Eleutherococcus senticosus (Russia)
Acanthopanax senticosus (China)Pharmaceutical Name:
Eleutherococcus Radix, Radix Acanthopanacis SenticosiPinyin:
Ci Wu JaCommon 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
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
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
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