10 Schisandra Oil Benefits For Major & Minor Diseases
From improving your eye vision to slowing down your aging signs, the Schisandra oil benefits are just incredible. It is claimed to be a superfood and has been traditionally used in the Chinese medicines.
Did you know that schisandra berries gained its first recognition in Russia only in the 1960s? Yes, that’s true. It is used as an effective “adaptogen” and helps increase resistance to stress and diseases, enhances energy, and increases physical performance as well as endurance.
Let’s understand other interesting benefits of schisandra oil in detail.
What is schisandra oil?
Schisandra essential oil is extracted from the dried fruits of Schisandra chinensis through the process of CO2 extraction. The oil is aromatic and has a long history of use for various medical conditions, to improve the longevity, and boost general wellbeing. (1)
Scientific name of schisandra oil
The botanical name of Schisandra is Schisandra chinensis.
History of schisandra oil
Schisandra chinensis has a woody and aromatic smell. It grows up to 25 feet and blooms pink flowers. It has red berries, hot and fragrant seeds. Schisandra grows in Northeastern China, Russia, and Korea.
It belongs to the family called Schisandraceasa. S.chinensis has other names such as SCE, five-flavor berry, Magnolia Vines, Wu wei zi, and Omicha.
It is well known for various health benefits and has also been confirmed by different studies.
The European Union legal regulations state that a food product can be considered a source of a particular substance if it contains more than 15% of the RDI of that substance in 100 g of the product.
Owing to schisandra’s unique properties such as antioxidant, liver-protective, and anti-cancer activities, it has been traditionally used for treating various heart or digestive disorders in South-Eastern Asia & Russia.
Schisandra fruits yield the essential oil via various methods such as:
- Steam distillation
- CO2 extraction
- Solvent-free microwave extraction (SFME)
Lignans are the compounds responsible for Schisandra’s health benefits. Dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans are the most predominant lignans present in SCE and are also known as Schisandra lignans. The major aromatic compounds present in the oil are ylangene, α-himachalene, and β-himachalene.
Color, Consistency, and Smell of schisandra oil
- The color of schisandra oil is reddish brown.
- The consistency of schisandra oil is thin.
- The smell of schisandra oil is sweet and sour.
Properties of schisandra essential oil
The medicinal properties of schisandra oil are:
- Antioxidant – Prevents diseases
- Antibacterial – Fights bacteria
- Anticancer – Fights against cancer
- Antidiabetic – Normalizes blood sugar levels
- Anti-obesity – Helps in cutting down excess weight
- Anti-aging – Prevents skin aging due to excess exposure to sunlight
- Senescence – Age-related deterioration of body
- Adaptogenic – Increases body’s endurance
- Antidepressant – Fights depression, anxiety, and stress
- Cardioprotective – Protects heart health
- Stimulant – Increases the activity of the central nervous system
- Detoxifier – Eliminates toxins
- Preservative – Helps preserve food
- Antiviral – Fights against virus
- Ergogenic – Increases the physical performance of athletes
- Tonic – Boosts overall wellbeing
Besides the above, other properties of schisandra include:
- Protects against osteoarthritis – bone inflammation
- Fights sarcopenia – losing muscle mass with aging
- Tackles weakness
- Boosts immunity
- Fights PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome), which occurs before periods
- Helps in post-surgical healing
- Lowers tension
- Improves your eye health
- Lowers cholesterol
- Treats diarrhea (loose stools)
- Protects your ears and prevents hearing loss
- Lowers bad cholesterol (unhealthy fat)
- Improves male fertility
- Improves liver health
- Fights liver infections such as hepatitis
- Improves sleep and fights sleeplessness
- Fights dehydration (lack of water in the body)
- Fights skin diseases such as eczema/ reddish rashes
- Fights asthma, a disease wherein there is a constriction of airways, inflammation, and excess mucus production
- Fights cough
- Prevents excessive sweating by preventing perspiration
- Fights mitochondrial disorders/ diseases which cause low energy
- Improves stamina
- Improves intellect
- Enhances flavor
- Boosts taste as well as the nutritional value of food
- Reduces hunger
- Protects nerves
- Fights dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Helps you improve amnesia (loss of memory)
Chemical compounds in schisandra oil
The main components of schisandra oil include:
- 1,7- dimethyl-7-(4-methyl-3-pentenyl)-Tricyclo heptanes
- 1,2,3,4,4a,5,6,8a-octahydro-7- methyl-4-methylene-1-(1-methylethyl)-Naphthalene
- 1-methyl-4-(1- methylethyl)-1,3-Cyclohexadiene
- (R)-1-methyl4-(1,2,2-trimethylcyclopentyl)- Benzene
- α farnesene
Health benefits of schisandra oil
Though schisandra oil benefits are abundant, the most popular ones found by recent studies include:
- Inhibits oxidative stress
- Fights against bacteria
- Prevents cough
- Prevents genetic diseases
- Reduces inflammation
- Effective against tumor cells
- Fights insomnia
- A natural food preservative
- Controls diabetes
- Prevents atherosclerosis & thrombosis
1. Inhibits oxidative stress
Schisandra chinensis oil has rich antioxidant properties. Oxidation is a process which results in harmful free radicals. Daily aging, harmful radiations, and routine processes such as digestion result in free radicals due to pollution. Those free radicals cause many diseases and early aging.
However, the antioxidants in schisandra essential oil helps in fighting those free radicals. The researchers extracted Schisandra oil via an orthogonal experiment (L9 (3)4) to optimize the extraction process. 800 W – microwave power, 0.25 mm – diameter of powder particles, 45 minutes of extraction time, and proportion of water pretreatment – 30% were the optimal conditions, which yielded 1.75% of oil.
The researchers conducted DPPH and β-Carotene–linoleic acid bleaching assay to assess the antioxidant potential.
- Via DPPH assay, the IC50of oil was 87 mg/mL.
- Via β-Carotene–linoleic acid bleaching assay, at a concentration of 1.8 mg/mL, the inhibitory percentage was 41.88%.
The research concluded that the oil is a natural antioxidant. Thanks to its flavonoids and phenolic acids. Schisandra fruits are rich in flavonoids such as isoquercitin, quercetin, and its derivatives—quercetin 3-galactoside (hyperoside,) and quercetin 3-rutinoside (rutin). Few studies have confirmed SCE protects the heart, liver, and brain against oxidative damage. (2, 3)
2. Fights against bacteria
Schisandra chinensis EO (Essential Oil) fights bacteria, states a study published in 2011. The researchers assessed the efficacy of the oil on the following bacteria:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Staphylococcus epidermidis
- Bacillus subtilis
- Proteus vulgaris
- Escherichia coli
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
The oil was effective on all the bacteria that were tested. Another study states that SCE seed oil is effective against Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Bacillus cereus, Micrococcus luteus, and Serratia marcescens, and is confirmed by the disc diffusion method.
The oil penetrates through the outer wall of bacteria; thus, causing their destruction. Thanks to its rich antibacterial properties. (4)
3. Prevents cough
Schisandra essential oil helps you to fight cough and asthma. You can directly inhale the oil from the bottle or massage the diluted oil over your chest for relief. (5)
Asthma is a disease where there is a constriction and inflammation of airways, along with excess mucus production, which makes it difficult for you to breathe.
4. Prevents genetic diseases
Schisandra chinensis oil prevents DNA damage, and further, assists in DNA repair, states a paper published in 2019, which discusses the capabilitie of Schisandra chinensis in human health and nutrition.
DNA carries genetic information and is a part of cells which form the basic units of the human body. Any damage to DNA causes diseases, and S.chinensis oil can prevent as well as undo the damage. (6)
5. Reduces inflammation
Plenty of studies states that the dried fruits of S.Chinensis have considerable anti-inflammatory properties and are well known for the same since ages. They treat chronic or long-term inflammatory diseases.
A study examined the anti-inflammatory effects of Schisandrae Fructus’ ethanol extract on the production of pro-inflammatory substances (which indicate inflammation) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages.
The researchers tested the effects of Schisandra chinensis via cell viability assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting analysis, immunofluorescence staining, and Griess reagent assay.
6. Effective against tumor cells
Schisandra chinensis EO fights against cancer. Tumor is the growth of unwanted cells, which form a lump. Cancer is a deadly disease where there is an abnormal growth that spreads from one part of the body to other.
Schisandra chinensis EO fights cancer via the following mechanisms:
- It prevents the multiplication of abnormal cells.
- It induces the death of abnormal cells via mechanisms like apoptosis/engulfing.
- Prevents metastasis/ spreading of cancer cells from one part of the body to other
Schisandra chinensis has constituents such as gomisin N, which is active against different types of cancers such as colon, human alveolar basal epithelial adenocarcinoma, breast, kidney, liver, blood cancer, and ovary.
The overdose 3.6 g/kg can be toxic though. Kee et al. studied the anticancer activity of gomisin N present in Schisandra and confirmed it’s active against colorectal cancer cell lines while not affecting the healthy colon cells. (7)
7. Fights insomnia
Insomnia is a condition characterized by the inability to sleep. This is a habitual sleeplessness where it usually takes longer time for you to fall asleep, waking up too many times, taking longer to fall back to sleep again, having a feeling of tiredness, or needing to sleep more in the morning.
Insomniacs either sleep less or feel that they lack the restful sleep despite being on the bed for 7 – 9 hours a day.
We all need 7 – 9 hours of sleep to stay healthy and fit. Insomnia is when you experience sleep problems at least for 3 days a week at least for 3 months. Insomnia is dangerous, as it invites many deadly diseases.
Schisandra fights insomnia by calming you down. It also reduces your sleeping time – the time you take to fall asleep. The dosage is crucial, though. However, inappropriate or higher dosage can increase the severity of insomnia. So, talk to an expert aroma therapist or your doctor before taking any step. (9, 10)
8. A natural food preservative
Research published in the Food Science and Technology states that S.chinensis oil can be used as a natural food preservative. The synthetic preservatives do come with unwanted side effects, and natural sources are always safer. Since schisandra has this quality, it is a good option to switch to this. Also, it improves the taste of food while enhancing its nutritional value. (11)
9. Controls diabetes
A recent study states that Schisandra chinensis essential oil helps in controlling diabetes. Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar levels go high. When you eat, your body converts the food to glucose and uses it for carrying out your day to day activities.
Whatever glucose remains, your body stores it as glycogen (body fat) and uses it when you starve or when you have less food than what you need.
Insulin is a hormone, which assists your body with these functions. To use the glucose as well as to store it, you need insulin, and the beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin. One of the main causes of diabetes is because the pancreas produces less insulin than what your body needs.
Schisandra oil improves insulin secretion. Few experiments conducted in animals reported that a diet rich in SCE reduces blood sugar levels and diabetic complications. (12)
10. Prevents atherosclerosis & thrombosis
High levels of Plasminogen activase inhibitor causes atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
Atherosclerosis is a phenomenon wherein the blood vessels thicken due to the deposition of unhealthy fats and debris. It is dangerous because it invites deadly heart diseases.
Thrombosis is a condition wherein the atherosclerotic debris may dislodge and form a clot, which in turn, can be fatal. Schisandra chinensis essential oil checks the action of plasminogen activase inhibitor and thus, improves your health. (13, 14)
What blends with schisandra oil?
Schisandra oil blends the best with:
- Geranium oil
- Ginger oil
- Bergamot oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Black spruce oil
- Rose oil
- Sea buckthorn oil
- Clove oil
- Lavender oil
How to use schisandra oil?
- You can inhale the oil from the bottle to reap its benefits.
- Dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil and massage over the affected area.
- To boost your mental clarity, take 15ml of schisandra essential oil and add 15 ml pomegranate essential oil, 4 drops black spruce essential oil, and 4 drops grapefruit essential Oil. Mix it well and rub it on the back of your neck and your chest.
- To balance your hormones:
- Blend equal amounts of Schisandra Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, and Geranium Essential Oil. Take 3 drops of the blend, rub it on to your palm and inhale.
- You can also use 10 drops of the same during the bath. Start applying from your feet to throughout your body.
- Alternately you can add a few drops of the blend to your bathtub.
Side effects of schisandra oil
- Make sure you use the oil under medical supervision.
- Patch test helps you know if the oil is safe on you. Dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil and apply a small portion of it with the tip of a cotton bud over the inside of your forearm. Observe for ten to fifteen minutes. If you do not see any allergic reactions such as swelling, redness, or irritation, you are not allergic to the oil.
- Do not use the oil in pregnancy as the oil can increase uterine contractions.
- Avoid using the oil during lactation to avoid any harm to your baby.
- Excess use of oil can cause heartburn.
- Do not use the oil near your eyes, ears, and other sensitive areas.