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Schisandra chinensis

Schizandra berries have been used traditionally as performance enhancers and as an adaptogen. Lots of human evidence from many decades ago in Russia that cannot be accessed, and limited Western evidence. Appears to also reduce anxiety and cortisol, with a tart taste.

Our evidence-based analysis on schisandra chinensis features 125 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
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Last Updated:

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Clinical trials done in the West are lacking or confounded, and thus optimum doses cannot really be extrapolated from these. The best estimate at this moment in time may be falling back on traditional preparation methods, which are various:

  • Dried fruit extract in a 1:6 w/v ratio against liquid (95% ethanol) and administered at 20-30 drops daily

  • Dried fruit extract in a 1:20 w/v ratio against water, 150mL drank twice a day with meals

  • Eating the powdered fruit or fruit extract (this is what is usually found in pills) at 1-3g daily, with meals

Schisandra Chinensis fruits can be brewed into wines or teas as well.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects schisandra chinensis has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c
Minor
- See study
Conditional influences on cortisol, with an apparent increase in cortisol of beginner atheltes at rest with decreases in exercise-induced cortisol in beginners and lower overall cortisol exposure in trained athletes
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in serum nitric oxide has been detected in one study in elite athletes

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Things to Note

Other Functions:

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Omija, Omija Cha, Gomishi, Repnihat, Wuweizi, Lemonwood, Northern Magnolia Vine, Chinese Magnolia Vine, Matsbouza

Do Not Confuse With

Schizandrol A (bioactive component), Schisandra sphenanthera (same genera, different species)

Goes Well With

  • Sheng-Mai-San (Panax Ginseng and Ophiopogon japonicus) for increasing bioavailability of lignans even further

  • Any molecule subject to P-glycoprotein efflux, as lignans in Schisandra are P-glycoprotein inhibitors

Caution Notice

  • Known to interact with drugs including Warfarin

  • May be imprudent to take during pregnancy

  • It has been (traditionally) advised to not consume schisandra chinensis during pregnancy, and due to a lack of data investigating this claim it would be prudent to avoid supplementation during this time

  • Schisandra chinensis is a biologically relevant P-glycoprotein inhibitor and can cause retention of pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals subject to efflux by P-gp

  • Appears to cause efflux of warfarin from rats, which would reduce the blood thinning effects

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Click here to see all 125 references.