Plant name: Eleutherococcus senticosus
Location: East Asia
Used as: tonic, invigorator
Parts used: extract from roots
Aphrodisiac benefits: stimulates sexual appetite.
Active compounds: eleuterosides (stimulants)
Siberian Ginseng is often referred to as Eleuthero (a Latin abbreviation). It was also known by its now-obsolete Latin names Acanthopanax senticosus, Hedera senticosa and Aralia Manchuria. Russian botanist Carl Ivonovich Maximovich 'discovered' Siberian Ginseng in 1854 in a remote area in southeast Russia. Four years later, the Russians gave it its Latin name.
Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, Eleuthero or Siberian Ginseng use dates back 2000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. It can be traced back much further in many ancient annals. These annals suggest that it has been known for as long as 5,000 years. Referred to as ciwujia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections as well as colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality.
In Russia, it is sometimes called the Free-berried Shrub. Other names include Wild Pepper, Russian Root, Devil's Bush and Touch-me-not; the last two names no doubt refer to the plants intimidating thorns! Siberian Ginseng was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase the performance and quality of life. In more modern times, Siberian Ginseng’s ability to increase stamina and endurance led Soviet Olympic athletes to use it to enhance their training.
In 1959 the Ministry of Health in what was then the USSR authorised clinical tests, which sparked a huge interest from scientific community and the public. The Soviet Government then officially approved the herb's use as a tonic stimulant and commercial production of the plant followed. It was given to factory workers daily for years on end to increase the general health of the workers and of course increase economic productivity.
Siberian Ginseng has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that it improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle. This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly.
With the world evolving at a faster pace, humans need adaptogenic herbs more than ever. The pace of modern life means that many of us can barely keep up and while this can encourage a stimulating lifestyle, it is all too often an exhausting process.
The ability of Siberian Ginseng to help us deal with stress, physically and emotionally, has led to its current popularity. Olympic athletes, miners, divers, climbers, soldiers, mountain rescuers, explorers and cosmonauts are among those who regularly use Siberian Ginseng.
To date over 1,000 articles have been published worldwide about Siberian Ginseng.
Siberian Ginseng is a stimulating tonic. In this context, 'stimulating' means the ability to increase the work capacity of the entire body after only a single dose. The tonic effect maintains its impact over a prolonged period of time, keeping the energies revitalized without overworking the body. It even continues working for a period of time after you have stopped taking it.
Benefits of Siberian Ginseng
- Increases the body's ability to resist infection.
- Helps to prevent cardiac pains and pains in and around the neck and head such as headache.
- Improves cerebral corticoid (steroid hormone) function and the speed of the brain.
- Alleviates neurodynamic disturbance and neurological movement and growth by helping neurotransmitters to function efficiently.
- Enhances liver protection and lessens liver cell degeneration.
- Increases semen output and heightens both male and female fertility.
- Increases oxygen consumption and improves respiratory effectiveness.
- Breaks down and clears the body of drug residues.
- Helps the body resist and may even prevent tuberculosis.
- Assists the body to maintain cellular homeostasis.
- Helps the treatment of skin inflammations, dandruff, acne, hair falling out and all general hair and skin problems.
- Aids the brain by helping neurological pathways to work better; useful for dyslexia, autism, cranial cerebral injury, fits, epilepsy and general memory retention. Also aids nerve centres and message conduction to the brain in general.
- Improves hearing and sight.
- Helps prevent aging.
- Balances blood pressure (but it is not recommended for people with a reading of 180/95mmHg or higher).
- Normalise blood protein levels.
- Restore hemoglobin levels in cases of blood loss.
- Normalise arterial pressure, increase arterial wall elasticity and help treat hardening of the arteries; including arteriosclerosis.
- Prevent too many white blood cells from developing.
- Helps diabetics and hypoglycemics, partly by lowering serum glucose levels.
Siberian Ginseng as an Aphrodisiac
Siberian Ginseng's reputation for aiding male sexuality has made it a traditional favourite with older men in the East and recently in the West. Its claims to fame include stronger sex drive, increased semen output and heightened fertility - all accomplished without decreasing energy levels at any point. But it is no male preserve: the herb also helps women to become more sexually active and fertile.