What is Eleuthero used for? (Benefits, Dosage, Side effects)

what-is-eleuthero-used-for

What is Eleutherococcus Senticosus?

Eleutherococcus Senticosus is a woody, small shrub in the Araliaceae family, native to the Taiga region of the Far East (Japan, Northern China, Southeastern Russia, South Korea, and North Korea).

Eleuthero is not related to American Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius) or True Ginseng (Panax Ginseng).

What is Siberian Ginseng’s Chinese name?

Siberian Ginseng’s Chinese name is Ci Wu Jia. It’s pronounced “tsih woo gee-ah” and it means “thorny Acanthopanax”.

Other names for Siberian Ginseng are:

  • Ciwujia Root
  • Ciwujia Root Extract
  • Devil’s bush
  • eleuthero
  • Devil’s shrub
  • Shigoka
  • Touch-me-not
  • Wild pepper
  • Kan jang

What is Eleuthero used for?

Eleuthero is mainly used for its “adaptogen” properties. An adaptogen is a non-medical term used for herbs that supposedly boost the body’s resistance to stress.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The root and the rhizomes (underground stem) was first used to make herbal medicine in China around two thousand years ago.

In traditional chinese medicine, Eleuthero is used for these benefits:

  • prevents respiratory tract infections (colds, flu)
  • increases energy, vitality, stamina and endurance

Siberian Taiga Region

In Russia, eleuthero is used on the Siberian Taiga region for these benefits:

  • increases physical performance
  • increases quality of life
  • decreases infections
  • prevents stress-related illness
  • counteracts the effects of radiation

Eleuthero is sometimes also used for the treatment of health conditions:

Joint and Bones

Cardiovascular System

  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Low Blood Pressure

Nervous System

Immune System

Other uses

On the video below, Master herbalist John Bonds shares wisdom on the nature and benefits of Eleuthero.


Does Siberian Ginseng have benefits for Weight Loss?

Siberian Ginseng may have benefits that indirectly support weight loss, which are related to hunger cravings, cortisol levels, mood and energy:

  • increased energy
  • increase athletic endurance
  • increased stamina
  • increased motivation
  • reduced fatigue
  • reduced hunger cravings and stress eating
  • lower blood sugar
  • lower cortisol levels
  • reduced weight gain related to stress

These benefits may help you adhere to a new weight loss routine for longer without feeling fatigued.

Siberian Ginseng can also be combined with other herbs to promote weight loss, including Rhodiola Rosea or Ashwagandha extract.

What are the benefits of Siberian Ginseng for Females?

Females experiencing mental stress obtained the following benefits after taking Siberian Ginseng:

  • improved attention
  • increased speed
  • increased accuracy
  • reduced percentage of errors
  • better accuracy
  • better quality of work
  • better degree of care

This study assessed the effect of a single dose of ADAPT-232 (a combination of Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra chinensis, and Siberian ginseng) extracts on mental performance, such as attention, speed and accuracy, in tired women performing stressful cognitive tasks.

Study Information

  • Title: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study of single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions.
  • Length: 2 hours.

Subject Information

  • Subjects: 40.
  • Gender: Female.
  • Ages: 20-68.

Method used

40 healthy females aged between 20-68 years, who claimed to have felt stressed over a long period of time due to living under psychologically stressful conditions were selected to participate in the pilot study. 

The participants were randomised into two groups:

  • 20 women received a single tablet of ADAPT-232 (270mg)
  • 20 women received a single tablet of placebo

The effects of the extract were measured prior to treatment and two hours after treatment.

Results

  • The subjects in the ADAPT-232 group quickly (two hours after serum was taken) gained improved attention and increased speed and accuracy during stressful cognitive tasks, in comparison to placebo. 
  • There was also a tendency of ADAPT-232 to reduce percentage of errors, which means better accuracy, quality of the work, and degree of care in the volunteers under stressful conditions. 
  • No serious side effects were reported, although a few minor adverse events, such as sleepiness and cold extremities, were observed in both treatment groups.

What is a recommended Eleuthero Dosage?

  • Recommended Eleuthero dosage: 300 to 1200 mg daily, not exceeding 6 g.
  • Concentrated solid extract standardized to >1% eleutheroside B or E: 300 to 400 mg daily, up to 800 mg, not exceeding 1 g.
  • Dried, powdered root and rhizomes: 2 to 3 g daily.
  • Alcohol-based extracts: 8 to 10 ml, divided in 2 to 3 dosages.
  • Kan Jang: combined andrographis and eleuthero extract, provides 2 to 2.4 mg eleutherosides daily.

Take these doses between meals.

The dosage of Eleuthero also depends on its intended use:

  • Herpes simplex type 2: Eleuthero extract standardized to eleutheroside E 0.3%, 400 mg daily, for 3 months.
  • Common cold: Eleuthero plus andrographis extract, standardized to 4-5.6 mg andrographolide, 400 mg 3 times daily.
  • Adaptogen: Eleuthero powdered root, 1 to 4 g daily.
  • Fatigue: 2 – 4 g daily, equivalent to 2 – 3 mg of eleutherosides. American sources recommend 6 – 12 g of dried root per day, and Chinese sources recommend 9 – 27 g of dried root per day
  • Immune system: 1 to 4 ml (0.2 to 0.8 tsp) of fluid extract of eleuthero 3 times daily.

How long should you take Eleuthero?

  • You should take Eleuthero for no more than 6-8 weeks continuously, followed by at least a 1-3 week break before resuming.
  • Taken by mouth in combination with rehmannia, calcium, and vitamin D: up to 1 year.
  • Injected intravenously (by IV): up to 2 weeks.

Should you take Eleuthero before bed?

You should take Eleuthero before bed because it has sleep aid properties (unlike other invigorating plants). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eleuthero extract is the primary ingredient of some popular sleep aids. It is believed to improve sleep due to the following factors:

  • reduces the time it takes to fall asleep
  • reduces stress hormones in the blood
  • helps calm down the nervous system
  • increased the depth and duration of sleep
  • increased both quantity and quality of sleep

What are the Side Effects of Eleuthero?

Eleuthero can cause the following side effects in high doses:

Nervous System

  • nervousness
  • insomnia
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • nerve pain
  • depressed mood
  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • aggressiveness
  • confusion
  • sadness
  • muscle spasms
  • hormonal changes

Digestive System

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • upset GI tract
  • cramping
  • increased or reduced blood sugar levels

Integumentary System (Skin)

  • hives
  • contact dermatitis
  • skin rashes

Cardiovascular System

  • sudden bleeding and hemorrhage
  • raised or lowered blood pressure
  • changes in heart rhythm
  • cold extremities

Special Precautions and Warnings

Make sure you are using Siberian ginseng, not American Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius) or True Ginseng (Panax Ginseng). These are different supplements with different safety guidelines.

Health conditions that increase the risk of side effects with eleuthero include:

  • heart conditions: high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, irregular heart rhythm
  • diabetes
  • estrogen-sensitive conditions: breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids
  • mental conditions: mania or schizophrenia
  • sleep disorders: sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, drowsiness
  • children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn disease
  • confusion
  • headache
  • nosebleed
  • vomiting

Medications, and consumables that increase the risk of side effects with eleuthero include:

  • medications that affect bleeding: heparin, warfarin
  • over-the-counter pain medications: aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen
  • liver medications
  • heart failure medications: digoxin
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Hormone-regulating medications
  • anti-allergy medications
  • antidepressants
  • alcohol
  • radiotherapy
  • sedatives
  • anti-seizure medications
  • steroids
  • diabetes and insulin use
  • antibiotics or antivirals
  • vasodilators
  • ginkgo biloba
  • saw palmetto
  • garlic

In these cases, the National Institute of Health recommends medical monitoring when using eleuthero, or avoiding the use of eleuthero altogether.

Want to know more?

Click the links below to access the individual topic pages:


Sources

This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

What is Eleuthero used for? (Benefits, Dosage, Side effects)
Scroll to top