As a top level adaptogen, one of Schizandra’s best qualities is that it plays a big role in bringing the body into balance: hormonal balance, chemical balance, and internal balance with the surrounding environment. Creating balance means one can perform better under stressful conditions on all levels of physical, mental and emotional activity. Within the body’s incredible complexity, the affect of Schizandra on specific kinds of stress have been tested. The stress experienced from extreme heat and cold conditions were both seen to be improved by administration of Schizandra, in some cases only after 1 dose.
In several studies, first in the 60’s and then in the 80’s it was seen that after the administration of Schizandra the body continued to function during a rise in external heat conditions far better then when the herb was not taken. It was seen to have a somewhat protective affect to allow a greater tolerance to otherwise damaging conditions.
A similarly positive affect was found when testing Schizandra’s ability to help the body deal with stress from extreme cold conditions. A dose of Schizandra one to two hours prior to the stress in extreme cold water swimming conditions decreased the resistance to fatigue. In these experiments, it was also seen that Schizandra
prevented the development of atrophy of the adrenal glands, which means that adequate hormone was still being produced even under this extreme stress.
In addition, it was also seen that Schizandra could contributed to a decrease in frostbite consequence if taken prior to any drop in temperature. This effect appeared to be associated with Schizandra’s ability to increase oxygen in cells, since frostbite is known to be a consequence of local oxygen insufficiency in the skin tissue.