Eleuthero refers to the root of Eleutherococcus senticosus, which is a plant with properties similar to those of ginseng. It’s mostly found in Russia and Korea, and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as Siberian Ginseng or Ciwujia. Even though it has some ginseng properties, Eleuthero is not the same plant as Panax ginseng, the best-known source of ginseng.
Even thought Eleuthero has been used for hundreds of years in Russia and Korea, the western world started reaping its benefits fairly recently. Eleuthero is most often used to treat arthritis, help with the common cold and heart diseases; it’s also beneficial in increasing our mental state and energy levels. Eleuthero is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has an ability to improve our mental and physical health without serious side effects, like those we get using Western medicine.
This plant doesn’t have a long history of studies, as scientist started their research only about fifteen years ago. Most of these studies focused on the plant’s ability to improve the immune system, physical & mental performance as well as to uncover its anti-oxidant capacity. Sadly, a large majority of these studies were performed by Russian and Chinese scientist, so there isn’t much information available in English. Still, it’s been proven that Eleuthero has:
- Anti-oxidant properties
- Works as a stimulant for the immune system
- Decreases blood sugar levels
- Helps with common cold
It’s interesting how modern medicine has only scratched the surface of treating the common cold. On the other hand, Eleuthero has an ability to increase the number of immune cells and help with common cold treatment. Another study, performed on rats, proved that Eleuthero has a great potential in improving short-term memory performance and another one published in Phytomedicine says that Eleuthero does wonder for those who are forced to work while tired.