If you’re having sleep troubles due to stress and the inability to unwind at night, schisandra may be the answer to getting more sleep and much more.
You may not have heard of schisandra before because it’s been overshadowed by a more popular yet similar herb (in terms of sleep benefits), ginseng.
However, schisandra is safer to use and may do more for your health and sleep than popular ginseng.
What Is Schisandra?
For centuries in Asia, wooden vines have been creeping upside walls and arbors carrying beautiful flowers and bright red berries known as wu wei zi. Or, as it’s more commonly known in America, Schisandra (sometimes misspelled as schizandra).1
Wu wei zi means fruit of five flavors because as you bite into schisandra berries they ooze a flavor combination of sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and spicy.
This beautiful berry has been used in teas, juices, tinctures, and health drinks. However, schisandra is much more than just a “health” drink.
Schisandra & Sleep
If you’ve been having sleep problems, you most likely have tried many over-the-counter sleep aids. But have they worked?
Today’s sleep aids can cause psychedelic, paranormal dreams, dependency, and hangovers.
So, wouldn’t be nice to have a safe solution for insomnia that could also be the answer to your other health annoyances? schisandra may be just that.
Schisandra Sleep Study
One study performed on mice and rats reported some impressive findings that shows just how the schisandra fruit can help get you more rest. 2
The study demonstrated that the berries inhibited motor activity, extended sleep time, faster time to fall asleep, and deeper sleep.
It’s clear through this study that schisandra can be used as a hypnotic sedative to help you remedy sleeplessness.
And it gets better…
Schisandra Side Effects
With all this good news about schisandra and sleep, you may be wondering…what are the drawbacks?
Although schisandra should not be used during pregnancy and avoided by those with peptic ulcers, epilepsy and hypertension, except under guidance form a medical professional.3
Of course, any herb or supplement taken in excess — or in the wrong combination with another drug or if you have a pre-existing health condition does warrant caution.
That being said, schisandra is very safe for sleep, unlike ginseng which may cause insomnia.
How Does schisandra Get You To Rest?
Schisandra is an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that can actual tune your body back into balance and harmony when you feel frazzled.4
Also, adaptogens can give you a little mental and physical boost when you’re dragging. This is the beauty of adaptogens. Whether you are feeling overly up or down, adaptogens can restore balance to your body.
So, schisandra can bring you down and slow your racing mind when you can’t seem to relax. If you lay awake at night suffering from stress or anxiety, schisandra may help you drift off to sleep.
Think of it as an automatic pilot for your body; if your body needs to slow down, it steps on the brakes, and if you need to speed up, it steps on the gas pedal.
As a result, the herb can put you to rest by reducing stress and anxiety. It’s even thought to help sleep by reducing night sweats and restless leg syndrome, two other sleep disrupting conditions.5
Schisandra – The Powerhouse of Adaptogens
Schisandra contains a lot of nutrients, which make it a powerhouse among adaptogens.
It contains phytochemicals, essential oils, lignans, vitamins A and C, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, silica, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
Besides the vitamins and minerals, this herb also contains lignans called schizandrol, gamma-schizandrin, Schizandrin and deoxyschizandrin.
Other Health Benefits Of Schisandra
Due to all of the nutrients in schisandra, it has numerous health benefits other than being a sleep aid.
Schisandra can help reduce inflammation, improve mental performance, protect skin, improve liver function, reduce stress, and even help your sex life, all with little to no side effects!
Do You Eat, Drink, Or Pill-Pop Schisandra?
Schisandra comes in many forms, so how you consume it is up to you.
Follow the directions below according to your preferred option.
- Schisandra Tincture – 20-30 drops daily.
- Schisandra Powder – 3 grams daily.
- Schisandra Tea – Steep 3 grams in hot water for 40-60 minutes.
- Schisandra Supplement – 1-3 grams in pill form with meals.
The above are just guidelines and you should always refer to the products packaging along with consulting with your doctor before including any natural sleep aid to your diet.
Don’t know how to add schisandra to your diet? Many people brew it as a tasty tea or add it to a berry smoothie.
Dr. Kevin Dobrzynski, DN