Schizandra berries grow in the wild, harsh climate of northern China and the Russian far east. In traditional Chinese Medicine, schizandra berry is listed as one of the fundamental 50 strongest medicinal plants. This small, unassuming, red berry delivers a potent, multifaceted tonic to the user. The Chinese refer to this as the “five flavored seed” because of the distinctive sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent taste. For over 2,000 years schizandra berry has been taken to promote various bodily functions including improved cognition, strengthening immunity in frigid conditions and making the skin appear more radiant.
In Chinese culture, it is well established that schizandra berries keep the skin beautiful and protected from the elements. Scientific investigation is starting to unravel how this actually works. These berries have been shown to protect the liver from toxins for over 40 years. One established mechanism is the increased production of the chief antioxidant in the liver, glutathione. Other benefits associated with schizandra include reduced oxidative stress to the body, improved cellular energy, and positive effects on fatty liver accumulation. Recently, it was discovered by scientist in Denmark that the liver communicates directly to the skin. When there is even a slight impairment with the liver, the appearance of the skin suffers. The liver protective properties would explain one mechanism on why the Chinese have reported improved complexion and a more youthful appearance with ingestion of this berry.
For centuries, Chinese and Russian hunters would eat wild schizandra berries during harsh hunting conditions to improve strength and stamina.
Because of these revitalizing effects, athletes from all over the world have begun using adaptogenic herbs like schizandra berry because of their ability to promote exercise capacity and overall performance. Some integrative physicians in the western world have started to utlilize schizandra berry to help strengthen patients battling fatigue issues, chronic diseases and cancer. From athletes to executives, everyone could probably benefit from these unassuming, super berries.
At the Guyer Institute we have three products available with a highly purified, standardized schizandra extract. These products included Max-Adren, AD-1, and a standalone schizandra berry capsule. If you have questions or would like to know if this herb is right for you, please stop in and ask the pharmacist.
– Chris McMullen Pharm.D.