Commonly referred to as Siberian Ginseng. In a report published in 1965 by members of the Institute of Biologically Active Substances (Vladivostok, Russia) seven compounds, termed Eleutherosides A through G, were isolated from an extract of Siberian Ginseng. Further thin-layer chromatographic analysis has shown that the ginsenosides characteristic of Panax species of Ginseng (American, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Ginsengs) are not present in the roots of Eleutherococcus senticosus. Eleuthero is, however, a member of the family Araliaceae, which includes the Panax ginseng species.
PART USED: Root
PROPERTIES: Alterative, Adaptogenic, Nervine
SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Cardiovascular, Urinary, pronounced effect on fatigue
POSSIBLE USES: impaired kidney function, stress, fatigue, atherosclerosis
For this discussion of Eleuthero, we will rely on Michael Moore’s words almost exclusively:
An adaptogenic herb, such as Eleuthero is, must “increase an organism’s resistance to adverse influences by a wide range of physical, chemical, and biochemical factors, and have a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state.” Although stated in the language of a former century, this is exactly what Eleuthero does: it increases the body’s immune response to outside factors and doesn’t seem to much care what kind of illness the pathogen or outside factor is trying to create!
In addition to its adaptogenic features, Eleuthero seems to protect the body from the effects of prolonged X-ray radiation. This herb might be worth a try for those who are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer.
Eleuthero was given to 2,100 healthy people in clinical trials. The results of these trials strongly indicated that Siberian Ginseng (1) increased the ability of humans to withstand a wide variety of adverse and harsh physical conditions such as heat, noise, motion, work load increase, and exercise, (2) significantly increased mental alertness and work output, and (3) was especially noted to improve the quality of work produced under stressful conditions. These effects applied to athletic performance as well as the work environment.
Other studies indicated that Eleuthero was beneficial for things such as angina, hypertension, hypotension, various types of neurosis, severe head trauma, rheumatic heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer. Other studies indicated that in cardiovascular health, Eleuthero lowered serum cholesterol, reduced blood pressure, and eliminated angina symptoms. Eleuthero’s effect on blood pressure is truly the definition of an adaptogenic as it raises the blood pressure of those whose levels are too low.
One of the most popular uses for Eleuthero is in the treatment of “chronic fatigue syndrome” and other chronic ailments where extreme and debilitating fatigue is a problem. The common factor in these types of illnesses is a compromised immune system and feelings of depression and sadness. Eleuthero helps with all of these symptoms. In spite of all of these wonderful effects, Siberian Ginseng has never been shown to have any adverse side effects at all.