How Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Or Siberian Ginseng) Benefits You
Now, I’m going to use the botanical name here, because I’m talking about a certain variety: Eleutherococcus senticosus (commonly E.senticosus), but you might have otherwise heard it called eleuthero or siberian ginseng.
You’ve probably also heard that ginseng benefits the body in many ways.
Despite its name, siberian ginseng is completely different from the more commonly known Korean or American ginseng, so don’t go confusing them!
Siberian ginseng benefits come from its different active ingredients, which are thought to stimulate the immune system. For this reason it’s been used for hundreds of years in folk medicine to prevent colds and flu, and to increase energy, longevity, and vitality.
But ginseng benefits are slowly becoming understood more widely.
Where Do Siberian Ginseng Benefits Come From?
To talk about the origins of this amazing herb, we need to travel to Russia, East Asia, China and Japan. E.senticocus is native to these regions, and its health benefits have been known there for a very long time.
In Russia it’s widely used as an “adaptogen” (more on adaptogens later).
But here’s an incredible fact: The herb is so well respected in the region that after the Chernobyl accident, citizens were given E.senticosus to counteract the effects of radiation!
So what does this plant look like? It’s a small thorny shrub with clusters of dark purple berries.
The root portion is most commonly used in herbal medicine - either dried and powdered, or as a fluid extract. In Athletic Greens we use the E.senticosus root extract.
It’s a definite favourite in Traditional Chinese Medicine for boosting vitality, energy and stamina. However, despite 200 years of use as a folk remedy in China, E.senticosus is a relative newcomer to the western health scene.
Just to check in once more that you’re not confused:
We include one ‘ginseng’ in Athletic Greens: E.senticosus, commonly known as siberian ginseng
E.senticosus is not the same as Korean and American ginsengs
While E.senticosus is regularly marketed as a ‘ginseng’ because it has similar energizing and strengthening effects, it doesn’t contain the same active constituents as Korean and American varieties and belongs to a different genus altogether.
Okay, now that we’ve got that fully cleared up...
Delving Deeper Into Siberian Ginseng Benefits
In herbal medicine, ginseng benefits are believed to include strengthening the immune system, increasing energy and vitality, promoting longevity, enhancing mental clarity and supporting the heart.
This is the key reason we’ve picked E.senticosus to join our other star ingredients in Athletic Greens: it helps the body to “adapt” to stress and provide a boost in energy levels.
Side note: It should be mentioned that there’s a popular “off label” use among many men in the health and fitness world, who use E.senticocus combined with korean ginseng to increase sperm volume.
However, this is not a proven benefit and more due to word of mouth amongst supplement takers and natural health remedy enthusiasts. We’ll focus on the verified and widely understood benefits.
So how does E.senticosus help the body adapt to stress?
It’s considered an adaptogen; an herb that helps the body deal with stress, maintain vitality and stabilize all manner of physiological processes.
Adaptogens do this by helping the adrenal system regulate hormones and manage stress.
It contains notable active constituents: eleutheroside, ciwujianosides, acanthopanaxosides A-C (triterpene saponins) and isofraxidin.
Many of its proposed benefits are being validated by modern science.
Known siberian ginseng benefits include:
✔ Enhanced immune function
E.senticosus should be thought of for recovery and prevention, rather than acute illness. It’s traditionally contraindicated in states of active infection, but further evidence is needed to prove or disprove this. It has been shown to act as an antioxidant, increase antibodies and prevent the replication of common viruses.
✔ Enhanced performance
Some evidence suggests that E.senticosus improves physical performance, cardiovascular function and endurance during periods of high intensity exercise.
✔ Reduced stress
E.senticosus may target Neuropeptide Y - a stress marker - however, this action is not yet well understood.
✔ Beneficial effects on cognition
Preliminary evidence suggests that antioxidant properties of E.senticosus can protect the brain from damage.
✔ Enhanced vitality
E.senticosus was found to be a safe and effective therapy for improving quality of life, energy and perceived well being in the elderly after 4 weeks of supplementation.
Siberian ginseng may also:
→ Promote longevity (this is theoretical rather than scientifically validated)
→ Protect against the harmful effects of radiation
→ Protect DNA from mutation
→ Assist in mood disorders such as bipolar
→ Aid function in sleep deprived states
→ Benefit the cardiovascular system via antioxidant activity
→ Assist in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
→ Treat diabetes by increasing sensitivity to insulin
How To Get Your Ginseng Benefits
The standard dose for siberian ginseng is 300 -1200mg, though 4 grams and above has been traditionally recommended.
There are just a couple of things to be aware of. Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a small number of cases. And caution is advised for patients taking sedatives, barbiturates and antipsychotic drugs.
Further, patients with high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, or those who are pregnant or lactating should seek medical advice. There’s also a chance it may enhance the effects of anti-diabetic medications.
A great way to receive the full set of ginseng benefits is via Athletic Greens - but not just because of the herb alone. Siberian ginseng’s benefits are enhanced further by working well with other adaptogens in the mix; two super potent and popular adaptogens are Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.
All three of these adaptogens have been shown to help people “adapt” to stress and be less reactive to feelings of anxiety and depression when under pressure.
To sum it all up:
Our ginseng benefits you by supporting enhanced vitality, immune function and general quality of life - including improved cardiovascular function and endurance.
This makes it a potentially beneficial ally for those experiencing stress, chronic fatigue, ageing or decreased physical performance.
So give yourself a break - and a boost! Enjoy the benefits of this amazing herb daily in your Athletic Greens mix.