Eleuthero Root, Ci Wu Ja, Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthero Root,  Ci Wu Ja
Botanical Name: Eleutherococcus senticosus (Russia) Acanthopanax senticosus (China)

Pharmaceutical Name: Eleutherococcus Radix, Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi

Pinyin: Ci Wu Ja

Common Name: Formerly known as "Siberian Ginseng"

Functions and Uses: Adaptogenic, nerve tonic, boosts immunity, increases "Qi", anti-inflammatory, fatigue, depression, increases strength and endurance, enhances digestion, nourishes the kidneys, adrenals, and liver, sharpens the mind, increases respiratory power and absorption of oxygen, suppresses stress responses in the body, radiation protection, regulates blood sugar and blood pressure

Summary: Eleuthero root, with the former modern nickname of "Siberian Ginseng," has been used in China for 2000 years and in recent decades has become one of the most popular adaptogenic, tonic herbs in the world. It was most recently made popular by the Russians and their studies on the herb as well as the use by their athletes.

Many studies have been conducted on Eleuthero in humans and animals. They show that the herb can rejuvenate, protect, and enhance many aspects of the body. It contains pharmacologically active compounds that act as a immune modulator, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-fatigue, anti-stress, anti-depressant, choleretic, insulin modulator, antipyretic, radioprotectant, and antibacterial.

A study conducted on six male adolescents found an increase of 23.3% on total working capacity compared with only 7.5% in placebo. This is attributed to the improvement of bodily oxygen metabolism that was reflected in the increase in maximal oxygen uptake and that in maximal oxygen pulse. It is believed to help people recover from workouts faster.

Researchers tested the effects of Eleuthero on swimming time, natural killer cell activity, and blood corticosterone levels in forced swimming stressed mice. It significantly extended swimming times, inhibited the reduction of natural killer cell activity and the corticosterone elevation induced by forced swimming. This protective effect on the immune and endocrine systems explains some of Eleuthero's anti-fatigue, anti-stress actions.

Long term consumption of Eleuthero extract improves light and color perception. It increases retinal sensitivity. It also improves short term memory.

A randomized clinical trial in elderly patients found Eleuthero to improve some aspects of mental health and social functioning. Subjects given Eleuthero were more likely to state that they have received it versus those given placebo.

Numerous studies show Eleuthero to be an anti-coagulant. One study showed it to decrease the blood coagulation potential and activity of the blood coagulation factors induced by intensive training in athletes.

The root was tested and proved to be a vasorelaxant.

Eleutherosides, active chemicals in the root, were shown to change positive ventricular late potential into negative ventricular late potential in patients with coronary heart disease and myocarditis.

Siberian ginseng extract produced a protective effect during experimental steroid-induced osteoporosis, which was comparable with the influence of ipriflavone.

Acanthopanax senticosus may be beneficial in inhibiting allergic reactions.

Eleutherococcus senticosus roots have shown antiviral activity against RNA type viruses. Human rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza A virus were all inhibited against replication in infected cell cultures. This effect was not demonstrated in DNA type viruses tested in cell cultures.

Eleutherococcus senticosus was found to markedly influence the cytokine synthesis of activated whole blood cultures of ten healthy volunteers. The synthesis of Rantes was modulated depending on the dosage.

Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi extract was tested on improving human sperm motility in vitro from men suffering from asthenospermia (low sperm motility). The effects were obvious and significant. The extract increased the rate of motility, the percentage of progressive mobile sperm, the curvilinear velocity, the straight line velocity, and the average path velocity.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been successfully used as an anti-inflammatory for rheumatic diseases in oriental medicine. A study showed that Eleuthero down regulates inflammatory nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression.

One test showed that Eleuthero had remarkable blood sugar lowering effects in hyperglycemic mice.