Eleuthero is the ‘all in one’ supplement with wide-ranging health benefits
Some patients are the “all in one” types when it comes to their wellness lifestyle. They want exercises that give them overall benefits, rather than ones which target specific muscles or trouble spots where fat accumulates. They focus on healthy foods that provide a wide spectrum of nutritional benefits, rather than on those which only contain a few select nutrients.
When one of these patients asks your advice about the best nutritional supplement, they are looking for one that provides the widest possible range of benefits. For these patients, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) could be the one supplement they need to provide the most benefits.
What is eleuthero?
Your patients will most likely recognize eleuthero under the name Siberian ginseng. However, it is a completely different plant from either American (Panax quinquefolius) or Asian (Panax ginseng) ginseng, and has entirely different active ingredients.1
As its more common name implies, eleuthero is native to eastern Russia and the Korean peninsula. Eleuthero has been traditionally used in both Russia and China to boost the immune system. Eleuthero’s active ingredients are called eleutherosides, which are thought to be adaptogens, meaning that they can help the body deal with mental and physical stress.1
A 2010 article in the Chinese Journal of Physiology studied the effect of eleuthero on the ability of muscles to work, particularly under intense stress, such as hard physical activity.2
A group of nine male college students were given either 800 mg of eleuthero per day or a placebo for eight weeks. All subjects also underwent a cycling endurance trial. At the end of the study, the researchers found that eleuthero benefits increased endurance time by 23%, peak oxygen saturation by 12%, and peak heart rate by 3%.2
Improved lymphatic function
A 2016 study in Nutritional Research tested the effect of eleuthero benefits on lymphatic function, particularly as it relates to edema, or fluid retention in the extremities.3 Previous research has shown that this fluid retention can be related to the body’s immune response via the lymphatic system.
The researchers hypothesized that eleutherosides may stimulate the lymphatic system to properly drain, thereby reducing the edema. For this study, 50 healthy female volunteers consumed an eleuthero nutritional supplement. Within 2-4 hours afterward, lower-extremity edema was significantly reduced for all volunteers.3
Type 2 diabetes improvement
A 2013 study in the International Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the possibility of eleuthero benefits for reducing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.4 A group of patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive 480 mg per day of eleuthero, American ginseng or a placebo, over the course of three months. At the end of the study, those patients taking eleuthero showed a significant decrease in both fasting and postprandial blood-sugar levels.
Furthermore, those patients also reported some recovery of sensory perception that had been lost to diabetic neuropathy as an additional benefit.4
If your patients are the “all in one” types, this likely also applies to their wellness lifestyle in terms of wanting to get as much benefit as possible from everything they do. For these patients, eleuthero may be just the supplement to keep them on track.
- Siberian ginseng. Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Hershey. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000250 Published March 25, 2015. Accessed March 21, 2019.
- Kuo J, Chen KW, Cheng IS, et al. The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism in humans. Chinese Journal of Physiology. 2010 Apr 30;53(2):105-111.
- Fukada K, Kajiya-Sawane M, Matsumoto Y, et al. Anti-edema effects of Siberian ginseng in humans and its molecular mechanism of lymphatic vascular function in vitro. Nutrition Research. 2016 Jul;36(7):689-695.
- Freye E, Gleske, J. Siberian ginseng results in beneficial effects on glucose metabolism in diabetes type 2 patients: A double blind placebo-controlled study in comparison to panax ginseng. International Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;1(1):11-17.