Eleuthero

Also indexed as:Acanthopanax senticosus, Eleutherococcus senticosus
Eleuthero: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Acanthopanax senticosus, Eleutherococcus senticosus

Parts Used & Where Grown

Eleuthero belongs to the Araliaceae family and is a distant relative of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Also known commonly as touch-me-not and devil’s shrub, eleuthero has been most frequently nicknamed Siberian ginseng in this country. Eleuthero is native to the Taiga region of the Far East (southeastern part of Russia, northern China, Korea, and Japan). The root and the rhizomes (underground stem) are used medicinally.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Eleuthero supplementation may improve athletic performance, according to preliminary research. The herb strengthens the immune system and thus might reduce the risk of post-exercise infection.
Fatigue
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
One study found that an eleuthero extract improved symptoms in patients suffering from mild-to-moderate chronic fatigue.
Immune Function
10 ml of tincture three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Eleuthero has historically been used to support the immune system.
Stress
2 to 3 grams per day of powdered root for 6 to 8 weeks, then stop 1 to 2 weeks, then resume if desired 2 stars[2 stars]
Eleuthero appears to have antistress effects. Supplementing with an eleuthero extract led to higher quality-of-life measures in healthy elderly people, according to one study.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
“Adaptogenic” herbs such as eleuthero have an immunomodulating effect and help support the normal function of the body’s hormonal stress system.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Adaptogens such as eleuthero are thought to help keep various body systems—including the immune system—functioning optimally.
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero is an immune-modulating plant that may be beneficial for people with HIV infection.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Influenza
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero has immune-enhancing properties, which may play a role in preventing infection with the influenza virus.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, eleuthero use dates back 2,000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. Referred to as ci wu jia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections, colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections.

In more modern times, eleuthero has been used to increase stamina and endurance in Soviet Olympic athletes. Russian explorers, divers, sailors, and miners also used eleuthero to prevent stress-related illness. After the Chernobyl accident, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation.

Copyright © 2017 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.

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