What is Siberian Ginseng?
Also called eleuthero, Siberian ginseng is a distant botanical cousin of Panax ginseng, which is better known. Although not as revered (or expensive) as the Panax species, Siberian ginseng has been used in China for thousands of years to enhance the body’s vital energy (qi), restore memory, and prevents colds and flu. It is derived from Eleutherococcus senticosus, a plant native to places like eastern Russia, China, Korea and Japan. The herb gained popularity among Western doctors in the 1950s after a Russian health researcher, I.I. Brekman, completed experiments examining effects of thousands of men and women. The results proved the benefits of Siberian Ginseng.
Benefits of Siberian Ginseng
Siberian Ginseng contains substances that exert beneficial effects on the adrenals (the small glands on top of the kidneys that secret stress-fighting hormones). It also raises energy levels and enhances immunity. Studies show that the herb is effective in protecting against all kinds of physical stresses! It heightens mental alertness and allows the mind to focus in adverse situations. By reducing the effects of stress and supporting the immune system, Siberian Ginseng may also be of value in decreasing the risk of many chronic illnesses.
Siberian ginseng is often recommended as a way to revitalize your body and mind when you are fatigued (from being overworked to recovering from an illness). It is also great if you have weak concentration, plus it also enhances your immunity and mental alertness.
An additional benefits is that Siberian Ginseng can alter hormone levels and tone the uterus. This can help treat menstrual irregularities and the symptoms of menopause. Taken between menstrual periods it may also be useful in preventing female infertility. The herb has been known to be a fertility aid to men as well.
It has also been know to treat certain heart conditions and to lower blood sugar.
How to Take Siberian Ginseng
For stress and fatigue – Take 100 to 300 mg of a standardized extract of Siberian Ginseng, twice a day. You can take Siberian Ginseng long-term but it is recommended to take it for 3 months and stop for a week or two.
Side effects of Siberian Ginseng are rare but can include mild diarrhea or feeling over-energized or restless. Don’t take this close to bedtime. If you take more than 900mg per day you can get insomnia, irritable, nervous and anxious. There is too much of a good thing, so start slow with 200 – 300 mg per day.
When in doubt or if you are taking other prescription medication contact your Naturopath or doctor first.