|The schizandra herb is
highly prized by Chinese women as a sexual enhancer and youth tonic.
Schizandra is believed to preserve beauty and is a mild sedative. Schizandra is
also reputed to increase sexual stamina among men. Until recently
coveted by the wealthy and a favorite among the Chinese emperors.
Schizandra is also considered an adaptogen, and similar to ginseng, it is
believed to increase stamina and fight against fatigue.
Schizandra (Schizandra chinensis) of the family
Schizandraceae is a creeping vine with small red berries that is native to
Northern China. In ancient China, Schizandra was used as a staple food for
hunting and gathering tribes. As a traditional medicinal herb, Schizandra,
called Wu-wei-tzu in China, has been used as an astringent for a
treatment for dry cough, asthma, night sweats, nocturnal seminal emissions and
chronic diarrhea. It is also used as a tonic for the treatment of chronic
During the early 1980's Chinese doctors began researching Schizandra as a
treatment for hepatitis, based on its potential for liver-protective effects and
the nature of its active constituents. Schizandra is now a recognized
"adaptogen," capable of increasing the body's resistance to disease,
stress, and other debilitating processes.
In Asia, the schizandra adaptogenic property is said to stimulate immune
defenses, balance body function, normalize body systems, help surgery
recovery, protect against radiation, counteract the effects of sugar,
optimize energy in times of stress, increase stamina, protect against motion sickness,
normalize blood sugar and blood pressure, reduce high cholesterol, shield
against infection, improve the health of the adrenals, energize RNA-DNA
molecules to rebuild cells and produces energy comparable to that of a
Studies conducted on Schizandra effects have noted that the drug has a
stimulating effect in low doses, but this effect disappeared with larger doses.
The compounds thought responsible for the liver-protective effects of Schizandra
are lignans composed of two phenylpropanoid. More than 30 of these have been
isolated in Schizandra and some 22 of which were tested in 1984 by the Japanese
scientist H. Hikino for their ability to reduce the cytotoxic effects of
carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine on cultured rat liver cells.
Western herbalists commonly recommend Schizandra for the lungs, liver and
kidneys, and to help with depression due to adrenergic exhaustion. In Russia,
Schizandra is used to treat eye fatigue and increase acuity.
Schizandra should not be used in large amounts during pregnancy except under
medical supervision to promote uterine contractions during labor. Schizandra in
larger amounts should be avoided by persons with peptic ulcers or epilepsy.
Schizandra is also known as:
Wu Wei Zi, Schisandra chinensis
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