I cannot tell you how frequently people write to me and say they are tired, and frustrated with ineffective medicine. I believe adrenal exhaustion is at the root of pretty much everyone's misery and there isn't a drug that nurtures your precious adrenal glands which are above your kidneys. These help you cope with stress. If you have cry easily, have a short fuse, or people call you "cranky" then you might have insufficient adrenal function. We live in such a fast paced world with too much stress, too many emails and too many perceived obligations, it's easy to burn your adrenals out.
Adaptogens are plant-based supplements that support adrenal health and rebuild it. My personal go-to adaptogens have always been ashwagandha, ginseng or rhodiola. Lately, I've been studying schizandra (sometimes spelled schisandra) and it's my newest favorite supplement.
Schizandra was prized for centuries by Chinese emperors as an anti-aging supplement. Wu Wei Zi is its Chinese name. Because it improves moisture retention, imperial ladies used it for prettier skin. It's a wonderful skin supplement in fact. But the beauties of schizandra go much deeper than skin. Animal studies have shown that it can help with memory and brings balance between the "off" and "on" switch in your brain, so it helps regulate functioning of your cerebral cortex. Think of it as a tonic for your nervous system.
Shchizandra is best known to heal the liver and help you with hepatitis. If you have any liver disease, I urge you to ask your doctor if this over the counter herb is okay for you. Adaptogens classically give you energy and better sleep. That sounds contradictory doesn't it? But adaptogens are smart and seem to know what your body needs. See why I love it?!
Schizandra increases energy without the jolt of caffeine. As a cellular 'cleanser' schizandra works by increasing your body's production of a natural antioxidant called gluathione. Glutathione is a strong liver cleanser. You make glutathione yourself, and schizandra help you make more, which is fabulous!
Over time, men notice stronger desire, better sex and more staying power. It helped with benign prostatic hyperplasia according to a 2014 study, and improved the effects of Flomax. It's the berries! The beautiful red berries! That's where the medicinal action is and the healing compounds are.
What really caught my attention, are the studies showing anti-cancer benefits, at least in preliminary animal or petri dish studies. Anything that can slow progression of cancer (reduce metastasis) gets my attention. And in 2009, another animal study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that schizandra may be a "useful chemotherapeutic agent" specifically for human leukemia U937 cells.
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