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Instead of starting off your day with a cup of coffee, try some schizandra berry supplements to wake up your mind. And if you're too stressed at night to sleep, don't stay up watching late night television; take some schizandra berry supplements to calm you down. How can a single item have such apparently contradictory effects? According to thousands of years of traditional Chinese medicine, schizandra is an "adaptogenic" herb.
In 1958, Russian holistic doctor I.I. Brekhman and his colleague I.V. Dardymov coined the term "adaptogenic" to refer to any herb that "usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state." In other words, it doesn't matter whether you're too sleepy or too nervous; either way, schizandra will redirect you from an extreme to an ideal, balanced state. Schizandra may also provide additional medicinal benefits.
Around 2,000 years ago, Shen Nong first referred to schizandra as a valuable adaptogenic tonic. Since then, it has remained one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs in China, where it is taken to promote mental function, strengthen the sex organs and beautify the skin, according to Off the Shelf Natural Health by Mark Mayell.
In Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer, Donald R. Yance Jr. lists many of schizandra's uses, which include increasing mental and physical exercise capacities, as well as improving adaptability to darkness and other environmental stresses. Yance points out that, unlike caffeine, schizandra stimulates the central nervous system without creating an excitatory effect. Schizandra provides a mental boost without the jitteriness caused by caffeine.
Recent studies suggest that schizandra may offer some additional health benefits. According to Dr. Sheldon Saul Hendler's Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia, some research studies demonstrate that substances extracted from schizandra may help treat liver disorders. Other studies show that schizandra extracts may have cortisone-like effects on the immune system. These benefits definitely deserve more research interest, as schizandra may someday provide safer alternatives for traditional pharmaceutical medications.
The Chinese refer to schizandra tonic as the "five-flavored seed" because it tastes sour, bitter, sweet, acrid and salty. However, you don't have to taste its five flavors in order to obtain the benefits of schizandra. Schizandra berry supplements are becoming increasingly available at local stores worldwide and they are already easily purchased on the internet. Viable-herbal.com offers schizandra capsules for $6.62 a bottle, and be sure to browse through your local health food stores and the internet yourself for possibly better deals.
The experts speak on schizandra:
In the Far East, everyone from Chinese emperors to family herbalists has long recognized the remarkable powers of the herb schisandra to promote longevity and increase stamina. Its strengthening effect (see Chapter 4) is combined with system-balancing properties, making it ideal for such conditions as fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and lack of energy. Schisandra is one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs in China, where it is taken to beautify the skin, strengthen the sex organs, and promote mental function. Its use has more recently spread to Russia, Scandinavia, Western Europe, and the United States.
Essential oils are aromatic, concentrated plant extracts that are carefully obtained through steam distillation, cold pressing, or resin tapping.
|by: Dani Veracity|