Schisandra - Schisandra Chinensis

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This Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis in the Schisandraceae family

Part used: Fruit.

Taste/smell: Astringent, pungent, sour, bitter, salty and sweet.

Tendencies: Warming.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:4 dry strength liquid extract: 10-50 drops 1-4 times per day; or eat the raw fruit.

Mental picture and specifics: Schisandra is indicated for weak lungs, digestion, liver and immune system with night sweats, prolonged diarrhea, productive coughs, amnesia and general overall weakness.

Use: (a) Antibacterial, (b) Anti-ulcer, (c) Adaptogen, (d) Hepatoprotective, (e) Immunomodulator, (f) Antioxidant, (g) Cholagogue.

Schisandra is used as a liver restorative, lung tonic and for immune system support. It also enhances brain efficiency, mental alertness, work capacity and builds strength.  It is useful with insomnia, hepatitis, cirrhosis,  asthma, night sweats, prolonged diarrhea and immunodeficient states.  Deficient conditions that lead to chronic dry coughs and wheezing are indicative for this herb. Schisandra is useful in fatigue, neurasthenia, viral induced hepatitis, and protection from oxidizing substances. It increases endurance and mental performance in patients with fatigue and weakness.

Contraindications: Schisandra may increase the risk of toxicity or decrease the effect of some drugs due to induction and inhibition of some cytochrome P450 enzymes. Schisandra chinensis has been shown to upregulate CYP3A4, inhibit CYP1A2 and  initially induce CYP2E1 after one dose, but inhibit it after multiple doses.  Individual constituents of Schisandra have also been studied and found to inhibit CYP3A4.  There have been some reports of Schisandra causing abdominal upset, decreased appetite and skin rash.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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