Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

SCHISANDRA

Other Names:

Bac Ngu Vi Tu, Baie de Schisandra, Beiwuweizi, Bei Wu Wei Zi, Chinese Mongolavine, Chinese Schizandra, Chinesischer Limonenbaum, Chosen-Gomischi, Five-Flavor-Fruit, Five-Flavor-Seed, Fructus Schisandrae, Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis, Fruit aux ...
See All Names

SCHISANDRA Overview
SCHISANDRA Uses
SCHISANDRA Side Effects
SCHISANDRA Interactions
SCHISANDRA Dosing
SCHISANDRA Overview Information

Schisandra is a plant. The fruit is used as food and also to make medicine.

Schisandra is used as an “adaptogen” for increasing resistance to disease and stress, increasing energy, and increasing physical performance and endurance.

Schisandra is also used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery.

It is also used for treating liver disease (hepatitis) and protecting the liver from poisons. The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra.

Other uses for schisandra include treatment of high cholesterol, coughs, asthma, sleep problems (insomnia), nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, involuntary discharge of semen, thirst, erectile dysfunction (ED), physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss.

Some people use schisandra for improving vision, protecting against radiation, preventing motion sickness, preventing infection, boosting energy at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of sugar, and improving the health of the adrenal glands.

How does it work?

The chemicals in schisandra improve liver function by stimulating enzymes (proteins that speed up biochemical reactions) in the liver and promoting liver cell growth.

SCHISANDRA Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Improving liver function in patients with hepatitis. Schisandra fruit extracts reduce blood levels of an enzyme called glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) in patients with hepatitis. SGPT level is a marker for liver damage. A higher SGPT level means more damage; a lower SGPT means less damage.
  • Improving concentration, coordination, and endurance.

Insufficient Evidence for:

More evidence is needed to rate schisandra for these uses.


SCHISANDRA Side Effects & Safety

Schisandra fruit is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. It can cause heartburn, upset stomach, decreased appetite, stomach pain, skin rash, and itching.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Schisandra is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is some evidence that it might cause the uterus to contract, and this might lead to miscarriage. Don’t use it.

Not enough is known about the safety of schisandra during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Epilepsy: At least one expert warns against using schisandra if you have epilepsy. The reason for this warning is not clear, but it may be due to a concern that schisandra could possibly stimulate the central nervous system.

Gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD) or peptic ulcers: Schisandra might make these conditions worse by increasing stomach acid.

High brain (intracranial) pressure: There is a concern that schisandra might make this condition worse because it could possibly stimulate the central nervous system.

SCHISANDRA Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with SCHISANDRA

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
    Schisandra might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking schisandra along with medications that are broken down by the liver might decrease the effects of these medications. Before taking schisandra, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications changed by the liver include celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), fluvastatin (Lescol), glipizide (Glucotrol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), phenytoin (Dilantin), piroxicam (Feldene), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), tolbutamide (Tolinase), torsemide (Demadex), and warfarin (Coumadin).

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with SCHISANDRA

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Schisandra might change how the liver breaks down some medications. Taking schisandra along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase or decrease the effects of these medications. Before taking schisandra, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), diltiazem (Cardizem), estrogens, indinavir (Crixivan), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Tacrolimus (Prograf) interacts with SCHISANDRA

    Schisandra might increase how much tacrolimus (Prograf) is absorbed from the gut. Taking schisandra along with tacrolimus (Prograf) might increase the effects and side effects of tacrolimus (Prograf). The dose of your tacrolimus (Prograf) might need to be changed if it is taken with schisandra.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with SCHISANDRA

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. The body breaks down warfarin (Coumadin) to get rid of it. Schisandra might increase the breakdown and decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.


SCHISANDRA Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For hepatitis: Schisandra extract standardized to 20 mg lignan content (equivalent to 1.5 grams crude schisandra) given daily.
  • For improving mental and physical performance: 500 mg to 2 grams of schisandra extract daily or 1.5-6 grams of crude schisandra daily. 5-15 grams daily of a boiled tea made from crude schisandra has also been used. People have also taken 100 mg of schisandra extract twice daily. Appropriate dosing may vary depending on extract type and the lignan content.

See 13 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.