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Since May 10th 2008

Initial S

Sambucus nigra

Serenoa repens
Silybum marianum
Syzygium aromaticum
Schisandra chinensis
Scutellaria baicalensis
Sonchus arvensis



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Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill. (Schisandraceae)

Idesia polycarpa Morr. et de Vos, Kadsura chinensis Turcz., Maximowiczia amurensis Rupr., M. chinensis Rupr., M. sinensis Rupr., Maximowitschia japonica A. Gray, Polycarpa maximowiczii Morr. et de Vos, Schisandra chinensis var. typica Nakai, Schizandra japonica Sieb. et Zucc.,Sphaerostemma japonicum A. Gray

Local names
Bac ngu vi tu, bei wuweizi, Chinesischer Limonenbaum, Chinese magnolia vine, Chinese mock-barberry, chosen-gomishi, lemonwood, limonnik kitajskij, matsbouza, m mei gee, ngu mei gee, northern magnoliavine, o-mee-ja, o-mi-d’ja, o-mi-ja, omicha, ornija, pen ts’ao, schisandra, heng-mai-yin, wu-wei-zi, wu-weitzu

A deciduous woody climbing vine, up to 8 m long. Leaves alternate, petiolate, ovate or oblong-obovoid, 5–11 cm long, 2–7 cm wide, apex acute or acuminate; base cuneate or broadly cuneate, membranous. Flowers unisexual, dioecious, solitary or clustered axillary, yellowish-white to pinkish; male flower stalked, with fi ve stamens, fi laments united into a short column; female flower has numerous carpels. Fruits, 5–8 mm in diameter, arranged into a long spike with globular, deep-red berries. Seeds, one to two per berry, reniform, shiny, smooth, yellowish brown, 4.5 mm long, 3.5 mm in diameter

Plant material used
dried ripe fruits

Chemical assays
Contains not less than 0.4% schizandrin (schisandrin, schisandrol A, wuweizichun A) determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additional high-performance liquid chromatography and highperformance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry methods are available

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are lignans of biological interest with the dibenzo[ α,c]cyclooctadiene skeleton. Among the approximately 30 lignans are schizandrin (schisandrin, schisandrol A, wuweizichun A, 0.2–0.7%), gomisin A (schisandrol B, wuweizichun B, wuweizi alcohol B, 0.1–3.0%), deoxyschizandrin (deoxyschisandrin, schisandrin A, wuweizisu A, 0.1– 9.0%), (±)-γ-schizandrin (schisandrin B, γ-schisandrin B, wuweizisu B, 0.1–5.0%), and gomisin N (pseudo-γ-schisandrin B, 0.1–0.5%)

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None. Although some clinical evidence supports the use of Fructus Schisandrae for the treatment of psychosis, gastritis, hepatitis and fatigue, data from controlled clinical trials are lacking.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Treatment of chronic cough and asthma, diabetes, urinary tract disorders. As a general tonic for treating fatigue associated with illness.

Uses described in traditional medicine
As an astringent, antitussive, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant and sedative

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Anti-inflammatory, Antihepatotoxic, Antioxidant, Antitumour, Ergogenic (performance enhancer)

Human studies
Ergogenic (performance enhancer), Antiulcer

Adverse reactions
Minor adverse effects such as heartburn, acid indigestion, stomach pain, anorexia, allergic skin reactions and urticaria have been reported.

No information available.

Symptoms of overdose include restlessness, insomnia or dyspnoea.

Drug interactions
The fruits may have depressant effects on the central nervous system and should not therefore be used in conjunction with other CNS depressants,such as sedatives or alcohol. They have been shown to stimulate the activity of hepatic cytochrome P450. While no drug interactions have been reported, co-administration of prescription drugs metabolized through cytochrome P450, such as cyclosporin, warfarin, protease inhibitors, St John’s wort, estrogen and progesterone combinations, should only be undertaken under the supervision of a health-care provider, owing to the inductive effects of the fruits on phase I and II drugmetabolizing enzymes.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
An aqueous or methanol extract of the fruits was not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100, or in the Bacillus subtilis H-17 recombination assay at concentrations of up to 100.0 mg/ml.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
In one uncontrolled investigation, 20–25 drops of a tincture (70% ethanol) of the fruits were administered to pregnant women three times per day for 3 days. Induction of labour was observed after the second dose followed by an increase in active labour 2–3 hours after the initial induction. The activity was most pronounced in women who had previously given birth. Shortened labour times were reported and no negative effects regarding blood pressure, elimination of the placenta, or postnatal health of mother and infant were observed. In another investigation, an increase in the amplitude of uterine contractions (28 mm compared with 5 mm in controls) and uterine tension was observed after subcutaneous administration of 0.1 ml/kg bw of a tincture of the fruits to pregnant rabbits. The activity was observed 1.5 hours after administration and persisted for 4 hours. A study conducted on women living in the Bryansk region of Ukraine, near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident, assessed the effects of adaptogen administration on the health status of developing fetuses in pregnant women exposed to constant low-level radiation. The symptoms of placental insufficiency improved, fetal protein status was stabilized, obstetric complications were reduced, and the health status of the newborn infants was improved. No substantiating data were provided in this report, and no information regarding the preparations or dosages administered or the effect of the preparation on uterine contractions was given. Owing to a lack of further safety data regarding the effect of Fructus Schisandrae on neonatal development, its use during pregnancy is not recommended

Nursing mothers
Owing to a lack of safety data, the use of Fructus Schisandrae during nursing is not recommended.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or on precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions; teratogenic effects in pregnancy; or paediatric use.

Dosage forms
Dried fruits and tinctures, extracts and powders prepared from the fruits. Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Average daily dose: 1.5–6.0 g of the dried fruits


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