Eleuthero [Eleutherococcus senticosus] is an adaptogen with a rich history. Traditionally practitioners use the plants root for its, healing, balancing and energizing properties.
The herb has been used all over the world under different names. Known as Ci wu ju, Shigoka Devils Shrub, Siberian Ginseng, Ussurian Thorny Pepperbush, Touch-Me-Not, Russian Ginseng, and Wild Pepper.
Benefits of Eleuthero
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Common Colds
- Immune Booster
- Liver Detox
- High Blood Pressure
"Siberian Ginseng is known all over the world now as one of the best adaptogenic agents ever used by man. There just isn't much else that can deliver so much wonderful raw working energy. It is truly the king of adaptogens.
So what is an adaptogen? I believe I have heard at least 15 different people claim to be "The One That Coined The Term, Adaptogen" but they are all wrong, it was me! (I'm kidding of course) I think the word just sort of "came to be" in our English language as it was just obvious that something that adapts to our many different health situations would be something that was adaptable or "adaptogenic" (as would be the common way to stretch the word out a bit in referring to an herbal substance). Siberian Ginseng fits this description better than any herb I know of and I am pretty sure (though the jury is still out) that it was the first herb the word "Adaptogen" was ever applied to.
Also known as Acanthopanax and Eleutherococcus (hence the name, "Eleuthero"), the root of this plant helps provide the long term energy and the ability to cope with very difficult stress that is so often needed in many everyday walks of life. It also raises blood-oxygen levels.
With the great medical history of the Chinese being able to formulate whichever energy patterns are necessary for patients with herbs, Ci Wu Jia (Siberian Ginseng) has been added to many formulas increasing the effect of energy to every area of the body that needed it.
One of the most often used combinations is Siberian Ginseng and Ping Da Wan or "Gotu Kola" as many people know it. Gotu Kola is a magnificent tonic to the brain and when you add the blood-oxygen raising abilities of Siberian Ginseng to it, this combo becomes a dramatic formula to increase concentration, focus, memory, and brain power endurance in general. I have taken this combo many times when studying for a test and when taking an exam. It's almost like "cheating" but the remarkable thing is that you still retain all the data.
When I was in high school (1960's), I used to run the "440" in track as my best event. (This is a long 440 yard full speed "sprint".) I had heard about ginseng (Panax) so I obtained some and was able to increase my speed somewhat from it but my body heat seemed to bother me a lot when I took it. I knew nothing about herbs at the time and some of the other runners kept talking about some kind of "Russian Ginseng" that really worked good and did not make you hot. I finally got some of this "Siberian Ginseng" and was able to work up to my best running time. Now days it is hard to find any professional runners that do not take Siberian Ginseng as part of their supplements before a race.
I personally use this herb quite often on those Arizona days that are over 100 degrees when I need to work outside. I can tell you it is a life saver on those days! On the other hand, many people that live in cold areas have told me it is a life saver to them in coping with extreme cold when they have to work out in those conditions.
The effects of this herb providing benefits in two completely different situations (hot and cold climates) illustrates perfectly the definition of the modern term, "Adaptogen". Another example of Siberian Ginseng's adaptable qualities is that it can very effectively lower blood pressure in those with high numbers while it can bring it up for those that have very low pressure. I have had much success with lowering blood pressure in patients by simply combining equal parts of Chinese Hawthorn and Siberian Ginseng in an alcohol tincture.
Eleutherococcus senticosis (Siberian Ginseng) is more tonifying than the true Ginsengs (Panax sp.). It is neutral energetically and so is appropriate for daily use. Taken regularly, it enhances immune function, increases cortisone levels and anti-inflammatory response, and it promotes improved cognitive and physical performance in human studies. Also remember, unlike the Panax sp. it will lower high blood pressure, not raise it (unless it is already very low).
Eleuthero (Ci Wu Jia) has been successfully used in China to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.
This amazing herb aids in the recovery from hard physical exercise, as well as from extreme mental exertion. It's reputation for this is fast becoming common knowledge all over the world. It is now commonly used by thousands of people who engage in high stress, high energy-demanding activities such as high altitude flying, long-distance sailing, working in high or low temperature environments or in deep water. Most competing athletic runners use it because they simply can not outrun the competition that does use it!
Acanthopanax is used by all Russian astronauts (cosmonauts). The use of the extract of this herb in these endeavors has been reported to increase physical strength, sharpen concentration, improve various parameters of mental power, increase visual acuity, improve color vision and to promote the natural healing power of the body.
In Chinese history, Li Shih Chen, in his Great Catalog of Medicinal Herbs, called Siberian Ginseng (Ci Wu Jia) a superior herb, indicating that he believed that Acanthopanax has a primarily tonic, anti-aging natural rather than a medicinal effect. He describes it in this way: "Its action is to invigorate physical energy, regulate vigor, strengthen the skeleton and tendons, and increase one's ambition. If administered over a long period of time, it can delay weakness and aging. Indications for its use include sexual debility, overly-frequent urination, lumbago (low-back pain), rheumatic pain in the legs and weakness of vigor and vitality." - Gratitude to www.naturalnews.com for this information.
Eleuthero is traditionally used to help rebuild Chi energy during the recovery period following any illness.
Immune system stimulant, Siberian Ginseng is specifically effective for preventing infection during times of intense physical activity.
Normalizing body functions, Eleuthero is a powerful adaptogen and helps the body to balance, heal and to instill an overall sense of well-being.
It helps the liver to detox harmful toxins from radiation exposure. In Russia, studies show that using Eleuthero Root removes the side effects from chemotherapy. It also has been used to treat bone marrow suppression due to chemo or radiation therapy.
Researchers have found that it increases the synthesis of the interferon drug; that boosts the activity of the immune system, interfering with every viral infection stage. (Interferon is used for AIDS and Hepatitis C viral infections.)
It stimulates the activation of immune system components (B- and T-cells) that attack bacteria, making it a useful antiviral supplement in the treatment of many types of viral infection.
Chinese healers believe that Siberian Ginseng is an herbal sedative and one of the best remedies for insomnia.
Other Eleuthero Benefits
Eleuthero has been successfully in treating bronchitis and other chronic lung conditions.
Siberian Ginseng may also be useful when the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) is depleted, having symptoms that include fatigue, stress, neurasthenia and sore muscles associated with the hypo-functioning of an under-active endocrine system.
Recent evidence suggests that Eleuthero Root may prove valuable in the long-term management of various diseases of the immune system, including HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome and other autoimmune illnesses.
In men, it appears to stimulate the bodys production of testosterone and may be helpful in increasing sex drive and fighting impotence.
Effectively used as a sedative, and can relieve depression, helps Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), concentration, improves memory and sensitivity to environmental pollution.
This herb owes its popularity to the broad spectrum of benefits it carries enhancing overall health and wellbeing I highly recommend you try taking eleuthero daily for a week so you can see how big of a difference a small change can make.
Eleuthero Side Effects and Contraindications
- Men with prostate disorders should not use Eleuthero Root. It contains compounds that might stimulate testosterone production.
- Pregnant and nursing women may use it but should avoid products that also contain Panax Ginseng.
- If persons take digoxin (Lanoxin or Lanoxicaps) for cardiac arrhythmia or congestive heart failure, they should consult their healthcare professional before taking this herbal supplement.
- Do not take Siberian Ginseng if you suffer from hypertension.