Schizandra (Schisandra) is a lush, green vine that grows the most beautiful red berries, kind of like a cluster of small grapes, and it is in these berries (and their seeds) that we find our herbal ally, the gorgeous schiz-niz.
This awesome herb also has some serious benefits when it comes to enhancing sexual function in men and women…I mean, doesn’t the word conjure an image in your mind of a sexy lady of the plant goddess realm? Say it slow…SCHIZ-AN-DRAAA…
Read on to find out 7 sexy benefits of the wonder-berry schizandra.
Most people know (or work out eventually) that the number one killer of a rad sex life is stress! Our HPA axis has a lot to explain for this! Schizandra is your friend here, as it helps to regulate the central nervous system, which as herbalist Ron Teeguarden observes, “can result in accurate and optimal balancing between the excitatory and inhibitory control functions of the cerebral cortex.” Basically, it can help bring us into a state of peace by balancing our brain. (Our brain is absolutely brilliant by the way, if you feel like going on a tangent, meet it, here). We can find peace of mind when our spirit is in balance, and from there, sexy times flow.
Schizandra offers great assistance to those suffering impotence and erectile dysfunction because of its ability to dilate the blood vessels, thus helping men achieve erections (and keep them, see below). We have a rad podcast on male's sexual health (but ladies, tune in too, it's a goodie.) As a side note: our Deer Antler can also help with sexual energies and libido, ashwagandha is also super potent for men and their sexual health.
Schizandra was used by hunters and nomads to improve endurance and reduce fatigue - aka to increase stamina and power. The Russian Army fed their soldiers a combination of schizandra, eleuthero and rhodiola to improve their resilience and performance, and Russian pilots took schizandra to enable them to withstand crazy altitudes. While it’s unlikely you’ll be having to hike for days on end through Siberia and Afghanistan, or fly high in the sky, maybe you can use your schizandra-stamina for having fun in the bedroom! In Asia, schizandra is used to increase a man’s staying power if there are issues with premature ejaculation, and it is said to increase warmth, sensation and sensitivity in female genital organs.
At different times in their cycle, postpartum and around menopause, women can experience vaginal dryness that inhibits their sexual function. Schizandra directly helps to reduce vaginal dryness by increasing the “Water Qi” in the sexual organs. Tune into our podcast episode with Kim Anami on Life-Changing Sex for more vaginal explorations. Schiz's astringent action conserves sexual fluids until the appropriate time for release. (It does the same for men, too, by keeping their sperm free and floating in a sea of perfect sperm juice).
Schizandara is super-high in antioxidants, which have been shown to help increase sperm motility and morphology, ejaculate volume, and sperm concentration as well as DNA integrity. Great sperm means that you’re a super healthy man, and it’s also important for making super babies! We've got two epic podcasts on pregnancy preparation and pregnancy health, incase you're interested. Antioxidants are one of the most important components to having healthy fertility that every woman needs to focus on, especially if you are wanting to support your egg health. Antioxidants help to protect the eggs from free radical damage and can prevent the eggs from prematurely ageing and dying.
The primary active constituents in schizandra are lignans. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen that are found in a variety of plant foods. Bacteria in the human intestines convert lignans to lignan precursors which are known to have weak, but beneficial estrogenic activity within the body. These lignan precursors and the plant’s fibre attach to excess estrogen so it can be removed via the body’s systems of elimination. Basically the more toxic estrogens that are removed, the more balanced your sex hormones, and the more chance you have of your libido soaring! If you want to explore more about hormones and living long and vibrantly, check out this podcast episode 'Female Hormones', you're going to love it.
Schizandra is traditionally thought to be an ovulation inducer. This is most likely because schizandra supports the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis, allowing the hormones to come back into balance. The hormones that increase during the fertile window (just before ovulation) create a libido boost. Good to know, right?
The standard Taoist prescription for schizandra is to take approx. 1 tsp every single day for three months and see what happens.