Schisandra

Plant Part Used

Berry

Introduction

Use of the schisandra berry dates back centuries when Chinese medical practitioners found it useful for support of the kidneys and as a sedative. In Russia, schisandra has been used to increase the body’s natural ability to fight off disease and stresses from chemical, physical, mental and environmental sources.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

100-200mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day.

Most Common Dosage

100mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to a minimum 9% schisandrins per dose.

Reported Uses

Schisandra has historically been used to treat cough and wheezing, spontaneous sweating, chronic diarrhea, insomnia and forgetfulness. But recent research has focused on its potential for supporting liver health. (1) , (2) Studies indicate that it may be effective in protecting the liver from harmful toxins and that it may stimulate liver repair. (3) , (4) Related studies have suggested that schisandra may aid in the treatment of certain types of hepatitis.

Other studies have suggested that schisandra may inhibit the growth of skin and liver tumors. (5)

Schisandra has been reported to increase human endurance and mental and physical performance. Other historical uses include use to improve mental efficiency and sensitivity of sight, hearing and touch.

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (6)

Health Conditions

If you have liver disease, liver damage or an active infection, contact your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

This dietary supplement should not be used in pregnant women. (7)

This dietary supplement should not be used if you are breast-feeding an infant without first consulting a physician.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Maeda S, et al. Effects of Gomisin A on Liver Functions in Hepatotoxic Chemicals-treated Rats. Jpn J Pharmacol. Aug1985;38(4): 347-53.
  2. View Abstract: Kubo S, et al. Effect of Gomisin A (TJN-101) on Liver Regeneration. Planta Med. Dec1992;58(6):489-92.
  3. View Abstract: Shiota G, et al. Rapid Induction of Hepatocyte Growth Factor mRNA after Administration of Gomisin A, a Lignan Component of Shizandra Fruits. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. Nov1996;94(2):141-46.
  4. View Abstract: Ohtaki Y, et al. Deoxycholic Acid as an Endogenous Risk Factor for Hepatocarcinogenesis and Effects of Gomisin A, a Lignan Component of Schizandra Fruits. Anticancer Res. Mar1996;16(2):751-55.
  5. View Abstract: Yasukawa K, et al. Gomisin A Inhibits Tumor Promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in Two-stage Carcinogenesis in Mouse Skin. Oncology. 1992;49(1):68-71.
  6. Leung A, et al. Encylopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York: Wiley-Interscience Publication; 1996:469-71.
  7. Upton R. Schisandra Berry: Analytical, Quality Contol, and Therapeutic Monograph. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia; 1999.