Schisandra chinensis is one of 50 fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, whose name translates as "five-flavor berry," because it is salty, sweet, sour, pungent, and bitter.
Schisandra is used as an adaptogen. It increases resistance to disease and stress, increases energy, and increases physical performance and endurance. Schisandra is also recommended for improving vision, boosting muscular activity, improving cellular energy, for hepatitis, liver protection, preventing premature aging, increasing lifespan, for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), stimulating the immune system, speeding recovery after surgery, protecting against radiation, counteracting the effects of sugar, preventing motion sickness, normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, preventing infection, improving adrenal health, and energizing RNA-DNA to rebuild cells. Schisandra has also been used for coughs, asthma, insomnia, neurasthenia, chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, involuntary seminal discharge, thirst, impotence, physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss. (Ref: Natural Medicines, Somerville, MA)
In this study, 36 women, aged 40 to 70, who reported menopausal symptoms, took a placebo or 196 mg of schisandra extract per day for six weeks. Doctors followed up for an additional six weeks while all the women kept a daily diary and answered a questionnaire at the start of the study, and at six and 12 weeks.
After six weeks, for women taking schisandra, symptoms including hot flashes, sweating, tingling skin sensations, disturbed sleep, irritability and depressed mood, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, joint pain, headache, and heart palpitations had decreased by an overall symptom score of 21.6 percent, and by 41.2 percent at 12 weeks. The placebo group saw lower levels of improvement.
Women taking schisandra reported the most consistent relief for symptoms of hot flashes, sweating, and heart palpitations.
(Reference: Climacteric; 2016, Vol. 19, No. 6, 574-80)
Schisandra (or Schizandra) is available from Willner Chemists from the following companies: Gaia Herbs, Paradise Herbs, Nature's Answer, Planetary Herbals, Solaray, Herb Pharm, Nature's Way and Health Concerns.