Scientific Name/Common Name: Eleutherococcus senticosus / Siberian Ginseng / Eleuthero
Part(s) Used: Root
Constituents/Active Ingredients: eleutheroside B (syringin), eleutherosides A-M, friedelin, and isofraxidin
Overview: Siberian ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, is a thorny shrub native to eastern Russia, northern China, and Japan. It is not actually a true ginseng from the Panax genus but the name was coined due to similar adaptogenic properties. Adaptogen is a phrase coined by Soviet scientists in the 1960s to describe herbs that increase the body’s vitality in order to better adapt to physical and mental stress. The medicinal properties of this species are found in the roots and leaves, which contain eleutherosides, the active ingredient believed to be responsible for increasing the body’s resistance to environmental, physical, and mental stress. Siberian ginseng has been used by Chinese practitioners for over 2000 years to treat bronchitis, infections, improve concentration and memory, and to increase energy, resistance, and longevity. Russians began studies in the 1950s that corroborated the claims of the ancient Chinese, although many of these studies were crude and did not use large population samples. Despite this, by the mid-1970s many Russian athletes, factory workers, soldiers, astronauts, and pilots were using this extract to improve their performance and concentration. Today, Siberian ginseng is still popular throughout Russia, Europe, and Asia. For women it appears to be a safe alternative to Panax ginseng.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Used in Herbal Medicine as a tonic to help relieve general debility and/or to aid during convalescence and to help improve mental and/or physical performance after periods of mental and/or physical exertion.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.
Davydov M, Krikorian AD. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Oct;72(3):345-93. Review.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.