Siberian ginseng, a distant relative of the Asian ginseng also goes by its medical name of eleutherococcus senticosus or eleuthero. A go-to traditional medicinal herb in Russia, China, Korea and Japan, Siberian ginseng is revered for its diverse benefits. Whether it’s heart health, dealing with stress or braving the flu and common cold, you have a trustworthy ally in Siberian ginseng. It enjoys the reputation of being a natural adaptogen, which simply means that it can boost energy, increase resistance to daily stress and even strengthen the body. This is why it is a hit in the athletic community, though there is not enough substantial evidence to prove enhanced performance.
You can enjoy the health benefits of Siberian ginseng in many forms such as tea, liquid and solid extracts, powder, capsules and tablets. However, make sure you are getting authentic Siberian ginseng products as there are many brands out there that market products with hardly any of this ingredient. If you are not sure about the purity, your best bet would be to buy the roots and use them to make tea. Of course, as with every herbal treatment you need to also make sure of some drug interactions and get a go-ahead from your doctor if you are on medications.
Here are some common Siberian ginseng health benefits.
May Help With Fatigue
Let’s face it, it’s exhausting to be continuously exhausted. Chronic fatigue greatly affects quality of life and is a common reason for many to consult a doctor. Since conventional therapy is often of limited help, fatigued patients often resort to trying herbal treatments. Siberian ginseng has been tested on patients of chronic fatigue, according to a study published in Psychological Medicine. Regular consumption of Siberian ginseng supplement has been found to reduce fatigue, the 2004 study concludes.1 Those suffering from mild to moderate fatigue should definitely give it a shot.
Fights The Common Cold And Flu
With Siberian ginseng by your side, common colds and flu may just be a thing of the past. According to a study, a liquid extract from the root of Siberian ginseng constrains the replication of human rhinovirus (the main cause of the common cold) and respiratory syncytial virus (causes respiratory tract infections). The lab study, published in the journal Antiviral Research, also suggests that Siberian ginseng is quite effective against the influenza A virus, the main cause of the flu.2
Battles Against Herpes
Siberian ginseng is a natural remedy that is very useful in the treatment of herpes caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2. This virus is the main cause of the very painful genital herpes. In a study, it was found that over a course of three months there was major improvement in cases of genital herpes where Siberian ginseng was used.3
Protects The Liver
Siberian ginseng can also work wonders for your liver. In an animal study, it was concluded that an extract from the stems of the plant completely got rid of fulminant hepatic failure. The study, published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmocology & Toxicology, also says that Siberian ginseng inhibited cell death in the liver.4
Improved Quality Of Life For The Elderly
Other types of ginseng come with a lot of side effects that can be a bit too much for the elderly to handle. However, Siberian ginseng has been reported to have milder effects. According to a randomized clinical trial, researchers concluded that Siberian ginseng safely improves some aspects of mental health and social functioning in the elderly over a course of four weeks.5 However, it’s not a long-term solution as the study also revealed that these improvements these differences continuously diminish with continued use. Your best bet? Use Siberian ginseng on a less regular basis rather than making it an every day ritual.
Has Neuro-Protective Effects
A liquid extract of Siberian ginseng, when tested on rats, exhibited neuro-protective effects by inhibiting inflammation and microglial activation in brain ischaemia. The infarct volume was significantly reduced by 36.6 per cent in the rats.6
Say Hello To Enhanced Immunity
Several studies prove the immunity boosting effects of Siberian ginseng. It contains chemicals that enhance one’s immune function and make you more resistant against common bacterial and viral strains.7
Its activity appears to be based on whole body effects, rather than particular organs or systems, which lends support to the traditional view that ginseng is a tonic that can revitalize the functioning of the organism as a whole.
Say Bye Bye To Stress
Siberian ginseng also works to relieve you of stress. It is even said to have a calming effect on insomnia, curbing sleeplessness and promoting quality of sleep.8
The adaptogen qualities of Siberian ginseng are also effective against the stress hormones cortisol and nitric oxide, reports a 2010 study published in Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism.9
And To Depression
Siberian ginseng has also shown anti-depressive activity. Researchers have noted a 56.4 per cent decrease in stress in rats without any side effects. Siberian ginseng is an over-all mental health champion, reports the study.10 It aids the learning process and strengthens memory.
However, be wary of the side effects of Siberian ginseng. Though mild in nature some people may experience side effects such as drowsiness, changes in heart rhythm, sadness, anxiety, headache, insomnia, muscle spasms and more.
|↑1||Hartz, A. J., S. Bentler, R. Noyes, J. Hoehns, C. Logemann, S. Sinift, Y. Butani et al. “Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue.” Psychological medicine 34, no. 1 (2004): 51-61.|
|↑2||Glatthaar-Saalmüller, Bernadette, Fritz Sacher, and Anke Esperester. “Antiviral activity of an extract derived from roots of Eleutherococcus senticosus.” Antiviral research 50, no. 3 (2001): 223-228.|
|↑3||Perfect, Michelle M., Nigel Bourne, Charles Ebel, and Susan L. Rosenthal. “Use of complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of genital herpes.” HERPES-CAMBRIDGE- 12, no. 2 (2005): 38.|
|↑4||Park, Eun‐Jeon, Ji‐Xing Nan, Yu‐Zhe Zhao, Sung Hee Lee, Young Ho Kim, Jeong Bum Nam, Jung Joon Lee, and Dong Hwan Sohn. “Water‐soluble polysaccharide from Eleutherococcus senticosus stems attenuates fulminant hepatic failure induced by D‐galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide in mice.” Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology 94, no. 6 (2004): 298-304.|
|↑5||Cicero, A. F. G., G. Derosa, R. Brillante, R. Bernardi, S. Nascetti, and A. Gaddi. “Effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial.” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 38 (2004): 69-73.|
|↑6||Bu, Yungmin, Zhen Hua Jin, Sun Young Park, Sunkyung Baek, Sungju Rho, Nina Ha, Seong Kyu Park, Sun Yeo Kim, and Hocheol Kim. “Siberian ginseng reduces infarct volume in transient focal cerebral ischaemia in Sprague‐Dawley rats.” Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives 19, no. 2 (2005): 167-169.|
|↑7, ↑8||Deyama, Takeshi, Sansei Nishibe, and Yoshihisa Nakazawa. “Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 22, no. 12 (2001): 1057-1070.|
|↑9||Provino, Robert. “The role of adaptogens in stress management.” Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism 22, no. 2 (2010): 41.|
|↑10||Muszyńska, Bożena, Maciej Łojewski, Jacek Rojowski, Włodzimierz Opoka, and Katarzyna Sułkowska-Ziaja. “Natural products of relevance in the prevention and supportive treatment of depression.” Psychiatr Pol 49, no. 3 (2015): 435-453.|