Schisandra is a creeping vine with small red berries that is native to Northern China. In ancient China, it was used as a staple food for hunting and gathering tribes and as a traditional medicinal herb. Today, it is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine. The berries are called wu wei zi in Chinese, translated as "five-flavor fruit," based on their salty, sweet, sour, pungent and bitter flavors.
Schisandra contains lignans which activate enzymes in liver cells to produce the antioxidant glutathione, phytosterols and vitamin C and E. Research has proven it to be an “adaptogen,” which means it is capable of increasing the body’s resistance to disease, stress, and other debilitating processes.
Schisandra has several athletic benefits:
- Delays physical and mental fatigue
- May help recover from overtraining syndrome
- Improves endurance
- May prolong exhaustion time
- May speed up injury recovery times
- Improves mental acuity and alertness
- Reduces damage from oxidative stress
- Decreases inflammation