Effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts on hexobarbital metabolism in vivo and in vitro.


Medon PJ




J Ethnopharmacol


Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) is widely exported from China as a health food. Pharmacologically it has been classified as an adaptogen and enzyme induction has been proposed as its mechanism of action. To evaluate this hypothesis E. senticosus was administered to mice on an acute (40-320 mg/kg i.p., X 1 day) or chronic (80-320 mg/kg i.p., X 4-5 days) basis. Sleep latency and duration, in response to hexobarbital sodium (100 mg/kg i.p.), were determined either 1 h (acute and chronic) or 24 h (chronic) following the last E. senticosus injection. E. senticosus produced a sedative effect which decreased the sleep latency (47%) and increased sleep duration (45-228%) following acute administration. A similar effect was seen following chronic administration (125-202% increase in sleep duration). E. senticosus was also shown to produce an inhibition (66%) of hexobarbital metabolism, in vitro, as compared to controls. These data support enzyme inhibition rather than enzyme induction as a mechanism for the actions of Siberian Ginseng.