The liver is one of our body's most important organs. It cleanses and detoxifies the blood, aids in digestion, and processes our hormones. In other traditional medical systems, the liver is also responsible for maintaining good mental health and managing stress.
Unfortunately, imbalanced lifestyle habits and diet can wreak havoc on our liver health and lead to issues like stress, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.
Thankfully, we can take steps to reverse liver damage and protect our liver. Along with a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management practices, an herbal tonic like Schisandra berry can help speed up liver recovery and protect against future damage.
Let's learn more about Schisandra berry and see what the science says about its potential as a liver tonic!
What Is Schisandra Berry?
Schisandra berry (Schisandra Chinensis) is a fruit-bearing vine native to Russia, China, and Korea.
Schisandra is a popular adaptogenic herb that was first used in Chinese Medicine. As a healing tonic for over 2000 years, this berry is thought to relieve stress and balance internal organ systems.
Schisandra is also referred to as five-flavor fruit because it possesses five distinct flavors that correspond to five elements (and five organs) of traditional Chinese medicine: sweet (Earth, Spleen), sour (Wood, Liver), salty (Water, Kidneys), spicy (Metal, Lungs), and bitter (Fire, Heart). The most predominant flavor of the Schisandra berry, however, is sour. It is a tart and vibrant berry and is, therefore, most often related to cooling and cleansing the Liver in Chinese medicine.
But in modern herbal medicine, Schisandra is used as a healing tonic for various health issues. It has been used to treat chronic cough, asthma, skin allergies, diarrhea, hepatitis, and more.
Schisandra Berry Benefits
Schisandra Berry Improves Brain Health
Could taking a simple sour berry improve your focus and memory? Studies show that Schisandrin B (Sch B), a bioactive compound found in Schisandra extract, could improve focus, concentration, and memory. This compound protects the brain and nerve cells from oxidative damage, preventing age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, the lignans extracted from the Schisandra fruit extract have been discovered to be anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and enhance overall brain function.
Schisandra Berry Is Rich In Antioxidants And Could Help Reverse Liver Damage
Schisandra berry is considered a liver tonic in Chinese medicine, and the research agrees. When 45 patients with impaired liver function were administered Schisandra extract, their liver function improved significantly. They also saw an increased presence of antioxidants and flavonoids (specifically quercetin and hesperetin) to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative damage.
Schisandra Helps To Quell Menopausal Symptoms
Hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety are common symptoms among menopausal women, but Schisandra may help. A 12-month study revealed that Schisandra extract could help alleviate symptoms like heart palpitations, hot flashes, and sweating in menopausal women after a daily dose of Schisandra extract for six weeks.
Schisandra Berry Reduces Stress And Boosts Mood
Want to reduce your stress, anxiety, or depression naturally? There is some evidence that Schisandra acts as a natural stress-reliever and antidepressant. Studies show that Schisandra berry is an adaptogen, which means it can help the body grow more resilient to stress. It helps to balance body functions, regulates blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and manages stress hormones.
Schisandra Berry Boosts The Immune System
Schisandra is a potent antioxidant that both protects the immune system and regulates it. For instance, if the immune system is weak, studies show that it can help boost immune cells' function. In autoimmune disease, when the immune system is overactive, Schisandra may help reduce excessive reactions and calm inflammation. Schisandra could be a supportive herb in both mild immune issues or chronic disease and cancers.
Schisandra Berry And Liver Health - Does It Really Work?
With Schisandra's potently sour flavor, Chinese medicine teaches us that this berry most directly corresponds to the liver system to improve health and detoxification.
When healthy, the liver acts to breakdown fats and hemoglobin while also producing bile for digestion. It helps to regulate levels of amino acids and glucose in the blood and supports the production of blood plasma protein and cholesterol. The liver joins the kidney to clear the blood of drugs, toxins, and other waste products that can either be recycled or excreted.
Unfortunately, an unhealthy diet and excessive alcohol consumption can stress the liver and prevent it from functioning. Eventually, the liver may become diseased, and liver failure occurs.
The antioxidants and lignans in Schisandra extract help to check stress-and alcohol-induced liver damage. To prevent damage to the liver and support its normal function, we can use Schisandra berry along with a customized liver wellness plan. Here's how Schisandra helps improve the most common liver conditions:
Schisandra For Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Taking Schisandra extract can prevent fat accumulation in the liver and may help to reverse both alcohol-induced and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies show that Schisandra helps inhibit the cellular stress that may cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Since NAFLD is related to obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance, Schisandra may also improve overall health. Schisandra extract can help encourage fat loss by speeding up metabolism and controlling insulin sensitivity. Schisandra also helps lower the levels of hepatic triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol.
Schisandra For Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is caused by chronic poor liver health, usually from excessive alcohol consumption and hepatitis. It leads to irreversible scarring of the liver and the death of liver cells.
Using Schisandra could prevent this scar tissue from forming and reduce the risk of cirrhosis becoming worse. It is believed to work by promoting enzymatic reactions that heal the Liver and encourage the production of healthy liver cells.
Schisandra fruit extracts also reduce the levels of a specific enzyme called glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, or SGPT. This enzyme is a marker for liver damage, with a higher SGPT level, meaning more damage. After taking Schisandra, those with liver damage tend to report lower levels of this and other markers and better liver health.
How To Use Schisandra Berry
With all of Schisandra's potential health benefits, it's time to put it to use! Let's learn more about the ways to use Schisandra to improve our liver and overall health.
Try Schisandra Berry Powder
You can use Schisandra in its powdered form. To make an herbal tonic, mix a tablespoon of powder in a glass of water and drink before lunch and dinner. Or, add Schisandra powder to smoothies for an antioxidant boost.
Schisandra Berry Tea
Schisandra berries make a delicious, tart antioxidant tea. For a relaxing, stress-relieving tea blend, include dried grated ginger and dried licorice (the root, not the candy!). Steep Schisandra tea for 10 minutes, then strain and add honey to taste. Alternatively, you can steep dried Schisandra berry in cold water overnight. Strain the tea by morning and add honey to taste.
Schisandra Supplements Or Whole Fruits
Schisandra can be found as extracts, pills, and capsules for daily use.
Dr. Danielle's Adrenal Wellness Stress Lift is a high-quality blend of adaptogens to reduce stress and harmonize the body. Schisandra is a key ingredient in the Adrenal Wellness® blend for its ability to strengthen the body's natural resilience, boost mental clarity, and enhance overall wellness.
Alternatively, Dr. Danielle’s Liver Assist is also a potent liver tonic that uses milk thistle to encourage optimal liver function and restore healthy liver cells.
Cleanse And Protect With Schisandra Berry For Liver Health
Schisandra berry, or the five-flavor-fruit, is a time-tested herbal medicinal with a wide range of healing abilities. While it can help restore kidney, heart, spleen, and lung health, it is most well-known for boosting liver health and supporting the body's strength and resilience.
Ready to heal your liver with Schisandra? Try Dr. Danielle’s Liver Assist or Try Dr. Danielle's Adrenal Wellness Stress Lift blend with Schisandra berry extract today!