Being native to northern China, Korea, and Russia, schizandra chinensis is a woody vine with fruits similar to berries. The berries have a combination of different flavors: sour, sweet, salty, hot, and bitter. This is why its Chinese name is called wu-wei-zi, meaning five flavor berries. The sun dried fruits are used for medicinal purposes.
The active ingredients in Schizandra are schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin. They are lignans mainly found in the seeds. Schizandra has been traditionally used as stimulant, tonic, and adaptogen.
Athletic Benefits of Schizandra:
- Delays physical and mental fatigue.
- May help recover from overtraining syndrome.
- Improves athletic endurance.
- May prolong exhaustion time.
- May speed up recovery from sports injuries.
- Improves mental acuity and alertness.
- Reduces damages from oxidative stress.
Non – Athletic Benefits of Schizandra:
The following conditions may benefit from Schizandra:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Chronic viral hepatitis.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
- Poor concentration.
- Chronic cough.
- Hay fever.
- Menopausal symptoms.
Dosage and Side Effects:
Schizandra extract can be used as tablet or capsule 500 – 1500 mg a day, tincture 6 – 12 ml a day, or Schizandra fruit 2 – 15 grams a day. High doses of Schizandra might lead to stomach upset, skin eruptions, and loss of appetite.