Siberian Ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia and has a history of use in folklore and traditional Chinese medicine. Siberian ginseng is often called an “adaptogen.” This is a non-medical term used to describe substances that can supposedly strengthen the body and increase general resistance to daily mental and physical stress. One of the first written texts covering the use of ginseng as a medicinal herb was the Shen-Nung Pharmacopoeia, written in China in 196 AD. Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero has been used in China for 2000 years as a folk remedy for bronchitis, heart ailments, and rheumatism, and as a tonic to restore vigour, improve general health, restore memory, promote healthy appetite, and increase stamina. Referred to as ci wu ju in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections as well as colds and flu. Germany's Commission E approved Siberian Ginseng as a tonic in times of fatigue and debility, declining capacity for work or concentration, and during convalescence. Other uses for Siberian Ginseng are for chronic inflammatory conditions and traditionally for functional asthenia Siberian Ginseng has also been reported to increase stamina and endurance and protect the body systems against stress-induced illness and fatigue. Siberian ginseng contains many chemicals that affect the brain, immune system, and certain hormones. It might also contain chemicals that have activity against some bacteria and viruses.
Before taking Siberian ginseng, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications. This herb interacts with many prescription drugs.