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Schisandra

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Schisandra chinensis Baillon, S. arisanensis Hayata, S.sphenanthera Rehd, S. rubriflora Franch. Family: Schizandraceae

COMMON NAME(S): Schisandra, schizandra; gomishi, hoku-gomishi, kita-gomishi (Japanese); wu-wei-zu (Chinese)

Schisandra has astringent properties on the lungs and can help dry up diarrhea which helps with cold and flu symptoms. Even though it is astringent, it can promote production of some body fluids including those of the sexual organs. This gives schisandra it's reputation as a non irritating aphrodisiac.

History

Schisandra is one of the many traditional Chinese medicines that are recommended for coughs and various nonspecific pulmonary diseases. It has been studied extensively in Chinese and Japanese literature. Schisandra had been used for healing purposes for more than 2000 years. It is often used as an ethanolic tincture. The Chinese name for the plant, "wu-wei-zu," means "5­flavored herb" because of the flavor of me 5 main "elemental energies" of the plant. The fruit has a salty, sour taste.

Botany :- The family Schizandraceae (Schisandraceae) comprises 2 genera ( Schisandra and Kadsura). Schisandra spp are climbing, aromatic trees with white, pink, yellow, or reddish male or female flowers. The fruits are globular and red with several kidney-shaped seeds.The fruit is harvested in autumn when fully ripened. S. chinensis is native to northeastern and north central China and is found in eastern Russia.

Uses of Schisandra

Schisandra has been used as a tonic and restorative, as well as for liver protection, nervous system effects, respiratory treatment, and gastrointestinal therapy.

Side Effects of Schisandra

Research indicates that side effects are infrequent, although schisandra has the ability to produce profound central nervous system depression and may interfere with the metabolism of other concurrently administered drugs.

Schisandra also improves liver function which helps produce beautiful skin. Its adaptogenic properties help the bodies ability to handle stress.

Toxicology

Schisandra has the capability to produce profound CNS depression. Because of its documented effects on hepatic and gastric enzyme activity, it is possible that schisandra may interfere with the metabolism of other concurrently administered drugs. The full spectrum of the clinical effects of the plant on the liver are not well documented, and the safety of the plant has not been established scientifically. However, research does not report any incidence of toxic side effects.

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