Have you heard the buzz about eleuthero root?
If you feel tired, run down and just plain stressed out, eleuthero root just might be your new best friend.
Technically named eleutherococcus senticosus, eleuthero root is also known as Siberian Ginseng. It has been shown to increase energy and mental alertness as well as boost the immune system.
Eleuthero root has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years – and for good reason. Once the medical community stumbles upon something so natural, versatile and effective, its fame spreads far and wide.
Due to its versatility and more affordable price tag, it’s often used as a substitute for the more expensive true ginsengs like Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).
Eleuthero Root (Siberian Ginseng) – A Traditional Medicine
Ginsengs are members of the adaptogen family. These substances don't necessarily have a specific function, such as lowering blood pressure. Instead, they help normalize the physiological functions of the body, helping you better respond to stressors.
Adaptogens like eleuthero root promote balance in the body and help reduce excess levels of cortisol – your body’s primary stress hormone.
We mentioned earlier how widespread eleuthero uses are, and its various nicknames are indicative of that. Not just known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero root also goes by the names of:
- Ci wu ju
- Russian Ginseng
- Shigoka Devil’s Shrub
- Ussurian Thorny Pepperbush
- Wild Pepper
Unlike many other herbs, the entire plant – from roots to leaves and berries – is useful in traditional medicine. Also differing from other plants, the benefits of eleuthero root don’t just stem from one constituent – but many.
For instance, its roots have been found to contain coumarins, beta-sitosterol, daucosterol, lignans, phenylpropanes, sesamin (eleutheroside B4) and syringaresinol.
Eleuthero berries contain a number of polyphenols, including benzoic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid and vanillic acid.
These polyphenols have powerful antioxidant effects, helping protect against cancer and degenerative diseases.
The berries are also a significant source of minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. Besides that, essential oils derived from eleuthero plants contain α-bisabolol, β-caryophyllene, germacrene, β-bisabolene and α-humulene.
Several of these are known to have potent antiviral and antimicrobial effects.
Eleuthero Root Benefits and Uses
Herbalists use eleuthero root to provide extra energy, particularly for those who are tired and run down as a result of excessive stress.
This versatile herb affects several neurotransmitters – dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine and serotonin – all of which regulate functions like mental alertness and sleep.
As part of its adaptogenic function, eleuthero root also promotes better liver function and supports the immune system. Loaded with a wide array of beneficial constituents, eleuthero root is often prescribed for:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Colds and influenza
- Liver support after radiation exposure or during chemotherapy (It was even used in Russia after the Chernobyl accident!)
- Anti-viral therapy, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C
- Bronchitis and chronic lung conditions
- To stimulate the body's production of testosterone (however, it should not be used in men with prostate problems)
- The promotion of stamina and endurance in athletes
- Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD and ADHD)
- Memory enhancement.
Current Research on Eleuthero Root
A 2010 study reported in the Chinese Journal of Physiology indicated eleuthero root increased metabolism and energy and boosted physical performance in its participants.
The herb also improved blood flow and increased blood pressure.
Another Korean study found that the herb helped reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes.
Yet another study found that when healthy volunteers took eleuthero root, the T-cells within their immune system sincreased markedly. T-cells are sometimes referred to as “killer cells” for their impact on bacteria and viral interactions.
Eleuthero Root Side Effects and Cautions
Like any herb or medication, eleuthero root or Siberian ginseng may have side effects. For the vast majority of cases, side effects are mild or even non-existent.
Some people find that it increases insomnia. Others have noted an increase in depression, drowsiness or irritability, while others have reported headaches.
In some cases, the symptoms are dose-related, and taking a lower dose eliminates the problem.
People who have high blood pressure (hypertension) should not take this medication or take it only on the advice of a health care professional, as studies indicate mixed results.
If you have a heart arrhythmia or congestive heart failure, you should only use eleuthero root if prescribed by your doctor.
Various Forms of Eleuthero Root
Eleuthero root is available in different forms. Eleuthero root tea is one popular form, but it’s also available in capsules, pills and liquid tinctures. The proper eleuthero dosage depends upon the condition you’re trying to treat and if you have any pre-existing conditions.
However for most individuals, the standard eleuthero root dose is 100 to 300 milligrams in tablet or capsule form.
For eleuthero root tincture, a typical dose is usually 1 to 2 dropperfuls three times a day, but certainly read the label as it will differ per manufacturer.
If you prefer eleuthero root powder for stress, a standard dose is two to three grams of the powdered root.
In most cases, it is recommended to take the prescribed dose for six to eight weeks and then stop taking it for two weeks. If symptoms reappear, you can resume the dosage.
Keep in mind that no herb or medication can restore your health if you don't take care of the basics. Good nutrition is the foundation of health, followed by adequate sleep – at least seven to eight hours a night.
Regular exercise also supports all of the body's physiological functions, promotes heart health and endurance, and keeps you strong and flexible. Even with these lifestyle changes though, we sometimes need an extra boost.Awaken Organic Energy Blend, featuring organic eleuthero root, yerba mate, ginkgo biloba and more of nature’s most powerful energizing herbs.