Schisandra chinensis is the botanical name of a woody vine with common names that include five-flavor berry. All species within the genus Schisandra, including Schisandra chinensis, are commonly referred to as magnolia vine.
Schisandra chinensis is indigenous to areas of what is now Northern China and Eastern Russia. It has been introduced to other regions with tolerable growing conditions and is now cultivated elsewhere, including parts of the US and UK.
It has nootropic properties that can help improve cognition. In addition it can reduce anxiety, increase physical energy, increase resistance to fatigue, improve tolerance to temperature extremes, increase blood circulation and blood flow.
The effects of Schisandra chinensis are stimulating, yet at the same time relaxing. Most people feel mentally and physically energetic and alert, but calm and tranquil at the same time.
Schisandra chinensis antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties may decrease pain for those who experience inflammation related pain.
Schisandra chinensis can contribute to:
--- Reduced anxiety.
--- Improved focus.
--- Improved thinking.
--- Increased physical energy.
--- Increased stress resistance.
--- Increased physical endurance.
--- Increased resistance to fatigue.
--- Improved learning and memory capability.
--- Increased blood circulation and blood flow.
--- Improved tolerance to temperature extremes.
Berries can be dried and reduced to powder and taken as is, or put into vegetable capsules. A good starting dose is 500-1000 mg, 1-3 times per day. Dose size can be increased on subsequent attempts. Doses of 3000 mg or more may be required.
Some people report Schisandra chinensis works best for them on an empty stomach, others when taken with food. Active ingredients occur in the leaves, lateral buds, flowering stems, flower buds, but the concentration is greatest in the berries.
A vast majority of the medicinal properties of the plant are contributed by schisandrins (schizandrins) compounds. These compounds include schisandrin A, schisandrin B, schisandrin C.
Active ingredients can be extracted into water and alcohol tinctures. Alternately made into tea, or perhaps wine and beer. Combining Schisandra chinensis with Panax ginseng can increase potency. Rhodiola rosea may also synergize well.
Schisandra extracts are available, dose should be adjusted accordingly. For instance, with a 10:1 extract (the extract is 10 times more potent by weight than dry berries) the dose should be 1/10 of the raw berry dose size to produce similar results.
With 20:1 extract the dose should be 1/20 of the raw berry dose size. To get the same effect as that produced by 1000 mg of dry berries, take 50 mg of 20:1 extract. To get the same effect as 1000 mg of dry berries, take 100 mg of 10:1 extract.
Schizandrol A is an extract that contains the primary active chemicals (called schisandrins) from Schisandra chinensis plants. It is available standardized to a certain level, for instance 3% schisandrin.
Since it is an extract, depending on the percentage of schisandrin, it can be more potent than dried Schisandra chinensis plant material of the same weight. So the dose size of schizandrol A will probably have to be adjusted, when compared to the dose size of dried plant material.
Follow the dose size recommended by the person or company that you purchase the product from, the first time you try it. If necessary the dose amount can be raised or lowered, to suit your preference, the next time you ingest it.
Schisandra chinensis Availability
Prior to utilizing Schisandra chinensis, to be safe discuss it with your physician. On your first attempt it might be the best thing to try working with a small quantity, somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 milligrams or less.
A small dose size will give you an indication of the possible results as well as alerting you to any negative reactions. At small dose sizes, the effects are subtle and some people might not notice anything.
The possibility of a fatal overdose from orally ingesting berries, or other plant material, is remote. Similar to cannabis, the amount required would probably make you throw up before your body could absorb enough of the active ingredient.
However, allergic reactions that might be dangerous, or possibly life threatening, are possible to those who are sensitive. Pregnant women should avoid it because the chemicals present can have harmful effects on the developing fetus.
Extracts can be more potent and possibly be dangerous in extremely high amounts. Use caution, follow dosage recommendations on the package, only consume what you need to produce acceptable results.