What is Eleuthero?
Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng or Ci Wu Jia, is primarily found in Northeast Asia and Siberia, including China, Russia, and Japan. It has been used for centuries in China and Russia. The roots and rhizomes of Eleuthero are used for medicinal purposes, often prepared as tablets or capsules.
For centuries, Eleuthero has been recognized for its various benefits. It has a history of over 4,000 years of use in China for nourishing purposes, while in the late 1950s, Russians studied it as a substitute for Panax Ginseng. Eleuthero contains compounds known as eleutherosides or ciwujianosides, which help the body maintain balance and counteract the effects of stress. In addition, Eleuthero is associated with several other benefits, such as treating headaches, back pain, regulating menstruation, easing childbirth, combating hot flashes during menopause, aiding in weight loss, and improving skin health.
What are the Nutritional Components of Eleuthero?
Eleuthero contains various components, including carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, and significant amounts of carotenoids. It also contains sesamin, sterols, coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, non-aromatic unsaturated organic acids, and various trace minerals.
Seven polysaccharides can be isolated from Eleuthero rhizomes: eleutheroside A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, with a content of 0.6-0.9% in the roots and 0.6-1.5% in the stems. Eleutheroside A, also known as daucosterol, is similar to the compounds found in Panax Ginseng and promotes the excretion of cholesterol in the body, helping prevent high cholesterol levels in the blood.
Eleutheroside B, or syringin, is a major strengthening component of Eleuthero, known for its effects on promoting gland function, anti-radiation, and anti-fatigue, similar to the physiological activities of ginsenosides found in Panax Ginseng. Eleutheroside C is ethyl β-D-glucopyranoside, while Eleutherosides D and E are double glucosides of syringaresinol.
What are the Recommended Evidence-Based Effects and Benefits of Eleuthero?
Relieving Symptoms of the Common Cold
Some clinical studies suggest that starting specific combinations containing Siberian Ginseng and andrographis within 72 hours of the onset of cold symptoms can improve cold symptoms. While some symptoms may improve after 2 days of treatment, the maximum benefits are usually observed after 4-5 days of treatment.
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
Increasing Energy, Reducing Fatigue
Eleuthero can boost energy, help combat fatigue, and prevent post-exercise effects 
💡A study found that besides increasing fat metabolism, Eleuthero significantly exhibited anti-fatigue effects in swimming mice by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid and blood urea nitrogen .
Improving Cognitive Function
Enhancing Exercise Performance
Eleuthero can increase muscle endurance , especially during intense physical activities
💡A study found that daily consumption of 800 mg of Eleuthero for 8 weeks increased endurance time by 23% in male subjects .
Wound Healing and Ulcer Prevention
By enhancing the immune system, Eleuthero can improve or expedite the healing process. Components in Eleuthero have also been shown to prevent the formation of ulcers, including diabetic foot ulcers .
Improving Low Blood Pressure
Eleuthero can increase blood circulation and heart rate, gradually raising blood pressure, beneficial for those with low blood pressure .
Eleuthero can be used to increase muscle and bone strength
💡In a 2013 study, giving rats 100 mg of Eleuthero daily for 8 weeks increased femoral bone density by 16.7% .
Alleviating Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases
Eleuthero can shorten the duration and severity of respiratory infections, such as influenza and pneumonia
Preventing and Repairing Nerve Damage
💡A study found that Eleuthero improved nerve regeneration in rats with nerve damage .
Does Eleuthero Have Side Effects?
- Short-term use in adolescents (12-17 years) appears to be safe (e.g., 4-6 weeks), but there is limited experimental data on long-term use, and its safety is unknown. It is advisable to consult a physician before use.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Due to limited data on the use of Eleuthero in pregnancy and breastfeeding, its safety is unknown. It is recommended to avoid use in these situations.
- Bleeding Disorders: Eleuthero contains properties that may slow blood clotting. Therefore, it may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in individuals with bleeding disorders.
- Heart Disease: Individuals with heart conditions (e.g., atherosclerosis, rheumatic heart disease, or a history of heart attacks) should use Eleuthero under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
- Diabetes: Eleuthero may affect blood sugar control in diabetic individuals. Those with diabetes using Eleuthero should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels or consult a physician before use.
- Conditions such as Breast Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometriosis, or Uterine Fibroids: Eleuthero may have estrogen-like effects, so females with these conditions should avoid its use.
- High Blood Pressure: Individuals with blood pressure exceeding 180/90 mmHg should not use Eleuthero, as it may worsen hypertension.
- Mental Disorders such as Mania or Schizophrenia: Eleuthero may exacerbate these conditions and should be used with caution.