Schizandra: sexual enhancer and youth tonic
The schizandra herb is highly prized by Chinese women as a sexual enhancer and youth tonic.
Schizandra is believed to preserve beauty and to be a mild sedative.
Schizandra is also reputed to be tonic for men.
Until recently coveted by the wealthy, and a favorite among the Chinese emperors, Schizandra is also considered an adaptogen and, similar to ginseng, it is believed to increase stamina and fight against fatigue.
Schizandra (Schizandra chinensis) of the family Schizandraceae is a creeping vine with small red berries that is native to Northern China.
In ancient China, Schizandra was used as a staple food for hunting and gathering tribes.
As a traditional medicinal herb, Schizandra, called Wu-wei-tzu in China, has been used as an astringent for a treatment for dry cough, asthma, night sweats, nocturnal seminal emissions and chronic diarrhea.
It is also used as a tonic for the treatment of chronic fatigue.
During the early 1980's Chinese doctors began researching Schizandra, based on its potential for liver-protective effects and the nature of its active constituents
Schizandra is now a recognized "adaptogen," capable of increasing the body's natural resistance.
Benefits of Schizandra
- In Asia, the schizandra adaptogenic property is said to stimulate immune defenses
- balance body function, normalize body systems
- help surgery recovery
- protect against radiation
- optimize energy in times of stress
- increase stamina
- protect against motion sickness
- normalize blood sugar, blood pressure, and high cholesterol
- shield against infection
- improve the health of the adrenals
- energize RNA-DNA molecules to rebuild cells and produce energy comparable to that of a young athlete
- Western herbalists commonly recommend Schizandra for the lungs, liver and kidneys, and to help with depression due to adrenergic exhaustion.
- In Russia, Schizandra is used to treat eye fatigue and increase acuity.
Studies conducted on Schizandra effects have noted that it has a stimulating effect in low doses, but this effect disappeared with larger doses.
The compounds thought responsible for the liver-protective effects of Schizandra are lignans composed of two phenylpropanoid.
More than 30 of these have been isolated in Schizandra and some 22 of which were tested in 1984 by the Japanese scientist H. Hikino for their ability to reduce the cytotoxic effects of carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine on cultured rat liver cells.
CAUTION: Schizandra should not be used during pregnancy except under medical supervision to promote uterine contractions during labor.
Schizandra should be avoided by persons with peptic ulcers, epilepsy and high blood pressure.
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