SCHISANDRA BENEFITS, SCHISANDRA SIDE EFFECTS          updated on November 8, 2011
Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra is a plant that has been used (through extracts from its fruit) in traditional Chinese herbal medicine for many
many years. Schisandra has different species, such as Schisandra chinensis and Schisandra sphenanthera. Schisandra
chinensis is native to northeastern China and Korea, while Schisandra sphenanthera is native to China.

Schisandra chinensis is a famous tonic. Schisandra chinensis is one of the few herbs that contain the three treasures
known as Jing, Qi and Shen. Schisandra chinensis benefits include enhancing the energy of the kidney and liver and
supporting sexual endurance and memory. Schisandra fruits or schisandra extracts may also benefit people suffered
from cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, diseases of the central nervous system. [A1]

Schisandra extracts have been used in soft drinks, supplement formulas and health foods Schisandra chinensis has  
been popularly used in herbal formulas, e.g.TJ-108. A study of 37 patients suffered from chronic hepatitis C shows that
TJ-108 may have antiviral effects. [2,5] Supplement manufacturers commonly combine scisandra chinensis with other
herbs to obtain a wide range of synergistic benefits. One example is Mind Power Rx."Paradise Herbs Schisandra"
contains schisandra extract at the ratio 10:1, or 250 mg (i.e. 9% Schisandrins).

Schisandra Content
Researchers have found that a dried schisandra fruit contains lignans such as gomisin A, schizandrins, schizandrol,
vitamin C and vitamin E. Some animal studies suggest schisandra  fruit or schisandra extract has a benefit of liver
protection. [1,3,4]

Schisandra Benefits
Schizandra chinensis increases physical working capacity and affords a stress-protective effect against a broad
spectrum of harmful factors such as heat shock, skin burn, cooling, frostbite, immobilisation, aseptic inflammation,
irradiation, and heavy metal intoxication. Schizandra chinensis may also exert an effect on the central nervous,
sympathetic, endocrine, immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal systems, atherosclerosis, on blood sugar
and acid-base balance, and on uterus myotonic activity. Studies have also revealed that Schizandra extracts exhibit
strong antioxidant activities and such Schizandra may affect smooth muscles, arachidonic acid release, biosynthesis of
leukotriene B(4) etc. In healthy subjects, Schizandra chinensis increases endurance and accuracy of movement, mental
performance and working capacity. Some clinical trials have demonstrated the efficiency of Schizandra chinensis in
asthenia, neuralgic and psychiatric disorders, in impaired visual function, hypotension, cardiotonic disorders, influenza,
chronic sinusitis, pneumonia, allergic dermatitis, acute gastrointestinal diseases, gastric hyper- and hypo-secretion,
chronic gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, wound healing and trophic ulcers. [J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jul

SCHISANDRA BENEFITS - RESEARCH FINDINGS The findings need to be interpreted with caution because of the
limited studies and their small size. Dose, formula and experimental design can affect the results seriously.

Schisandra benefit - Relaxation Effects
Schisandra chinensis were demonstrated to inhibit the contractions induced by acetylcholine and serotonin (5-HT) in
guinea pig ileum, and the 95% ethanol extract was more effective than the aqueous extract. [Phytomedicine. 2011 Jul

In a study of stressed mice, it was found out that 18 hours of restraint stress significantly decreased the anxiolytic
parameters. Restraint stress elevated noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin levels in cerebral cortex of anxiety mice.
However, oral administration of schisandra lignans extract (100 and 200mg/kg/day, 8 days) emolliating the level of
stress-induced anxiety by significantly increasing the anxiolytic parameters. [Phytomedicine. 2011 Jul 12.]

Schisandra benefit - anti-cancer activities
Manufacturer combined Schisandra chinensis with four other herbs (Panax ginseng, Fructus crataegi, Ziziphus jujube
and Glycine Max) and named this formula as CKBM. Studies have shown that CKBM is capable to trigger the release of
IL-6 and TNFalpha from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and its anti-tumorigenic activity in nude mice with
cancer. [A2] The lignans, gomisin G isolated from the stems of Schisandra henryi showed moderate DNA strand
scission activity and significant cytotoxic effect on leukemia and Hela cells in vitro. [A4]

Schisandra benefit - dementia prevention
Scopolamine developed oxidative stress in the brain with the decreased levels of antioxidant enzymes and increased
nitrite level. At the same time, a significant impairment of learning and memory occurred when evaluated by passive
avoidance task and Morris water maze with concomitant increase of acetylcholinesterase activity and decreased
acetylcholine levels. Pre-treatment by a Schisandra chinensis extract (Schisandrin B; 10, 25, 50 mg/kg) effectively
prevented scopolamine-induced oxidative stress and improved behavioural tasks. [Free Radic Res. 2011

Two new highly oxygenated nortriterpenoids with a unique norcycloartane skeleton, micrandilactones B and C, were
isolated from Schisandra micrantha; micrandilactone C exhibited an EC50 value of 7.71 microg/mL (SI > 25.94) against
HIV-1 replication with minimal cytotoxicity, and the potent anti-HIV-1 activity. {A3]

TJN-101 was demonstrated to stimulate liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy by enhancing Ornithine
decarboxylase activity, which is an important biochemical event in the early stages of liver regeneration. TJN-101 was
given orally to male Wistar rats 30 min before partial hepatectomy. The mitotic index and the level of DNA synthesis
increased after partial hepatectomy and their increase was significantly enhanced by TJN-101. Ornithine decarboxylase
(ODC) activity increased in the early stages of liver regeneration and it was also significantly enhanced by TJN-101.
Besides, TJN-101 enhanced the increase in hepatic putrescine. [A5]

The molecular mechanism of liver protection benefited from schisandra chinensis fruit extracts pretreatment may involve
the facilitation of hepatic glutathione regeneration via the GRD-catalyzed and NADPH-mediated reaction. Schisandra
chinensis fruit extracts treatment caused a dose-dependent enhancement in hepatic hepatic glutathione status, as
evidenced by significant increases in hepatic GSH level and activities of hepatic glucose-6-phosphate and glutathione
reductase (GRD). The beneficial effect of schisandra chinensis fruit extract treatment on hepatic glutathione status
became more evident after CCl4 challenge. Pretreating rats with Schisandra chinensis fruit extract treatment at
increasing daily doses ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 g/kg for 3 days caused a dose-dependent protection against the
CCl4-induced impairment in hepatic hepatic glutathione status. The enhancement in hepatic glutathione status was
associated with corresponding decreases in tissue malondialdehyde levels and plasma alanine aminotransferases
activities, indicating a significant reduction in the extent of oxidative hepatocellular damage. [A6]

Schisandra Side effects
Schisandra is considered generally safe. Schisandra side effects are uncommon but may include abdominal upset,
decreased appetite, and skin rash. WebMd.COM suggests schisandra side effects may include heartburn, upset
stomach, decreased appetite, stomach pain, skin rash, and itching. Schisandra may also lead to the side effect of high
brain pressure, but it is uncommon. While, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center [MSKCC] considers CNS depression
and heartburn are the adverse side effects.

Schisandra Side Effect- Research Finding
Schisandrin B, an active ingredient isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, increased serum and hepatic
triglyceride levels in mice. In contrast, hepatic total cholesterol levels were decreased in a dose-dependent manner in
schisandrin B-treated mice. While fenofibrate pretreatment inhibited the schisandrin B-induced elevation in serum
triglyceride levels. [Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2011 Jun;383(6):585-91.]

Schisandra-Drug Interaction
Schisandra inhibits Cytochrome P450 3A4 substrates and can affect the intracellular concentration of drugs metabolized
by this enzyme. Schisandra also inhibit P-Gp activity and can interfere the metabolism of certain drugs. [MSKCC]

Schisandra Dosage
The dosage of Schisandra is 1.5-6 g / day as an adaptogen. [DRUGS.COM]
1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Chronic Hepatitis C: Disease Management. National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Web site. September 3, 2003. 2. Seeff LB, Lindsay KL, Bacon BR, et al. Complementary and
alternative medicine in chronic liver disease. Hepatology. 2001;34(3):595-603. 3. Sinclair S. Chinese herbs: a clinical review of Astragalus,
Ligusticum, and Schizandrae. Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutics. 1998;3(5):338-344. 4. Liu GT.
Pharmacological actions and clinical use of fructus schizandrae. Chinese Medical Journal. 1989;102(10):740-749. 5 Cyong JC, Kim SM,
Iijima K, et al. Clinical and pharmacological studies on liver diseases treated with Kampo herbal medicine. The American Journal of
Chinese Medicine. 2000;28(3-4):351-360. [A1] Opletal L et al, Phytotherapeutic aspects of diseases of the circulatory system. 7. Schisandra
chinensis (Turcz.) Baill.): its composition and biological activity Ceska Slov Farm. 2001 Jul;50(4):173-80. [A2] Chan AS et al,
Immuno-regulatory effects of CKBM on the activities of mitogen-activated protein kinases and the release of cytokines in THP-1 monocytic
cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Sep;28(9):1645-50. [A3] Li RT et al, Structure and anti-HIV activity of micrandilactones B and C, new
nortriterpenoids possessing a unique skeleton from Schisandra micrantha. Chem Commun (Camb). 2005 Jun 21;(23):2936-8. Epub 2005
Jun 21. [A4] Chen YG et al, Lignans from Schisandra hernyi with DNA cleaving activity and cytotoxic effect on leukemia and Hela cells in
vitro. Fitoterapia. 2005 Jun;76(3-4):370-3. [A5] Kubo S et al, Effect of Gomisin A (TJN-101) on liver regeneration. Planta Med. 1992
Dec;58(6):489-92. [A6] Ko KM et al, Effect of a lignan-enriched fructus schisandrae extract on hepatic glutathione status in rats: protection
against carbon tetrachloride toxicity. Planta Med. 1995 Apr;61(2):134-7.
Reference: [1], November 08, 2011 [2]  Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center November 08, 2011 [3]
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