Siberian Ginseng / Eleuthero Powder (Eleutherococcus Senticosus)
Common names: devil's bush, eleuthero, ciwujia, Devil's shrub, shigoka, touch-me-not, wild pepper, or kan jang.
An adaptogen, great for improving athletic performance by boosting endurance and for treating the symptoms of common cold/flu.
Eleutherosides are the main components of eleuthero that have potential health benefits. Siberian ginseng also contains complex polysaccharides, which are a main reason for its ability to boost the immune system.
Siberian eleuthero is native to the southeastern part of Russia, northern China, Korea and Japan. Eleuthero root and rhizomes (underground stem) are the part of the plant that people use medicinally.
- Natural Adaptogen
Adaptogens are plants that are able to help balance, restore and protect the body
by helping it to handle stress, whether it’s physical, chemical, or biological. This is very significant since chronic stress is known to contribute to so many health concerns, including the common cold, weight gain, heart disease, sleep problems, depression, ulcers, digestive issues, and impaired healing ability along with back/neck/shoulder pain.
- Physical Stamina and Mental Alertness
Eleuthero demonstrates an ability to improve physical stamina and mental sharpness similar to caffeine but without an impending crash. Studies to date have had mixed results but some point towards the ability of Eleutherococcus senticosus to boost cardiorespiratory fitness, fat metabolism, and overall endurance performance.
- Colds and Flu
Eleuthero root benefits also include its proven ability to help fight viruses that cause the common cold as well as the flu. It’s often used as a natural cold and flu remedy.
Researchers have found that the Siberian ginseng decreases the frequency, severity and duration of herpes outbreaks.
- Learning and Memory
The active components of Siberian ginseng have previously been shown to improve memory, boost human cognition and relieve fatigue.
- Anti-Cancer Potential
In countries like China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, people commonly used Siberian ginseng for its anti-fatigue, anti-inflammation, anti-stress, anti-ulcer, and cardio-boosting qualities. Now recent research is pointing toward the ability of this impressive plant to fight cancer.
How to Use
Take two to three grams per day by adding it to your meals, drinks, or smoothies.
Siberian ginseng is sometimes taken for two-three weeks, followed by one week off. It’s best to take Siberian ginseng under your doctor’s supervision.
Note: You may want to avoid taking eleuthero before bed because it is known to cause sleep trouble for some people when taken at night.
Potential Side Effects
Siberian ginseng's side effects are rare but may include drowsiness, changes in heart rhythm, sadness, anxiety, and muscle spasms. Some users have experienced mild diarrhea. In high doses, increased blood pressure may occur.
Check with your healthcare provider before taking eleuthero if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, check with your doctor before taking this natural remedy if you are currently taking medication or have an ongoing medical condition, especially a bleeding disorder, diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure (it may make it worse), a mental health condition like mania or schizophrenia, or a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids (as Siberian ginseng might act like estrogen).
Medications known to moderately interact with eleuthero include lithium, digoxin (Lanoxin), sedative medications (CNS depressants), anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs, and antidiabetes drugs. Medications that the liver changes include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others may interact with Siberian ginseng. You also should not consume alcohol in combination with Siberian ginseng because this may lead to excessive drowsiness.