Siberian ginseng, also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus by its scientific name and eleuthero by its common name, is an herb in the Araliaceae family.1 Though its name suggests otherwise, the Siberian ginseng is different from the American and Asian ginseng, featuring different active chemicals and medicinal properties.2 The roots and rhizomes, or underground stem, are used in herbal medicine.1 The herb can be taken in multiple forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, liquid extracts, or solid extracts.2
Siberian Ginseng Uses and Health Benefits
Siberian ginseng is what’s known as an adaptogen.3 Rather than providing medicinal benefits for illnesses, adaptogens are said to improve overall health, strengthen the body, and protect against stress.1,3 Siberian ginseng may help in boosting memory and mental performance and is said to improve immune system function, making it a powerful herb for both mental and physical health.1,2 It’s thought to help prevent infection, such as the flu and herpes, as well as treat problems like impotence.1,2 Other conditions that Siberian ginseng may help with include diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic bronchitis, kidney disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others.3 Some prominent Siberian ginseng uses include for:
- Depression - Siberian ginseng may be helpful in treating symptoms of depression and similar conditions like bipolar disorder.
- Bladder Cancer - The Siberian ginseng herb could help bladder cancer patients and is known to combat the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.
- Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) - Siberian ginseng uses encompass a wide variety of cardiovascular-related conditions, including atherosclerosis, rheumatic heart disease, and low blood pressure.
- Stress - One of the more prevalent Siberian ginseng benefits is that it helps prevent stress, including both mental and physical stress.
- Brain Cancer - Like with other types of cancer, Siberian ginseng may provide benefits for brain cancer patients.
Siberian Ginseng Side Effects and Precautions
Siberian ginseng side effects are minimal, although diarrhea and insomnia may occur.1 Additional Siberian ginseng side effects may include headaches, confusion, high blood pressure, nosebleed, and vomiting.2 Individuals with uncontrolled high blood pressure should not take Siberian ginseng.1 The herb may interact with other medications such as anticoagulants, diabetes medications, immunosuppressants, and sedatives.2 Talk to your doctor if you are taking other herbs or medications or if you have a serious medical condition before starting on a Siberian ginseng diet.