(WellnessNova.com) - Schisandra chinensis, or magnolia berry, is a medicinal berry used for millennia in traditional Chinese medicine. It grows native to the northern regions of China, but is also popular in Russia for the preparation of wines, sweets, juices, and extracts. It’s also called the five-flavor fruit because it tastes spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. But it has powerful healing properties for the liver, brain, skin, and some holistic general benefits too!
Here are five of its health benefits:
1. Schisandra Can Boost Your Digestion and Help Treat IBS and Other Similar GI Conditions
Eating schisandra berries or its extract can promote better digestion. Researchers gave schisandra to mice and found that their gut motility and intestinal transit rate improved. For mice experiencing motility dysfunction, the schisandra seemed to recover their motility back to normal.
Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with smooth muscle that work in waves to push food through your gut. Gut motility and intestinal transit rate measure how efficient your GI tract moves food through. Some conditions, like IBS, affect your gut’s ability to move food through, which can cause sluggish movement. Food being stuck too long in any part of the gastrointestinal tract can cause unpleasant symptoms, like bloating, gas, and pain.
Schisandra’s ability to restore and improve gut motility means it might help you if you have digestive issues on a short-term or regular basis. It can calm a transient tummy ache or help you deal with daily IBS.
2. Schisandra Helps Heal and Protect Your Skin and Slows Skin Aging
Schisandra is filled with antioxidants, which means eating these berries everyday fills you with free radical-neutralizing compounds. Free radicals can destroy your skin’s DNA and other parts of your skin cells, which can lead to signs of premature aging, like wrinkles. Free radicals also cause inflammation.
Schisandra’s antioxidants help protect your skin from these dangerous free radicals, and they also lower inflammatory skin conditions, like dermatitis. Researchers found that applying schisandra topically to your skin can lower swelling and relieve contact dermatitis.
3. Schisandra Can Help Prevent Atherosclerosis
Free radicals can also harden the arteries and other blood vessels because they cause damage to the lining of these blood vessels over time. As the damage builds up, it can cause atherosclerosis, which can lead to more dangerous heart conditions. Chronic blood vessel inflammation can also cause atherosclerosis and general plaque buildup.
Schisandra helps lower overall blood vessel inflammation by downregulating cytokines, which are compounds made by your immune system that cause inflammation. Schisandra’s antioxidants also help neutralize any circulating free radicals that may damage your blood vessels.
4. Schisandra Helps Protect Your Liver
Researchers found that eating schisandra boosts glutathione levels in the liver. Glutathione is a critical antioxidant made in your liver. Your liver greatly relies on glutathione to help it neutralize toxins and to fight off liver infections. Experts discovered that your liver uses up all of its glutathione stores when fending off a chronic liver infection – some scientists even discovered that the key for an HIV infection to turn into AIDS is when your liver’s glutathione levels drop to a marked low threshold. Since schisandra increases your liver’s glutathione stores, it can process toxins and protect itself better.
They also found that schisandra has compounds that interfere with the DNA replication of hepatitis B viruses, which means these compounds can slow or stop their proliferation. They concluded that eating schisandra can protect the liver from hepatitis B.
5. Schisandra Boosts Your Productivity and Stamina for a More Energized Day
Experts found that schisandra is an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps naturally balance your hormones. Schisandra helps keep cortisol levels low, even during stressful periods caused by mental, physical, and environmental stressors. In animal studies, researchers gave schisandra to test subjects before holding them down physically restraining them, which caused physical stress. The researchers then measured their cortisol and nitric oxide levels and found that both were unchanged from before the physical restraining. The control group all had elevated levels of both post-restraint.
From these results, the researchers concluded that schisandra has anti-fatigue and anti-stress properties. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and it negatively impacts your brain, heart, immunity, and other organ systems when you have chronic elevated levels. Elevated nitric oxide levels have been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Researchers believe eating schisandra can help relieve anxiety and boost your stamina throughout the day because it helps relieve your stress. Researchers also found that patients with mild fatigue and weakness who were given schisandra experienced a boost in mental performance and endurance. They concluded that schisandra increases tolerance to mental exhaustion, like with mental stress. They also found that taking schisandra when you’re underperforming mentally can boost your attention and mental endurance.
Start taking schisandra today for a natural wellness boost! You’ll have more energy to do more things, experience better digestion, and you’ll be protecting your whole body.