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Schisandra chinensis

Berries from the plant (Schisandra chinensis) have been one of the primary medicinal agents of Chinese herbal medicine since antiquity. The first recorded use of schisandra is found in China's earliest text of herbal medicine, the Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica, which is believed to have originated in the first century B.C. In this text, schisandra is said to "prolong the years of life without aging," and it is also said to increase energy (called "qi," pronounced "chee"), suppress cough, treat fatigue, and act as a sexual tonic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), schisandra berries have been used predominantly for the lungs and kidneys as an astringent tonic to arrest mucous discharges, alleviate spontaneous sweating, and check urinary and reproductive secretions such as in urinary incontinence.


One to three capsules daily, or as directed by practitioner. Best taken with food.

Potential applications

Adrenal stress, exhaustion, kidney and lung astringent - useful for coughs, central nervous system (CNS) depression, liver disorders / detoxification, common cold/sore throat, infection, insomnia, stimulate breathing, decrease blood pressure, act as a vasodilator (causing blood vessels to dilate), improve blood circulation, improve heart function, strengthen uterine contractions, improve vision, normalize blood sugar levels, and assist in food digestion and absorption of nutrients. May be useful in sports performance.

Known contraindications

Not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid use in those with epilepsy, severe hypertension, or high intracranial pressure.


Schisandra interacts with acetaminophen in a positive way. In a laboratory study, gomisin A, a lignan found in schisandra, offered some degree of liver protection.

Use in conjunction with

  • Stress - B complex, ester-c, B5, rhodiola
  • Detoxification - green food blend, Flax/hemp seed oil, fibre complex, digestive aid
  • Brain function - B complex/multi vits, l-glutamine, flax/hemp seed oil, ginkgo biloba


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