Schisandra (Wu-Wei-Zi) Berry

Schisandra is used for a wide range of health-related issues. There’s some scientific data from animal and human studies that indicate Schisandra may have a positive effect on several conditions and diseases. These include:

Alzheimer’s disease
A 2017 studyTrusted Source found that Schisandrin B had a beneficial, positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers determined that this was caused by Schisandrin B’s ability to block formation of excess amyloid beta peptides in the brain. These peptides are one of the components responsible for forming amyloid plaque, a substance found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study indicates that Schisandrin B may be effective against both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This is due to its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective effect upon microglial cells in the brain.

Liver disease
A 2013 animal studyTrusted Source found that pollen extracted from the Schisandra plant had a strong, antioxidant effect against toxic damage that was induced in the livers of mice. Schisandrin C was effective against liver damage in people with both acute and chronic hepatitis, a liver disease.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be the result of numerous liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. There’s more fatty acids and inflammation of the liver in NAFLD. Researchers found that Schisandrin B reduced these fatty acids in mice. It also acted like an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Further studies are needed in humans before dosage and duration can be sorted out.

A 2016 studyTrusted Source analyzed the effects of Schisandra extract on women with menopausal symptoms. The study followed 36 menopausal women for one year. Researchers determined that Schisandra is effective at alleviating some symptoms of menopause. These symptoms included hot flashes, sweating, and heart palpitations.

Another recent animal studyTrusted Source found that Schisandra extract had an antidepressant effect on mice. Additional mouse studiesTrusted Source, run by the same lead researcher, solidified this finding. However, Schisandra and its potential effect on depression hasn’t been extensively studied in humans.

Schisandra may have adaptogenic properties. This means that it’s able to help the body resist the effects of anxiety and stress, plus bolster the body’s defenses against disease.

Are there any side effects and risks?
It’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage of Schisandra provided to you by your healthcare practitioner, or as it appears on its label.

Doses that are too high can result in gastric distress symptoms, such as heartburn. For this reason, Schisandra may not be appropriate for people with conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or hyperchlorhydria (high stomach acid). Schisandra may also cause a reduced appetite.

Schisandra may not be appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Discuss its use with your doctor before you begin taking it.

It may also cause allergic reactions in some people, such as itching or skin rash.