Many times we are faced with the dilemma of taking a supplement that can enhance our mood but may bring along anxiety and other unwanted side effects. So obviously the rational decision to make is to find a supplement that does not come burdened with such adverse effects or better a supplement that relieves anxiety as well as boosts your mood. This is where the schisandra berry comes in, a natural remedy for many common ailments throughout history, anxiety among them. So, where does this mysterious fruit that is also referred to as the five flavor berry come from, and what exactly is at work here to create such an effect?
The schisandra berry grows on the schisandra chinensis vine which is mainly found in eastern Asia. The bioactive components can be found throughout the plant but are most concentrated in the berries; therefore they are what we will focus on in this analysis of the fruit. No, nobody expects you to fly half way around the world (depending on where you are located!) to obtain the schisandra berry just as nobody expects you to import such a delicate fruit from some foreign country. Rest assured, the extract of this berry is what we are after and can be found fairly easily in most regions of the world.
Research surrounding schisandra is fairly conclusive in the fact that it is a powerful anti-anxiety supplement in addition to its ability to boost ones mood through lowering stress levels and enhancing performance in many facets of life. The Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Natural Products concluded through animal research that regular ingestion of the schisandra extract lead to a reversal in stress-related anxiety as well as an increase in cognitive function in subjects. The schisandra berry is a classic example of a fruit that demonstrates adaptogenic activity, which means it is completely safe, non-toxic and specifically reduces both mental and physical stress. This is the good stuff, just what we are looking for in a natural remedy to one of life’s age old problems. It doesn’t stop there though; the schisandra berry has been shown to improve coordination, concentration, and even endurance. Sometimes when we begin to break down the science behind ancient Chinese culture and herb usage we reach the point where the benefits are just be too good to be true, but they are true and there is a reason these powerful supplements have been used for thousands of years.
The focus of this analysis has been on the anti-anxiety and mood boosting effects surrounding the schisandra berry but the benefits do not stop there. While some may be so bold as to try the schisandra berry in its raw form others should opt to explore other options when it comes to supplementing the super fruit. Extract in powder form is the most common and easily accessible form and is what I recommend for any that may be interested in adding schisandra to your stack. As always pay attention to your body’s individual response and always read the packaging information on your particular supplement for more information on dosing.