting the central nervous system. For the same reason, people with high intracranial pressure should not use schisandra supplements. Possible drug interactions with schisandra supplements include warfarin, tacrolimus (an immunosuppressant drug given to transplant patients), P-glycoprotein substrates, and cytochrome P450 3A4 and 1A2 substrates.
Allergic reactions to schisandra supplements are rare, but have been reported. Symptoms of allergic reaction include chest pain, difficulty breathing, hives, itchy skin, swollen skin, and tightness in the chest or throat. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should treat this condition as a medical emergency and seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
Those who are pregnant should not use schisandra supplements. Schisandra supplements may cause uterine contractions, which could cause miscarriage. People who are breast feeding should not take schisandra supplements until more research has been done to show that they are safe for nursing mothers and infants who may consume their milk.
How to Take Schisandra Supplements
Schisandra supplements intended to be taken by mouth can be found as capsules and tablets. Those who wish to use schisandra supplements as complementary medicine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis should look for a supplement with a standardized lignan content of 20 mg, since lower concentrations may not be effective.
Extracts of schisandra can also be made into a tincture or a tea. From 5-15 grams of tea per day is a typical dosage, containing 500 mg to two grams of schisandra.
Users of schisandra supplements should adhere to the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. Higher than recommended doses of schisandra supplements have been associated with insomnia and restlessness. As with any dietary supplement, people who are thinking about taking schisandra supplements should consult with a health care provider before starting a supplement regimen.
What to Look for in a Good Schisandra Supplement
Herbal dietary supplements, unlike foods and medicines, are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To help them find supplements that have been tested for consistency and quality, consumers can look for a seal of approval from a third-party organization that have a track record of approving safe and effective supplements. ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, and U.S. Pharmacopeia are three bodies that lend their seals of approval to consumer herbal supplements sold in the United States.