Eleuthero, eleuthero root extract, eleuthero benefits
eleuthero side effects,  Last Update: September 28, 2013
Acanthopanax senticosus (Rupr. et Maxim) Harms (Araliaceae), Siberian Ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, 刺五
加 Ciwujia

Eleuthero, formerly labeled as Siberian Ginseng, is a hardy herb indigenous to the Taiga region of the Far East,
which includes southeastern Russia, northern China, Japan and Korea. The use of Eleuthero can be traced back over
2,000 years in ancient Chinese medical texts, where it is indicated for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments.
Although it is a cousin of the Panax ginseng family (Korean, Chinese and American) it’s considered distinctly different.
The term panax is derived from the Greek words pan (all) and akos (cure), which means “cure-all”. In addition to its
adaptogenic properties, which seem to stem from its ability to regulate the activity of the adrenal cortex in response to
stress, Eleuthero has some unique benefits. It stimulates the immune system, especially during times of strenuous
physical exertion and stress, and seems especially beneficial for supporting a healthy mood and mental alertness.
Eleuthero is also extremely beneficial as a training aid for athletes. Today, eleuthero root is marketed as a support for
the liver, and the key active ingredient of Eleuthero is Eleutherosides.

Scientific Evidence for Eleuthero Benefits

Eleuthero and Ginseng have similar biological properties, once Eleuthero has even been called as Siberian Ginseng.
Eleuthero may benefit people suffered depression, fatigue or under stress. It may also enhance immuno-functions
and neuron activities. [1] Here is a summary of recent research findings about the health benefit claims of Eleuthero
Root  Extracts.

Root extracts of Eleuthero have anti-cancer activities, at least shown in cell studies. Eleuthero root extracts has been
shown to against scavenging on DPPH free radicals. In a study, a special preparation of the Eleuthero root extract
exhibited high anti-lipid peroxidative activities, and against seven human cancer cell lines. [9]  Tincture of Eleuthero
root on radiation carcinogenesis and life span in rats has been studied. The results of the study demonstrate that
Eleuthero root extracts significantly improved survival and decreased incidence and multiplicity of malignant and
benign tumors in rats subjected to ionizing radiation. [A2] Thus, Eleuthero root extracts may benefit those at risk of
certain types of cancers.

Eleuthero root has been used as a tonic and adaptogen to strengthen qi in traditional Korean medicine. The
neuroprotective effects of water extracts of Eleuthero were investigated in transient middle cerebral artery occlusion of
Sprague-Dawley rats. The infarct volume was significantly reduced by 36.6% after the peritoneal injection of Eleuthero
extracts (100 mg [sol ]kg) compared with the control. In the immunohistochemical study, Eleuthero extracts markedly
inhibited both cyclooxygenase-2 and OX-42 expressions in the penumbral region at 24 h after MCAo. These results
suggest that Eleuthero may have beneficial effect of neuro-protection by inhibiting inflammation and microglial
activation in brain ischaemia. [2]

Stress and Fatique
The eleuthero g cortex has been used extensively in Asia as an adaptogen. Its benefits include improvement of non-
specific body resistance to stress and fatigue. Researchers compared the effects of the water extracts (A, B, C, D and
E) of five Eleuthero extracts on the swimming time, NK activity and blood corticosterone level using forced swimming
stressed mice. Among five kinds, C, D and E extracts significantly prolonged the swimming time. C and D extracts
inhibited the reduction of NK activity and the corticosterone elevation induced by forced swimming. The contents of
eleutheroside E, isoflaxidin and eleutherosides B plus E were in the order C > D > E > B > A and C > E > D > A > B
extracts, respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that eleutheroside E may be contributed to the anti-fatigue action,
the recovery of the reduction of NK activity and the inhibition of corticosterone elevation induced by swimming stress.

However, another study conducted by researchers from University of Iowa was not able to demonstrate the overall
anti-fatigue effects of Eleuthero on subjects compared to the control group. [7] So, does Eleuthero really have a
benefit to people under stress or fatigue? The inconsistent results of studies can be due to experimental design,
dosage form, dosage composition and the subject characters. Definitely, more studies are needed to understand or
clarify the potential benefits of Eleuthero extracts.

Hepatic Failure
Preparations of Eleuthero used in a study were as follows; (i) 70% ethanol extract (ii) water extract (iii) ethanol-soluble
part of the water extract (iv) polysaccharide obtained as an 80% ethanol insoluble of the water extract. Preparations
were given by intraperitoneal (300 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) or oral (300 mg/kg) injection at 12 hr and 1 hr before a D-
galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide injection. The intraperitoneal injection of water extract and polysaccharide
significantly lowered serum levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase,
improved the histologic changes in liver, inhibited hepatocyte apoptosis confirmed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl
transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling method and DNA fragmentation assay, and suppressed the lethality
induced by D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide. The oral administration of water extract and polysaccharide also
reduced serum aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase and tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels. In contrast
70% ethanol extract and ethanol-soluble part of the water extract had no protective effect when treated
intraperitoneally or orally. These results indicate Siberian Ginseng stems attenuate fulminant hepatic failure induced
by D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide in mice and the protective effect is due to water-soluble polysaccharides in
Siberian Ginseng stems. [4] Well, it looks like Eleuthero may have some benefits on people at risk of such conditions,
more studies are needed to prove the implication.

Coagulation (thrombogenesis) is the process by which blood forms clots. It is a crucial part of hemostasis - stopping
blood loss from damaged blood vessels. However, when people tend to clot too much, blood clots can form in their
legs when they sit for long periods of time, such as in a long car or plane ride. This creates health issues, especially,
when he blood clots find their way into the brain and cause a stroke. A study has shown that administration of
Eleuthero extract to albino rats (18-20-month age) daily for 30 days led to a better anti-coagulating system or a better
protection from thrombogeneration induced with i.v. administration of tissue thromboplastine. The benefit-effect of the
adaptogen was more obvious after 60-day treatment. [6] Thus, Eleuthero may have benefits to those at risk of
abnormal, excessive amount of blood clots.

Acute administration of a liquid Eleuthero extract significantly improves short-term memory in healthy humans. The
expression of this action depends on the daytime and psychophysiological peculiarities of the volunteers.
Administration of the preparation also improved retinal sensitivity. This effect was more pronounced in humans with
weak type of high nervous activity in evening hours. [8] Thus, Eleuthero extract may benefit people at risk of memory

Scientist also studied the influence of Eleuthero on cellular and humoral immune response in animal models (Balb/c
mice and F1 crossbreeds Balb/cxC3H). The study has shown that Eleuthero has immunomodulatory properties. It
enhanced the cellular response of the mouse immunological system (chemokinetic activity of mice spleen cells, GvH
reaction). They also observed a stimulatory effect of Eleuthero on the humoral response (antibody production). [8] In
another study, researchers administrated Eleuthero preparations to mice before illness, during illness and a
combination of both. They found an increase of the level of immunoglobulins comprised in the mice's blood serum [10]
Thus, eleuthero may offer benefits via immunofunction activities, more studies are needed to verify the thought.

A standardized Eleuthero stem bark extract was supplied in an ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis. After eight
weeks of treatments, the femur bone mineral density of the 100 mg/kg Eleuthero extract-treated group was
significantly higher than that of the control group. [A1] Thus, researchers believe that Eleuthero bark extracts may
benefit people at risk of osteoporosis.

Eleuthero Side Effects
Researchers tested the effect of Eleuthero on 20 seniors with respect to health related quality of life (HRQOL). After 4
week study, they found that patients randomized to Eleuthero had a higher scores in social functioning scales
compared to those received placebo. And, they found no side effects on both groups. [5] Eleuthero may be safe for
most people at low doses for a short term use. However, side effects may include drowsiness, changes in heart
rhythm, sadness, anxiety, muscle spasms and other side effects. High doses may raise blood pressure. People with
blood pressure over 180/90 should not take Eleuthero.

REFERENCE [1] Deyama T et al, Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng. Acta
Pharmacol Sin. 2001 Dec;22(12):1057-70. [2] Bu Y et al, Siberian ginseng reduces infarct volume in transient focal
cerebral ischaemia in Sprague-Dawley rats. Phytother Res. 2005 Feb;19(2):167-9. Kimura Y and Sumiyoshi M Effects
of various Eleutherococcus senticosus cortex on swimming time, natural killer activity and corticosterone level in
forced swimming stressed mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec;95(2-3):447-53. [4] Park EJ et al, Water-soluble
polysaccharide from Eleutherococcus senticosus stems attenuates fulminant hepatic failure induced by D-
galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide in mice. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2004 Jun;94(6):298-304. [5] Cicero AF et
al, Effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus
senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial. Arch
Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2004;(9):69-73. [6] Bazaz'ian GG et al Effect of Eleutherococcus on the functional status of the anticoagulation
system in older animals Fiziol Zh SSSR Im I M Sechenova. 1987 Oct;73(10):1390-5. [7] Hartz AJ et al, Randomized controlled trial of
Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue. Psychol Med. 2004 Jan;34(1):51-61. [6] Arushanian EB et al, Effect of eleutherococcus on short-term
memory and visual perception in healthy humans Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2003 Sep-Oct;66(5):10-3.[8] Rogala E et al, The influence of
Eleuterococcus senticosus on cellular and humoral immunological response of mice. Pol J Vet Sci. 2003;6(3 Suppl):37-9. [9] Yu CY et
al, Intraspecific relationship analysis by DNA markers and in vitro cytotoxic and antioxidant activity in Eleutherococcus senticosus. Toxicol
In Vitro. 2003 Apr;17(2):229-36. [10] Drozd J et al, Estimation of humoral activity of Eleutherococcus senticosus. Acta Pol Pharm. 2002
Sep-Oct;59(5):395-401. [A1] Lim DW, et al, Preventive effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus bark extract in OVX-induced osteoporosis in
rats. Molecules. 2013 Jul 8;18(7):7998-8008.  [A2] Bespalov G. et al, tincture of Siberian ginseng root (TSGR) on radiation
carcinogenesis and life span in rats has been studied. The results of the study demonstrate that DFMO as well as TSGR significantly
improved survival and decreased incidence and multiplicity of malignant and benign tumors in rats subjected to ionizing radiation. Adv
Gerontol. 2012;25(2):293-300.
This webpage discusses the benefits and side effects of Eleuthero. You are encouraged to report adverse side effects to FDA, and let me know
your experience with Eleuthero, and/or report the adverse side effects to the manufacturer. There are always new information. Please, send me an
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herein is believed to be accurate. The information can not be used a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to seek the advice of
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