Eleuthero is a common name for Eleutherococcus senticosus, a deciduous, woody shrub that originates from eastern Asia, including China, Japan, Korea and Russia. Additional common names for this plant include eleuthero, Siberian Ginseng and Ciwujia. Eluthero belongs to the Araliaceae family, which also includes the Panax genus of true ginseng plants.
Eleuthero is hardy to zone 3 and grows in mountainous forests, especially with coniferous trees. It may also grow in riparian woodlands on rare occasions. Eleuthero typically forms undergrowth in areas with dappled shade such as thickets, groves and forest edges. It can grow in a broad range of soils, including heavy clay, loam and sand. Eleuthero can also tolerate acidic and alkaline soils.
Eleuthero can reach a height of six feet, although it grows slowly. It usually flowers in July, depending on the climate. The flowers are self-fertile and may also be pollinated by insects.
The pharmaceutically active components of eleuthero primarily consist of eleutherosides A through M, especially B and E. Additional components include acanthoside D, ciwujianosides A through E, friedelin and isofraxidin. This large number of active components makes eleuthero useful for supporting a variety of biological functions.
It is used in traditional Chinese medicine for conditions such as poor appetite, occasional headaches and poor sleeping patterns. Eleuthero is considered to be an adaptogen in modern herbal medicine, meaning that it stabilizes physiological processes and promotes homeostasis. A decreased sensitivity to stress is a common benefit of homeostasis as defined in herbal medicine.
The most significant benefit of eleuthero’s adaptogenic properties is support for the immune system. Additional uses include support for exercise performance, mental function and overall health.
Early research indicates that eleuthero may help recall, especially for middle-aged people. This use of eleuthero is often combined with other herbs such as rhodiola and schisandra.
Eleuthero extract is also commonly used to maintain breathing during endurance exercises. The active ingredients in these supplements are primarily eleutheroside B and eleutheroside E.
Eleuthero can also promote a sense of well-being, especially if you are over 65 years of age. The maximum benefits typically occur after four weeks.
Eleuthero can help support the immune system, especially when combined with the herb andrographis. This use typically provides its maximum benefit after four to five days. A combination of eleuthero, Malabar nut and Echinacea is also used for congestion and coughing.
One of the most common signs that you may benefit from eleuthero is a high level of daily stress. This is especially true if you need to balance your cortisol level, which is often released during chronic stress. You may also want to take eleuthero if want to improve your performance in athletic activities. Some people who receive medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also benefit from eleuthero.
eleuthero, Siberian Ginseng, ginseng, Ciwujia
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