Eleuthero

Plant Part Used

Root

Active Constituents

Eleutherosides and polysaccharides.

[span class=alert]This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.[/span]

Introduction

Eleuthero, formerly known as Siberian ginseng, is a member of the ginseng family, but it is of a different genus than other popular ginsengs such as the Panax or American varieties. The use of eleuthero root dates back 2,000 years in the records of Chinese medicine. It was used for respiratory tract infections, as well as colds and influenza.(1) The Chinese also believed that eleuthero provided energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by the Siberian people to increase physical performance and to increase the quality of life and decrease infections. Eleuthero has been studied extensively since the 1940s. The root has been found to have many adaptogenic benefits.(2),(3) Eleuthero has been reported to increase stamina and endurance and protect the body systems against stress-induced illness.(4),(5) It is thought that Soviet Olympic athletes used eleuthero successfully to enhance sports performance and concentration.

Eleuthero root is frequently prescribed in Europe and Russia as an herbal "tonic," improving immune function and general well-being. It has been classified as an "adaptogen," meaning a substance that increases nonspecific resistance of the body to a wide range of chemical, physical, psychological and biological factors (stressors). Adaptogens have the unique ability to switch from stimulating to sedating effects based on the body's needs. According to tradition and the literature, eleuthero possesses this kind of balancing, tonic, antistress action on the body. The chief component in eleuthero that has the adaptogenic ability has been found to be the eleutheroside content, and high quality preparations are standardized or guaranteed to have a certain amount of this compound.(6) Also, polysaccharides in eleuthero play a role in its support of immune function.(7)

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

100-200mg (standardized extract), 2-3 times daily. A regimen of 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off is recommended for maximum benefits.

Most Common Dosage

200mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day. A regimen of 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off is recommended for maximum benefits.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 0.8% eleutherosides B and E per dose.

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Adaptogen, Tonic; nutritional support in wellness and longevity
  • Immune Support
  • Enhancement Of Sports Performance
  • Increases Stamina, Concentration, Endurance
  • Chronic Stress
  • Adjunctive Support In Chemotherapy And Radiation
Other Reported Uses
  • Work Performance
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Upper respiratory tract conditions

Toxicities & Precautions

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Health Conditions

Do not use in acute infections and fever.

Based on pharmacology, long-term use is not recommended in hypertension.

Side Effects

Has been used in thousands of clinical studies with only minor side effects, but there are reports of hypertension, insomnia, irritability, anxiety and tachycardia in rare instances. (8)

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Use is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation. (9)

Age Limitations

Do not use in children under 2 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Pharmacology

The adaptogenic properties of eleuthero have been extensively investigated in Russia. Both animal and human studies have reported the benefits of eleuthero in different conditions. Eleuthero extract has been administered in Russia to more than 4300 human subjects in studies involving either healthy or unhealthy individuals. Some of the benefits claimed for eleuthero are listed below:

  • Increases physical endurance under stress.(7),(24)
  • Increases mental alertness.(8)
  • Increases work output and quality of work; decreases sick days.(8)
  • Increases athletic performance.(7)
  • Protects against reduced cellular oxygen.(7)
  • Cardioprotective.(10)
  • Neuroprotection.(25)
  • Protects against excessive heat and cold conditions.(11)
  • Protects against radiation exposure and other toxins such as chemotherapeutic agents and alcohol.(12),(13)
  • Protects against viral and microbial infections; enhances immunity.(14),(15)
  • Aids general health of patients with chronic illnesses such as atherosclerosis,(10) acute pyelonephritis,(16) diabetes mellitus,(17) hypertension and hypotension,(18) acute craniocerebral trauma, neuroses,(8) rheumatic heart disease,(10) and chronic fatigue syndrome.(19)
  • Promotes normal endocrine function.(8),(20)
  • Improves visual acuity, color perception, and hearing acuity.(21)

References

  1. Foster S, et al. Herbal Emissaries. Rochester,VT: Healing Arts Press; 1992:73-79.
  2. Brekhman II, et al. Eleutherococcus--a Means of Increasing the Nonspecific Resistance of the Organism. Izv Akad Nauk SSSR. [Biol]. 1965;5:762-65.
  3. Brekhman II, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus on Alarm-phase of Stress. Life Sci. 1969;8(3):113-21.
  4. View Abstract: Fulder SJ. Ginseng and the Hypothalamic-pituitary Control of Stress. Am J Chin Med. 1981;9(2):112-18.
  5. Asano K, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus Extract on Human Physical Working Capacity. Planta Med. 1986;3:175-77.
  6. Collisson RJ. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Br J Phytotherapy. 1991;2:61-71.
  7. View Abstract: Hikino H, et al. Isolation and Hypoglycemic Activity of Eleutherans A, B, C, D, E, F and G: Glycans of Eleutherococcus senticosus Roots. J Nat Prod. 1986;49(2):293-97.
  8. Farnsworth NR, et al. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Current Status as an Adaptogen. In: Economics and Medicinal Plant Research. Vol 1. London: Academic Press; 1985:155-209.
  9. View Abstract: Chan LY, et al. An in-vitro study of ginsenoside Rb1-induced teratogenicity using a whole rat embryo culture model. Hum Reprod. Oct 2003;18(10):2166-8.
  10. View Abstract: Hikino H, et al. Isolation and Hypoglycemic Activity of Eleutherans A, B, C, D, E, F and G: Glycans of Eleutherococcus senticosus Roots. J Nat Prod. 1986;49(2):293-97.
  11. Novozhilov GN, et al. Mechanism of Adaptogenic Effect of Eleutherococcus on the Human Body During Thermal Stress. Fiziol Checloveka. 1985;11(2):303-06.
  12. View Abstract: Minkova M, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus Extract on the Radioprotective Action of Adeturone. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1987;13(4):66-70.
  13. Tenchova VB, et al. Changes in Hemopoiesis in the Rat as a Result of Combined Exposure to Acceleration, Irradiation and Radiation-modifying Agents. Kosm Biol Aviakosm Med. 1987;21(2):85-86.
  14. View Abstract: Bohn B, et al. Flow-cytometric Studies with Eleutherococcus senticosus Extract as an Immunomodulatory Agent. Arzneimittelforschung. 1987;37(10):1193-96.
  15. View Abstract: Kupin VI, et al. Stimulation of the Immunological Reactivity of Cancer Patients by Eleutherococcus Extract. Vopr Onkol. 1986;32(7):21-26.
  16. Boino-Iasenetskii AM. Eleutherococcus Extract in the Treatment of Acute Pyelonephritis. Urol Nefrol. (Mosk). 1996;31(6):21-23.
  17. View Abstract: Molokovskii DS, et al. The Action of Adaptogenic Plant Preparations in Experimental Alloxan Diabetes. Probl Endokrinol. (Mosk). 1989;35(6):82-87.
  18. View Abstract: Kaloeva ZD. Effect of the Glycosides of Eleutherococcus senticosus on the Hemodynamic Indices of Children with Hypotensive States. Farmakol Toksikol. 1986;49(5):73.
  19. View Abstract: Hartz AJ. Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue. Psychol Med. 2004 Jan;34(1):51-61.
  20. View Abstract: Filaretov AA, et al. Effect of Adaptogens on the Activity of the Pituitary-adrenocortical System in Rats. Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1986;101(5):573-74.
  21. Sosnova TL. The Effect of Eleutherococcus spinosus on the Color Discrimination Function of the Visual Analyzer in Persons with Normal Trichromatic Vision. Vestn Oftalmol. 1969;82(5):59-61.
  22. Collisson RJ. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Brit J Phytother. 1991;2:61–71 [review].
  23. Li C, Wang XY, Hu XW, Fang HT, Qiao SY. [Determination of eleutheroside B in antifatigue fraction of Acanthopanax senticosus by HPLC] Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. Dec 2008;33(23):2800-2802. Chinese.
  24. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. Sep 2009;4(3):198-219. Epub 1 Sep 2009. Review.
  25. Bocharov EV, Kucherianu VG, Bocharova OA, Karpova RV. [Neuroprotective features of phytoadaptogens] Vestn Ross Akad Med Nauk. 2008;(4):47-50. Review. Russian.