Eleuthero is one of the most useful natural healing herbs in existence. Commonly used in Eastern medicine as a remedy for fatigue, stress, depression, poor circulation, aging, and many other conditions for thousands of years, the Western world has recently taken note of this wonderful herb.

Also known as “Siberian ginseng,” eleuthero is a woody shrub that grows on mountains throughout East Asia, and in Siberia and other parts of Russia. It has been a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Russian herbalism for thousands of years -- and for good reason.   

Eleuthero has traditionally been used to counter fatigue and weakness, to boost energy, to increase blood flow to both the body and the brain, to fight off colds and  flu, to relieve stress, and for its many other health and therapeutic benefits. The herb has been shown to have powerful anti-stress, anti-fatigue, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-depression, and anti-aging characteristics.11

Although eleuthero was used in traditional herbalism for thousands of years, its medicinal uses escaped scientists until about the second half of the 20th century. Thousands of studies in the modern era have shown that eleuthero benefits a wide variety of health conditions including: high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, bronchitis, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.10

Is Eleuthero the Same As Ginseng?

Eleuthero (araliaceae family) is a distant relative of both Asian and American ginseng. However, despite the moniker of “Siberian ginseng,” eleuthero is not a true ginseng because it’s devoid of ginsenosides. 

Instead, this mountain shrub is rich in eleutherosides, which endow the plant with its protective properties (2). Similar to other adaptogen* herbs, eleuthero is incredibly effective in bringing the body to homeostasis – a state of internal balance and stability. 

Like the true ginsengs, eleuthero protects you from the dangers of prolonged stress and the imbalances stress causes in your body (4).  Eleuthero alleviates stress by regulating levels of adrenal gland hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and has been shown to increase the body's resistance to both mental and physical stress of all kinds. This includes stressors such as heat, cold, noise, exercise, and increased workload.12  

Modern Science Shows Eleuthero Is a Powerful Natural Healer

One study in particular found that eleuthero leads to a higher quality of life in elderly people due to its therapeutic effects.  In elderly patients and the chronically-fatigued, this manifested as reduced fatigue, reduced physical weakness, and higher energy levels (3,5).

For the non-elderly, the effects of eleuthero manifest as increased physical and athletic performance. As such, the herb can help you recover faster from physical exertion. It acts as a stimulant that increases energy levels while reducing mental and physical fatigue (6).

Eleuthero's stimulating effects also extend to cognitive functioning. The herb aids circulation and may increase blood flow to the brain, aiding memory and concentration. Some studies show that eleuthero could benefit people living with Alzheimer's disease due to its effects on cognitive functioning. Its stress-reducing properties can also help restore memory deficits and help Alzheimer's patients lead a higher quality of life (7).

Traditionally, eleuthero was also used to manage the effects of menopause. Modern medicine has corroborated this as eleutherosides have been shown to bind to estrogen receptor sites. As a result, eleuthero may lessen the effects of estrogen withdrawal in menopausal and peri-menopausal women. In addition, eleuthero can help reduce bone loss that occurs during menopause and can help in the early treatment of osteoporosis (3).

Eleuthero: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory?

Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen sodium work by blocking the inflammatory pathway activating enzyme (COX-2) to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Eleuthero exhibits the same COX-2 inhibiting effects and may be used to reduce inflammation (2).

Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, eleuthero may improve lymphatic function. Taking eleuthero supplements may help reduce edema or swelling caused by the build-up of fluids.

Eleuthero Strengthens Immunity and Has Anti-Viral Effects

Eleuthero also has immunomodulating effects, which may help in fighting colds and cases of flu. It inhibits the replication of the human rhinovirus and influenza A, helping you recover faster from infection (8). The herb’s antiviral effects have been found to be effective in treating herpes simplex 2, reducing the time and severity of outbreaks (9). Eleuthero may also strengthen your immune system and response by increasing the number of T-cells in your body. 

Give Yourself the Eleuthero Advantage

Although not as popular as ginseng in the West, eleuthero is a potent adaptogen that may enhance your physical health and mental wellbeing in many ways. From possibly treating viral infections and reducing inflammation and chronic fatigue to improving physical and mental performance and protecting your body from stress, eleuthero is one herb you want to incorporate into your daily routine. Furthermore, eleuthero is non-toxic, making it safe for consumption for all people.

Eleuthero is one of the primary ingredients in Lean Factor’s Peak Male for men, EmpowHER for women, and the Nootropic Brain Booster, Limitless Mind

* Adaptogens are a small category of unique herbs that help you adapt to stress, create balance in your body, and protect your health from the dangers of every type of stress.


References

  1. Baranov AI. Medicinal uses of ginseng and related plants in the Soviet Union: recent trends in the Soviet literature. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 1982 Nov 1;6(3):339-53.
  2. Mckenna DJ, Jones K, Hughes K, Tyler VM. Eleuthero. InBotanical Medicines 2012 Nov 12 (pp. 277-292). Routledge.
  3. Dharmananda S. The Nature of Ginseng from Traditional Use to Modern Research. ITM; 2002 Sep.
  4. Fulder SJ. Ginseng and the hypothalamic-pituitary control of stress. The American journal of Chinese medicine. 1981;9(02):112-8.
  5. Drew A. Siberian ginseng. Current therapeutics. 2002 Nov;43(11).
  6. Lamoreau TW, Schneider C. Can Herbs Improve Endurance? Adaptogens and Athletic Performance. Integrative Medicine Alert. 2018 Oct 1;21(10).
  7. Abascal K, Yarnell E. Alzheimer's Disease: Part 2—A Botanical Treatment Plan. Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 2004 Apr 1;10(2):67-72.
  8. Baczek K, Weglarz Z, Przybyl JL. Accumulation of biologically active compounds in the rhizomes and roots of Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus/Maxim. et Rupr./Maxim.). Adv. Environ. Biol. 2011;5:325-8.
  9. Yip ST, Liu R, Warrington T, Webb CW. How well do antivirals shorten genital herpes pain duration?
  10.  American Botanical Council: http://cms.herbalgram.org/ABCGuide/Monographs/Eleuthero.html
  11.  History of Eleuthero: http://cms.herbalgram.org/ABCGuide/Monographs/Eleuthero.html?ts=1583735910&signature=8aee83117823f68f209506872eb1248e
  12.  Brekhman and I. V. Dardymov, “New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance,” Annual Review of Pharmacology 9 (1969): 419–30

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