Schizandra Berries Health Benefits

Did You Know…that a Chinese medicinal berry gives you energy, improves mental clarity, and lowers stress all at the same time?

Schizandra is a medicinal berry indigenous to northeast China and regions of Russia.  It’s known as the “quintessence of Chinese tonic herbs” and has been used as a full spectrum herbal treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 3000 years.

According to TCM, schizandra berries enhance longevity, protect against aging, boost energy, fight fatigue, and even stimulate sex drive.  Others suggest these berries can promote younger-looking skin, sharpen memory, and increase stamina.

An Antioxidant-Rich Adaptogen 

An adaptogen is a non-toxic, natural tonic that helps the body “adapt” to mental and physical stress by regulating a broad range of biological processes.  As such, schizandra helps lower levels of stress hormones in the blood.  Studies have shown that athletes such as long distance runners, skiers, and gymnasts who supplement with schizandra enjoyed improved performance.

Other studies conducted on doctors, students, and soldiers have revealed that schizandra elevates concentration, coordination, and mental stamina, while improving accuracy and quality of work.

Schizandra berries are concentrated with antioxidants that help protect cells, tissues, and organs from free radical damage, thereby providing a shield against disease and accelerated aging.  Schizandra is also praised for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, and its purported uses include treating…

  • Lung problems
  • Coughs
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Liver disease

     In fact, studies have shown that extracts of schizandra helped treat hepatitis in 500 cases due to the high concentration of lignans found in the berries.  According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, animal studies have shown that schizandra berries help:

  • Protect the liver and nervous system
  • Boost mental and physical function
  • Impart anti-diabetic effects
  • Reverse tumor cell resistance to chemotherapy drugs

 

Where to Find Schizandra Berries?

You can find dried schizandra berries at Chinese groceries and medicine shops.  You can also supplement with schizandra in extract and capsule form but experts caution that these should be standardized to the schizandrins, the berry’s most active compounds.

You can also drink schizandra juice, although experts recommend sweetening it with apple juice or another natural sweetener.  Schizandra berry is known as the Five Flavored Berry.  It’s sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and sour all at once!  Most people think it’s a taste that’s best disguised.  Others suggest steeping schizandra berries in hot water for a refreshing tea.

As with any herbal remedy, consult your healthcare practitioner before supplementing to make sure there are no contraindications with your current medication.

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