Written By Liz Oakes
Eleuthero root is effective to aid quite a few health issues, but it is most well known as an excellent herb to correct the result of stress on the body.
In particular it is helpful to mitigate the effect of an excess of adrenal hormones in the body, as it helps to reduce the over-activity of the adrenal cortex.
Eleuthero has been used to treat cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue, stress, memory loss, depression, anxiety and weight loss.
Also known as Siberian ginseng, it will boost immune function yet it has a mild effect on the body.
This means you can continue to take it for long periods without it being overstimulating, which is a problem for some people who take Panax ginseng.
Athletes also benefit from its effects. The Russians first discovered its action when they used to aid their athletes, in the 1970's.
By boosting your immune system it prevents sickness caused by over-training, and athletes have found it is helpful to increase their endurance and stamina.
It is often viral and respiratory infections that prevent many athletes from training and so puts back their overall training schedule.
This herb goes under a few different names but it is most commonly known as Eleuthero root or Siberian ginseng.
The reason that this herb is most commonly known as eleuthero root, is because its botanical name is eleutherococcus senticosus.
Eleuthero herbal remedies are known to help to reduce muscle pain after heavy workouts, without the side effects from taking pain killing drugs.
It is also used to treat cancer patients following chemotherapy, as it has been found to reverse bone marrow suppression and lowered white blood counts.
Its common name in the past was Siberian ginseng, because it came from Siberia, had similar healing attributes to Panax Ginseng and was sometimes confused with it, as the roots look similar.
This plant has adapted well to climates other than Siberia where it originated, and is now found growing in China, Japan, Korea, British Columbia and NW USA.
It is now illegal to market it under the Siberian Ginseng name in the USA, so check the label for the name eleutherococcus senticosus if you are in the USA. The root of the plant is the part used to make herbal medicines.
In the past it was used in Chinese medicine mixed into wine, and was combined with other herbs, and used as a tonic for fatigue, arthritis and pain in the lower back.
This herb is one of the most well known adaptogenic herbs, and it has a good action to help a number of health problems.
Unlike panax ginseng it has a mild action and can continue to be taken for long periods without causing health problems.
Eleuthero root is one of the tonic herbs, and this means that it is a long term remedy that may take some time, even months, to help your anxiety.
This herb may be found in combination with natural herb based remedies, prepared to help stress or for adrenal fatigue, and may come mixed with vitamins and/or other herbs for stress.
If you have ongoing daily stress you may reach a stage where you can no longer cope. Having reached a point of adrenal exhaustion, the body has trouble making enough of these crucial hormones.
Eleuthero root works particularly well to help you if you have reached a state where your adrenals are almost exhausted and your system is having difficulty making adrenal hormones.
This herb helps your body in two different ways.
Siberian Ginseng is an excellent herb to aid anxiety and depression. Often anxiety is a direct result of long-term or chronic stress.
It is also known to aid stress induced hypertension, known as white coat hypertension, because it gets worse in a doctors office!
If you have been working long hours or working at night, such as shift workers, this herb will help you to recover more quickly, and it is also helpful for jet-lag.
It can be used to improve your quality of sleep and will help to prevent night time waking, and may help people who work and play hard.
Note that although it is known to improve your sleep it can cause your sleep to be disrupted if taken too close to bedtime, so its best taken in the morning and at lunchtime not in the evening.
Siberian ginseng is one of the herbal adaptogens that enhances endurance and stamina to aid you to function better.
How does stress affect your health? When you stay up late working and don't get enough sleep, your body may become stressed, and your adrenals may release extra stress hormones into your body.
The way that Eleuthero root, or Siberian Ginseng works to aid adrenal fatigue, is related to what happens in the body when you have ongoing stress in your life.
When the adrenal glands are provoked by stress, they may release an excessive amount of the key hormones adrenaline and cortisol.
Lifestyle stresses such as working long hours and getting insufficient sleep, and probably neglecting your diet as well, can lead to adrenal gland exhaustion.
Once your body gets terribly weary and you begin to feel like you are always tired, often you will react to small stresses more easily.
A door slams and you jump, and the fight or flight reaction comes into play. When the body encounters a stressful situation, it reacts by releasing epinephrine, or what is commonly known as adrenaline.
If you have ever been in traffic and had to hit the brake fast, you may have felt this prickling of your skin at that time. This is common reaction when adrenaline is released into your system quickly.
While there are benefits to this process if you are in real danger, long term having too much adrenaline in the blood is detrimental to your system.
Siberian Ginseng is regarded as one of the first rate herbs to aid the immune system as it is effective to stimulate your immune system.
It is a helpful remedy to use in the run-up to winter to boost immunity, as well as being a good remedy to aid upper respiratory infections, and can be combined with other cold remedies.
In studies done in Russia using Siberian ginseng, tens of thousands of people were given this herb eight to ten weeks before the beginning of the cold and flu season.
It was found to be effective to reduce the number of people who came down with colds, flu and respiratory disease by 95 percent.
The way that it works relates to its action to stimulate the B and T cells, which are both directly related to how your body responds to infections.
It was found in some studies that many sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome had low t-cells, so it may be helpful to aid CFS by boosting the level of t-cells.
It is an antiviral herb that is effective to increase the body's production of interferon. Interferon is a very important immune system chemical, that is known to be powerful to boost your immune system health.
You may find this herb in remedies for boosting your immune system. It may also be mixed with other immune system herbs including echinacea.
There are echinacea benefits if taken before the flu season starts. Both of these herbs are known as an alternative natural approach to the treatment of herpes, as they are both also good herbal treatments for herpes.
These herbs may be combined with licorice root, as there are also benefits of licorice root to aid your immunity, as well as to help you to recover from colds and flu.
This herb is becoming more well known in the athletic community as it helps to increase endurance and stamina.
It main action seems to be its ability to increase your resistance to stress, even while doing intense training, and without side effects.
Eleuthero root helps to boost your energy and physical vitality, and prevents you from becoming exhausted as quickly, as well as reducing the level of fatigue felt after working out.
By also boosting the immune system this assists you to keep well over a season of training and not have to stop training due to flu or respiratory infections.
If you are on a weight loss program, it will help you to adapt to changes in your metabolism, and aid fatigue. It is also said to be helpful to sharpen mental abilities, and restore memory.
In men is said to stimulate the production of testosterone, which may increase your sex drive and help to improve impotence.
If you have any of any of these health problems, including the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, think about taking Siberian eleuthero supplements or using eleuthero tea, as it is definitely worth trying to see if it is may be beneficial to help you.