Siberian Ginseng

 

Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) is a small, woody shrub in the Araliaceae family that is native to southeastern Russia, northern China, Korea and Japan. native plant to  the mountains of Europe and cultivated in the north-western United States and Canada. (Natural Medicine 2015).  It is not related to the true ginseng (Panax ginseng) and it has a growing reputation for increasing all kinds of body resistance.  (Hoffman 1996)  Siberian Ginseng usage has been historically dated back over 2,000 years in China. In Russia, the Siberian people originally use Siberian Ginseng to increase performance and quality of life.  The Soviet scholars may have been the first to discover the adaptogenic role of Siberian ginseng.  It has been used by high -level athletes and cosmonauts in the former Soviet Union for its potential ability to increase stamina and endurance. (Natural Medicine 2015).   

 

Currently, the Russian Federation is the main producing region of Siberian Ginseng (Wichtl, 2002). At the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, scientists of the Russian Federation began to research and promote the eleuthero root as a substitute drug for the expensive Asian ginseng root (Panax ginseng) for which a sufficient supply could not be obtained for medical use (Wichtl, 2002).  Based on the pharmacological studies, it has been proposed that the activity of eleuthero extracts is equivalent to, or may even surpass, that of Asian ginseng root (Wichtl, 2002). Since about 1975, the drug has become available in western countries marketed under the names "Siberian Ginseng" or "Taiga Root", promoted as tonics for invigoration and strengthening.  In the U.S., the standard common name that is required on products labels and in advertisements of Siberian Ginseng is "eleuthero".  Siberian Ginseng is no longer the legal standard common name.  A 2002 amendment to the Federal, Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act limits the use of the name "ginseng" to herbs of the genus Panax only.  (Wichtl, 2002).  The eleuthero root has been classified as a drug with adaptogenic activity but due to the concepts' vagueness, have still not attained general recognition within natural science-based medicine; much of the data supporting the adaptogen concept is still viewed with great skepticism. (Wichtl, 2002).  

 

References

 

Hoffmann, D. (1996) The Complete Illustrated Herbal. (New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Inc,), 88.


Wichtl, M.(2002), Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals.(Boca Raton, FL:  CRC Press,) 188 


Natural Medicines (2015) Ginseng, Siberian, Therapeutic Research Center https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=985
 

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