ELEUTHERO

 

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ELEUTHERO

 

Ginseng is recognized as the popular “man shaped” fleshy root common to Chinese medicine.  What people may not know is that Siberian ginseng is a distant relative of Panax ginseng, but the medicinal benefits come mainly from its woody root.  The United States no longer markets eluthro as Siberian Ginseng due to the confusion brought upon the name “ginseng”, which is used only to refer to Panax species.

 

Eleutherococcus senticosus is found growing in mixed or coniferous forests, thriving in higher elevations but inhabiting as low undergrowth.  It is native to Eastern Asia, including China, Japan and Russia.  With the ability to tolerate a broad range of soil and climatic conditions, this woody shrub can reach heights of 3 to 10 feet.   Leaf bearing branches extend from one main stem and flowers can be seen budding in the summer.  Black berries will ripen in the late summer, but can be difficult to enjoy because of their thorny branches and stems.

 

Eleuthero and Panax ginseng provide similar medicinal benefits, but both are composed of different chemical components.   The active ingredient found in eleuthero a group of triterpenoid saponins called eleutherosides.     These chemical components work together to restore the body’s balance, thus recognizing Eleutherococcus senticosus as an adaptogen.  They are responsible for elevating the immune system to shield against the cold and flu, increase energy, aid longevity, and vitality.  Scientific research suggests that eleutherosides alleviate sore muscles and adrenal exhaustion, improve stamina and performance, and increase alertness and cognitive abilities.

 

No serious side effects come from taking eleuthero, but it is advised that people experiencing high blood pressure, heart conditions, and hypoglycemia consult with a medical professional before use.   The recommended dosage for adults ranges from 2 to 3 grams of eluthero daily.  This can come in tea or capsule form.  Dried powdered extract are best taken in doses of 100 to 200 mg, three times daily.   Extract forms will often contain at least 1 eleutheroside.

 

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