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Top 10 Eleuthero Supplements
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|#1||Nature’s Way Siberian Eleuthero||Get it on Amazon|
|#2||Now Foods Eleuthero||Get it on Amazon|
|#3||Gaia Herbs Eleuthero Root Liquid Phyto-Capsules||Get it on Amazon|
|#4||Solgar – Eleuthero||Get it on Amazon|
|#5||Solaray Eleuthero||Get it on Amazon|
|#6||Starwest Botanicals Organic Eleuthero Root Powder||Get it on Amazon|
|#7||Herb Pharm Eleuthero Root Extract||Get it on Amazon|
|#8||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Eleuthero Organic Capsules||Get it on Amazon|
|#9||Swanson Eleuthero Root||Get it on Amazon|
|#10||Integrative Therapeutics – Energizing Iron with Eleuthero||Get it on Amazon|
Eleuthero is mentioned in Chinese medicine as far back as 2,000 years ago. This traditional remedy has many uses as part of the ancient Chinese medicinal system, but has only recently been popular outside of Asia.
In this article, learn about Eleuthero, what it is, where it comes from, how it works and what science has to say about the effectiveness of Eleuthero.
What is Eleuthero?
Eleuthero is a distant cousin of the popular health supplement Asian Ginseng. According to the University of Michigan School of Medicine, both belong to the Araliaceae family of shrubs.
Eleuthero, or Eleutherococcus senticosus, is better known by its common American name of Siberian ginseng. In Siberia, Eleuthero is sometimes also called devil’s shrub, touch-me-not or wild pepper.
WebMD states that Eleuthero is a plant called an “adaptogen.” The word adaptogen refers to a purported ability to help the body get stronger and be more resistant to different types of stressors.
The active ingredients in Eleuthero are called eleutherosides. It is thought there are seven main eleutherosides that are responsible for any health benefits derived from taking Eleuthero.
Eleutherosides are chemical compounds that can have certain beneficial properties to treat different health conditions. Different eleutherosides are thought to provide different types of benefits.
Eleuthero comes from a thorny shrub found in forests in the mountains of Russia and China. Its scientific name is Eleutherococcus senticosus. Eleutherococcus is Greek for “free-berried. Senticosus is a Latin word for “thorny” and “full of briers and thorns.”
Eleuthero is a very powerful herb commonly known as Siberian ginseng, Wucha, or Ciwujia. It is an adaptogenic herb that was historically used in Chinese medicine. This powerful adaptogen was known as “The King of the Adaptogens” to Chinese herbalists. The famous Chinese herbalist Li Shi-Chen wrote in 1596, “I would rather have a handful of [Eleuthero] than a cartload of gold and jewels.”
Although it is known as Siberian ginseng, it is not in the same family as ginseng. The Russians brought attention to this herb with their studies and reports of its use. Because of these reports, the use of Eleuthero spread to North America in the 1960’s.
Where Does Eleuthero Come From?
As its common name suggests, Eleuthero comes from the Siberian region in Russia. Siberia is the largest and northernmost province within Russia’s borders.
It typically grows in a forest setting, often taking up residence around the roots of larger trees. In addition to Russia, Eleuthero grows in China, Japan and parts of East Asia.
While Eleuthero is a flowering plant, it is the roots and sub-surface stems (rhizomes) that are typically used in supplements. The roots and rhizomes can be ground to be used in a tablet or capsule form. They can also be prepared in a tincture (liquid extract) form.
Health expert Dr. Weil recommends selecting a preparation that offers at least 0.08 percent eleutherosides standardization. Dr. Weil recommends starting with a dosage of 100 to 200 mg, with half that as the starting dosage for young patients.
Eleuthero can be easily confused with other common forms of ginseng supplements. However, it does not generally have the instant impact other strains of ginseng are reported to have on libido or energy. Rather, the results are most consistently observed when taking Eleuthero regularly over longer periods of time.
Things to Know About Eleuthero
Just because a supplement is plant-based or so-called “natural” does not mean it is risk-free. Research continues into the reported benefits of taking Eleuthero as well as situations where taking Eleuthero may be contraindicated or even dangerous.
As WebMD points out, Eleuthero may interact with certain medications, including Digoxin, alcohol, lithium, medications used for diabetes, medications used for anti-clotting, medications that interact with the liver and certain sedative medications.
It is very important not to start taking Eleuthero without consulting with a licensed and qualified physician or doctor who can advise on dosage, frequency and advisability of taking Eleuthero as part of a bigger picture approach to improving health.
WebMD also cites possible side effects that include drowsiness, spasming muscles, anxiety, heart arrhythmia, sadness, increases in blood pressure, changes in blood sugar, decreased blood clotting ability or undesirable hormonal changes.
Taking Eleuthero during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended. Eleuthero may be safe for teenage patients but it is not recommended for children. It is also advisable to consult a healthcare provider before taking Eleuthero in all cases.
Research on Eleuthero
In this section, learn about what scientific research to date says regarding the effectiveness of Eleuthero for different uses.
Learning and memory.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study focused on the use of eleutheroside B or E (two of the seven main chemical compounds contained within Eleuthero). The study goal was to examine the impact of these two eleutherosides on learning and memory in rats.
Study results showed promise for use of eleutheroside B or E to improve learning and memory in human patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as well as to improve overall cognition in aging healthy human patients.
Physical performance and fatigue.
Examine reports that research to date on whether Eleuthero can improve physical performance and fight fatigue is largely inconclusive. Results can neither be proved nor disproved and more research is needed.
Endurance and metabolism.
The Chinese Journal of Physiology conducted research to determine if an eight-week course of Eleuthero could improve endurance, metabolism and heart function in male athletes.
The study showed that Eleuthero supplementation did improve overall heart function, endurance and metabolic function for endurance athletes.
Stress and immune system.
A research study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on forced-stress mice showed that eleutherosides E and B were able to inhibit stress and fatigue and enable improvements in immune system natural killer cell ability.
The physical activity in this research study was swimming, and the study outcomes indicate use of Eleuthero supplementation for aqua athletes may be beneficial to performance.
Osteoarthritis, pain relief and cholesterol.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that Eleuthero has shown the potential to benefit patients in a number of ways.
Eleuthero supplements have been shown to improve immune system function (natural killer cells, T-lymphocyte production) to aid in cancer healing. Osteoarthritis patients have found supplementation with Eleuthero has a beneficial impact on pain and mobility. Post-menopausal female patients with high cholesterol have been aided in bringing their cholesterol level down with Eleuthero supplementation.
Some possible side effects of taking Eleuthero are: vomiting, nosebleed, confusion, and headache. These are due to the fact that Eleuthero may act as added estrogen in the body of some individuals. Although most people do not experience any side effects while taking this supplement, it is always recommended that you speak with your healthcare practitioner before taking Eleuthero.
You should speak to your healthcare practitioner about taking Eleuthero especially if you are nursing, pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant. If you are taking a prescription medication, you should consult with your health practitioner to avoid any interference this powerful supplement might have.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Traditionally, the benefits of Eleuthero were gained by daily drinking a tea made from boiling the shrub’s root, bark, or leaves in water. It was also used as a poultice or compress placed on any inflamed part of the body. Now, it is most common to take Eleuthero in powdered supplement form, or in the encapsulated form of a pill. Tea is still a great option, especially if you are coming down with a cold.
What to Look for in a Good Eleuthero Supplement
When choosing a supplement, keep an eye out for any additives. You want to purchase the purest form of Eleuthero. Why is it important that your supplement is free of additives? Purity is essential in order to avoid toxic chemical fillers and binders. Also, check that the supplement is natural, not synthetic.
Buy from a trusted source that has packaged the supplement well to prevent heat, light, and oxygen exposure. Some Eleuthero supplements are even combined with others in order to produce an enhanced effect. For example, some products contain Eleuthero blended with Tinechi ginseng or American ginseng.