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Schizandra Berry Side Effects

by
author image Shelley Moore
Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.
Schizandra Berry Side Effects
Schizandra Berry Side Effects Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The fruit of Schisandra chinensis, also spelled schizandra, is an herbal remedy people use for preventing and treating liver problems, improving heart function, relieving coughing and wheezing and improving exercise performance. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center notes that animal research indicates schizandra has a protective effect on the liver, but research is needed to confirm any benefits in humans. Reported side effects are minor.

Restlessness and Insomnia

An article published in the October 1998 issue of "Alternative Medicine Review" notes the low toxicity of schizandra. The author remarked on restlessness and insomnia as possible overdose effects when taking more than the standard dose. The typical dosage is 450 mg powdered herb in capsules three times daily, or 2 ml tincture in 1 part schizandra to 3 parts base three times daily.

Dyspnea

The "Alternative Medicine Review" article also listed breathing problems, or dyspnea, as a possible overdose side effect of schizandra. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center notes that schizandra berry has central nervous system depression properties, which can account for this side effect.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Gastrointestinal side effects also are possible when taking schizandra berry, as noted by the University of Michigan Health Center. A person taking schizandra supplements may experience lack of appetite, heartburn and stomach upset.

Allergic Reaction

As with any herbal remedy, in rare cases someone may experience an allergic reaction to schizandra berry. Signs listed by the Physicians' Desk Reference include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest or throat, chest pain, itchy or swollen skin and a skin rash or hives. An allergic reaction to schizandra berry should be considered a medical emergency.

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