By Dr Greg Lamont-Mitchell, ND

Siberian ginseng (Latin name Eleutherococcus senticosis) has long been used in traditional herbal medicine and research shows that it has many beneficial effects on human health. Siberian Ginseng is considered to be an “adaptogen”; this term means that it can be used to improve our ability to manage stress. It is also reported to modulate immune function, help manage the side effects of chemotherapy, and works as an adrenal tonic. Therefore, Siberian Ginseng has long been used for those who suffer from stress and weakness of the entire organism, be it physical or mental.

Origins

Siberian Ginseng is found throughout Siberia, Russia, Korea, and Northeast China, and is popularly used in Russian natural medicine. Russian researchers have studied the chemistry and physiologic effects of Siberian Ginseng since the 1960s. Most of this research has focused on physical endurance and work capacity, improved mental function with increased productivity and decreased sick leave.

Indications

The following are indications for the use of Siberian Ginseng:

  • Radiation or chemotherapy, to reduce the side-effects
  • Immune function modulation
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Poor concentration
  • Colds and flu
  • Altitude sickness
  • Stress intolerance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss

Herbal Qualities

Qualities which herbalists use to describe Siberian Ginseng are adaptogen, warming, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator, bitter, and tonic to the lungs, heart and kidneys.

Contraindications

Siberian Ginseng is contraindicated in the use of uncontrolled hypertension and acute fever.

Drug Interactions

There are some known drug interactions with Siberian Ginseng. Diabetic drugs should be monitored due to hypoglycemic activity. In animal studies Siberian Ginseng has also been shown to inhibit the breakdown of hexobarbital.

Available at Emerge

Siberian Ginseng is available for purchase at our self-serve herb bar! If you would like to learn how to incorporate this herb into your health regimen, please make an appointment with one of our Naturopathic Physicians at Emerge Natural Health Care. Call (360) 787-3615.


References/Credits
Photo : engin akyurt on Unsplash
Wagner H, et al, “Immunostimulant action of polysaccharides (heteroglycans) from higher plants. Premlinimary communication.” Arzneimittelforschung, 1984;34(6):659-61
Chang H, Bot P, “Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica.” Chinese University of Hong Kong, Singapore, 1987
Filaretov A, et al, “Effect of adaptogens on the pituitary-adrenocorticals system in rats.” Bull Esper Bio Med (Russian) 1986;101(5):573
Fulder SJ, “Ginseng and the hypothalamic-pituitary control of stress.” Am J Chin Med 1981;9(2): 112-118
Pearce, P et al, “P. ginseng and Eleutherococcus extracts – in vitro studies on binding to steroid receptors.” Endocrinol Jpn 1982;29(5):567-73
Brekhman I, Dardymov IV, Ann Rev Pharmacol 9, 419, 1969
Borchers A, et al, “Comparative effects of three species of ginseng on human peripheral blood lymphocytes proliferative responses.” Int J Immunother 1998;14(3):143-52
Bohn B, et al, “Flow cytometric studies of E. senticosis extract as an immunomodulatory agent.” Arzneimittelforschung 1987;37(10):1193