Eleuthero Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) for CalmMay 20, 2021
by Timothy Culbert, MD, IFMCP
Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) Benefits
Eleuthero Senticosus (also known as Siberian Ginseng) is a flowering shrub. Its root, bark, leaves, and berries all contain bioactive compounds that may have positive health effects. It's important to note that although eleuthero is in same family of herbs as American and Asian ginseng, it is not the same plant. Eleuthero contains a different set of active compounds and therefore isn't a substitute for other ginseng plants.
Eleuthero is a staple of traditional medicine in China, Korea, and eastern Russia. And though research is limited on its effectiveness, it has been used for many medical and mental health issues including diabetes, memory and cognitive support, balancing blood pressure, cancer care, heart disease, and to ease the effects of stress.
Eleuthero for Calm
As noted above, the roots, berries, and leaves of eleuthero each contain many biologically active compounds (most notable of these are called eleutherosides). For example, eleuthero berries contain high levels of antioxidants and potential cancer-fighting compounds. They are also high in important minerals like potassium and magnesium. Those compounds and minerals might also work to ease anxiousness.
There is limited research available on the applications of eleuthero for anxiety and stress symptoms. However, there are some key reasons why eleuthero may be supportive for these applications. For example, eleuthero is considered to be an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that help the body function normally under stress.
Eleuthero also increases catecholamines (such as norepinephrine and dopamine) in the parts of the brain responsible for managing stress. The exact way it influences their levels and activity is unknown. Eleuthero may also affect levels of a brain chemical called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF helps nervous tissue grow and reorganize itself, and it protects the brain from damage. Levels of BDNF may be low in anxiety and depression.
Eleuthero Dosage and Use
There is no standardized dosage for eleuthero because the extract is not standardized and different studies may use different parts of the plant. No sufficiently powered study has been conducted to find a safe and effective dose for any medical purpose.
Most eleuthero compounds are made from eleutherococcus root, which is considered very safe to consume. Based on limited clinical research, people with mild to moderate fatigue may benefit from as little as 2 – 4 g/day, equivalent to 2 – 3 mg of eleutherosides. For a variety of conditions, it appears that standardized extracts of eleuthero are commonly dosed at between 200-400 MG once or twice daily.
Eleuthero Side Effects
Eleuthero is likely safe when used in the short term. It could cause a number of side effects including insomnia, headache, skin rash, nervousness, nausea, and diarrhea.
It's also important to take caution when using Siberian ginseng if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, diabetes, a hormone-sensitive condition (such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids), or a mental condition (such as mania or schizophrenia). In these cases, avoid the use of eleuthero (or use under close supervision with your doctor).
And remember: Never start a new supplement until you speak with your doctor.*
Eleuthero Supplements at Natural Mental Health
Stress Support is a blend of Eleuthero Root Extract (200 MG) with additional nutrients and herbs to help combat the negative effects of stress.
Adapt contains 150 mg of Eleuthero Root Extract combined with other micronutrients and herbs formulated to balance cortisol and DHEA levels.
Panossian, Alexander, and Georg Wikman. “Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 3,1 188-224. 19 Jan. 2010, doi:10.3390/ph3010188
Bleakney, T. L. (2008). Deconstructing an adaptogen: Eleutherococcus senticosus. Holistic nursing practice, 22(4), 220-224.
Pavlovich, N. (1999). Herbal remedies: the natural approach to combating stress. Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing, 14(3), 134-138.
Pawar, V. S., & Shivakumar, H. (2012). A current status of adaptogens: natural remedy to stress. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 2, S480-S490.
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- Simpson, T. Bacopa monnieri as an Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Aging Brain.