Siberian ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, devil’s shrub, thorny ginseng (known by many other common names in different countries) is one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world. It is being used in Asia and North American for centuries in the treatment of several medical conditions. Its scientific name is Eleutherococcus senticosus.
The herb has a history of traditional use dating back to more than 2,000 years. The Chinese healers recognized the power of this perennial shrub and mentioned it in their manuscripts written in the 16th century. It is the main component of various traditional Chinese medicine which is used to enhance the body’s vital energy, reduce stress and fatigue, for restoring the memory, and preventing colds and flu.
Where does Siberian Ginseng grow?
Commonly found in eastern Asia, including China, Japan, Korea and Russia. It grows in
- Mountainous forests, especially with coniferous trees.
- Small groups, at the borders of evergreen forests.
Which part of Siberian Ginseng is beneficial?
Roots, root bark, and stem are beneficial parts of this shrub. However, the root is a highly beneficial part. Older the ginseng root, the more will be its medicinal value. Therefore, in the market, the old root is more expensive than the young ones.
How to use Siberian Ginseng?
It comes in powder, tincture, liquid extract and even in capsule forms. As the root is highly beneficial, it is used to make –
Herbal tea: It is easy to prepare. Just put crushed Siberian Ginseng root along with the tea-powder in the boiling water. After 5 minutes you can filter it. Add honey to sweeten it. One could also add ginger for flavoring.
Soup: You can either add ginseng root or extract while preparing your favorite soup.
Dosage: Consult an herbal practitioner before deciding to use the herb. The usual recommended dosage is around 2-3 grams of the dried root or around 1 gram of extract three times per day. The dosage and duration vary with the cause. For example,
- For stress, 100 to 200 mg three times a day
- Back Pain, 200 mg twice a day
- For colds and flu, 300 mg twice a day for seven to 10 days. And so on..
What are the side effects of Siberian Ginseng?
The root is considered to be generally safe for most adults. But it does not mean that the plant has no side effects.
- Brings about allergic reaction in some people
- It could interact with other medicines
- It can increase the heartbeat
- Overdose brings about high blood pressure. Dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness are immediate outcomes.
- Overdose can also bring about tiredness, nervousness, bad temper and uterine bleeding.
Are there any safety concerns or risk factors associated with Siberian Ginseng?
Irrespective of the advantages, this herb should not be used more than 3 weeks at a stretch. It is not safe for children and pregnant women. People with the following health condition should avoid using this herb without the concent of herbal practitioner.
- Individuals experiencing cardiovascular issues
- Women with uterine fibroid
- One who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder
- Individuals taking medicines for diabetes.
- Individuals experiencing hormone sensitive issues.
Health Benefits of Siberian Ginseng
1. Improves the health of heart
It can improve the overall health and functioning of the cardiovascular system,
- Low doses of the root helps to bring down the blood pressure. It widens the blood vessels. The dilation of arterial blood vessels decreases blood pressure, as more blood flows with less strain.
- It increases the blood circulation
- It helps to decrease and balance cholesterol levels, thereby, bringing down the chances of heart attack and stroke.
2. Helps to deal with stress
Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients which help the body and mind in adapting to stress. The cause of stress ranges from spending time in extremely cold or hot conditions to other health issues like mental trauma. Adaptogens enhance the adrenal system, which is accountable for dealing with how your body reacts to the stress. Therefore, Siberian Ginseng is very useful in fighting the stress and also prevents stress-related issues like heartburn, upset stomach and tension headaches. Its adaptogenic qualities make it an important option, especially, for those who engaged in highly stressful jobs. It is also beneficial for people who work in abnormally high or low-temperature conditions (like mines).
3. Improves memory
According to several studies, Siberian Ginseng has memory-enhancing effects. It increases oxygenation of the cells. This increased oxygenation leads to better circulation, especially to the brain, thereby, improving the ability to recall things, increase the concentration and providing mental clarity, particularly among middle-aged people.
4. Boosts immune system
Siberian ginseng helps boost the immune system. It contains a group of glycosides called eleutherosides.
- Increases lymphocytes – Lymphocytes play an important role in the body’s defense mechanism and effectively acts against viral infections. It reduces the severity and length of colds too.
- It increases the number of CD4 cells, which is a subset of T-lymphocyte cells. CD4 cells help the immune system to function normally.
5. Increases Energy
Siberian ginseng root extract is a mild stimulant and a powerful energy booster, which helps to heighten one’s physical energy noticeably. It provides both instant and long-term energy. Siberian Ginseng boosts athletic performance and increases muscle strength. It is one of the preferred supplement for professional runners.
6. Sexual health
The herb is beneficial to both men and women in the realm of sexual health. It helps to prevent female infertility and male impotence.
- It activates the brain system to generate reproductive hormone.
- Improves the uterine function
- Helps to have healthy menstruation
- It enhances uterine tone
- Boosts testosterone levels, bringing out a better sperm count and motility
7. Strengthens hair
The root helps to maintain healthy hair. It makes the hair stronger. It also helps to increase the hair growth. Many hair product brands use the Siberian Ginseng root extract in their shampoo or conditioner. For best results, you can mix the root extract with vitamin C hair serum and apply on the hair.
8. Good for liver health after chemotherapy
Siberian ginseng helps to detoxify the liver. Siberian ginseng helps to expel the harmful toxins formed as a result of exposure to radiation, particularly after the chemotherapy treatment. Thus, it helps to bring down the ill effects of chemotherapy. It is also useful minimize the ill effects of bone marrow suppression (a condition in which bone marrow doesn’t make the normal amount of blood cells) after exposure to radiation procedure or chemo treatment.
9. Relieves symptoms of arthritis
Siberian ginseng can be quite beneficial for any kind of inflammatory disease due to its anti-inflammatory property. Its extract helps to prevent rheumatism and arthritis. The anti-inflammatory property of this herb helps to
- Soothes swelling
- Reduces the overall pain in the affected areas.
- Improves the flexibility and functionality of the joints
10. Helps in Diabetes
It is proven in several studies that regular use of Siberian Ginseng can help to bring down the blood sugar level. It also helps in regulating the blood sugar levels. It has similar effects as bitter gourd for diabetes.