Thursday, 7 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Schizandra

Schizandra is a shrub of the genus Schizandra, belonging to the family Schisandraceae, native to East Asia. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as adaptogen and sedative agent and to treat insomnia, irritation, palpitation, coronary heart disease, cognitive disorders, enhance immune system, reduce stress, etc.

Health Benefits 1. Visceral hyperalgesia
In the investigation of the effect of Schisandra chinensis on visceral hyperalgesia induced by neonatal maternal separation (NMS) in an IBS rat model, found that S. chinensis can reverse visceral hypersensitivity induced by neonatal-maternal separation, and the effect may be mediated through colonic 5-HT pathway in the rat, according to "Schisandra chinensis reverses visceral hypersensitivity in a neonatal-maternal separated rat model" by
Yang JM, Xian YF, Ip PS, Wu JC, Lao L, Fong HH, Sung JJ, Berman B, Yeung JH, Che CT.(1)

2. Immunomodulatory effects
In the evaluation of the immuno-modulating effect of a water-soluble polysaccharide named SCP-IIa of the fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.), using the immunosuppressed model induced by cyclophosphamide, found that SCP-IIa was involved in immunomodulatory effects leading to the exploration for SCP-IIa as a potential immunostimulant, according to "An immunostimulatory polysaccharide (SCP-IIa) from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill" by Chen Y, Tang J, Wang X, Sun F, Liang S.(2)

3. Antioxidant activity
In the identification of the chemical compounds of the essential oils of Schisandra chinensis seeds and berries without seeds extracts and their antioxidant effect found that the antioxidant activity of essential oil of berries without seeds (EOB) was higher than essential oil of seeds (EOS. The IC(50) values of EOB and EOS were 8.4 and 15.8 mg/mL, respectively. This study concluded that EOB and EOS were not only different in extraction yield but also in chemical composition and antioxidant activity, according to "Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of essential oil from berries of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill' by Liu CJ, Zhang SQ, Zhang JS, Liang Q, Li DS.(3)

4. Anti-HIV-1
In the investigation of isolation of the fruits of Schisandra wilsoniana. The structures of 1-3 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods to determine their effects on HIV-1, found that compounds 1-3 were also evaluated for their anti-HIV-1 activities and showed bioactivity with EC(50) values of 3.26, 6.18, and 2.87 microg/ml, respectively, according to "Dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans from the fruits of Schisandra wilsoniana and their anti-HIV-1 activities" by Yang GY, Li YK, Wang RR, Xiao WL, Yang LM, Pu JX, Zheng YT, Sun HD.(4)

5. Colon cancer
In the determination of Schizandra chinensis and its anti-cancer activity on colon carcinoma HCT-116 cells found that an active compound was found and identified to be Gomisin A. It displayed apoptotic activity through caspase-7 cleavage in colon carcinoma HCT-116 cells. In addition, we further assessed the effects of this compound using long-term survival clonogenic assay with HCT116 cells, according to "A compound isolated from Schisandra chinensis induces apoptosis" by Hwang D, Shin SY, Lee Y, Hyun J, Yong Y, Park JC, Lee YH, Lim Y.(5)

6. Leukemia
In the comparison of the pro-apoptotic effect of two dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans, gomisin A and gomisin N, isolated from Schizandra chinensis Baill, in U937 human promyelocytic leukemia cells in vitro, found that the cytotoxic effects and apoptotic characteristics induced by gomisin N were significantly inhibited by z-DEVD-fmk, a caspase-3 inhibitor, demonstrating the important role that caspase-3 plays in the process. We conclude that gomisin N induces the apoptosis of U937 cells through a signaling cascade of mitochondria-mediated intrinsic caspase pathways and gomisin N may be a useful chemotherapeutic agent, according to "Apoptosis induction of human leukemia U937 cells by gomisin N, a dibenzocyclooctadiene lignan, isolated from Schizandra chinensis Baill" by Kim JH, Choi YW, Park C, Jin CY, Lee YJ, Park da J, Kim SG, Kim GY, Choi IW, Hwang WD, Jeong YK, Kim SK, Choi YH.(6)

7. Cardioprotective effects

An aqueous extract of Schizandra chinensis (ScEx) was examined for its cardioprotective effects,
found that ScEx treatment restored endothelial function in rats that underwent balloon-induced carotid artery injury, and it reduced serum cholesterol levels in OVX rats. Similar to E2, ScEx exhibited hypotensive effects in OVX SHR. Therefore, ScEx and E2 exhibited similar cardioprotective effects, thereby suggesting that ScEx is a potential candidate to replace estradiol in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, according to "Cardioprotective effects of aqueous Schizandra chinensis fruit extract on ovariectomized and balloon-induced carotid artery injury rat models: effects on serum lipid profiles and blood pressure" by Kim EY, Baek IH, Rhyu MR.(7)

8. Atopic Dermatitis
In the investigation of Schizandra chinensis Baillon (SC) and its effects on atopic dermatitis (AD) is an allergic inflammatory skin disease caused by aberrant and over-reactive immune responses, found that SCE lessened DNCB-induced histamine receptor mRNA expression in skin tissue and the splenic expressions of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and high-affinity IgE receptor B protein. Conclusion: SCE appears useful for suppression of AD, even though the active pathway(s) remain unknown, according to "Inhibitory effects of Schizandra chinensis extract on atopic dermatitis in NC/Nga mice" by Kang YH, Shin HM.(8)

9. Relaxant effects
In the investigation schisandrin, schisandrol B, schisandrin A and schisandrin B, major lignans of Schisandra chinensis, and the ethanol extract contained higher amount of these lignans than the aqueous extract and theirs relaxant effect, found that schisandrin A also concentration-dependently inhibited ACh-induced contractions in Ca(2+)-free buffer. This study demonstrates that Schisandra chinensis exhibited relaxant effects on agonist-induced contraction in guinea pig ileum, with schisandrin, schisandrol B, schisandrin A and schisandrin B being the major active ingredients. The antispasmodic action of schisandrin A involved inhibitions on both Ca(2+) influx through L-type Ca(2+) channels and intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization, rather than specific antagonism of cholinergic muscarinic receptors, according to "Relaxant effects of Schisandra chinensis and its major lignans on agonists-induced contraction in guinea pig ileum" by Yang JM, Ip PS, Che CT, Yeung JH.(9)

10. Gastrointestinal effects
In the evaluation of the effects of Schisandra lignan extract (SLE) with short- and long-term pretreatment on regulating rat hepatic and intestinal CYP3A for a comprehensive evaluation of metabolism-based herb-drug interaction found that this study provides a comprehensive map for showing the complicated effects of SLE and its components on regulating rat CYP3A. The important findings are that SLE possesses a much stronger inducing than inhibiting effect on CYP3A, as well as a more intensive regulating effect on intestinal than hepatic CYP3A, according to "Effects of short-term and long-term pretreatment of Schisandra lignans on regulating hepatic and intestinal CYP3A in rats" by Lai L, Hao H, Wang Q, Zheng C, Zhou F, Liu Y, Wang Y, Yu G, Kang A, Peng Y, Wang G, Chen X.(10)

11. Cognitive function
In the Pretreating mice with schisandrin B (Sch B), an active dibenzocyclooctadiene derivative isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, at a daily dose of 0.125-0.5 mmol/kg for 3 days protected against the THA/bis(7)-THA induced hepatic oxidative damage in a dose-dependent manner, found that Sch B treatment (0.025-0.5 mmol/kg/day x 5) also enhanced the passive avoidance-response in mice as assessed by the step-through task experiment. The ensemble of results suggests that Sch B may be useful for reducing the potential hepatotoxicity of THA/bis(7)-THA in anti-Alzheimer's therapy, according to "Schisandrin B protects against tacrine- and bis(7)-tacrine-induced hepatotoxicity and enhances cognitive function in mice" by Pan SY, Han YF, Carlier PR, Pang YP, Mak DH, Lam BY, Ko KM.(11)

12. Etc.
Side effects
1. Overdose may cause nervous depression
2. Overdose may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach pain
3. Schizandra may cause allergic effect.
4. The herb may interact with other medication (a)
5. Etc.
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