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Common Name :E. senticosus ,Siberian Ginseng or eleuthero
Habitat ; Eleutherococcus senticosus is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Siberia. It grows in the mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming small undergrowth or groups in thickets and edges. Sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland.
Eleutherococcus senticosus is a deciduous shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects.
Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun. (A surprising report, this species is a woodland plant and we would expect it to prefer shade) Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds. A highly polymorphic species. Siberian ginseng is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Russia and China.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification and can be very slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 30cm long in a cold frame. Root cuttings in late winter. Division of suckers in the dormant season
Edible Uses: Tea….Young leaves and buds – cooked. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute.
The major constituents of E. senticosus are ciwujianoside A-E, eleutheroside B (syringin), eleutherosides A-M, friedelin, and isofraxidin
E. senticosus is an adaptogen that has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins that are lipophilic and that can fit into hormone receptors. Extracts of E. senticosus have been shown to have a variety of biological effects in vitro or in animal models:
Chinese herbology, Eleutherococcus senticosis is used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.
Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant-like effects in rats
There has been much research into Siberian ginseng in Russia since the 1950s, although the exact method by which it stimulates stamina and resistance to stress is not yet understood. Siberian ginseng seems to have a general tonic effect on the body, in particular on the adrenal glands, helping the body to withstand heat, cold, infection, other physical stresses and radiation. It has even been given to astronauts to counter the effects of weightlessness. Athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng. Siberian ginseng is given to improve mental resilience, for example, during exams, and to reduce the effects of physical stress, for example during athletic training. Siberian ginseng is most effective in the treatment of prolonged exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and long-term stress. The herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic illness. As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps both to prevent infection and to maintain well-being. It is also used in treatments for impotence. Eleuthero root happens to be anti-yeast and immune supportive.
Interactions and side effects:
*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus because it may reduce their need for medication.
*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.
*E. senticosus, when purchased from non-GMP sources, has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca, which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs; however, this is not an interaction of E. senticosus
Known Hazards : Caution if high blood pressure. Avoid coffee. 6 weeks maximum use. Avoid during pregnancy. Unsuitable for children. High doses may cause drowsiness, anxiety, irritability, mastalgia and uterine bleeding. Possible blood pressure increases and irregular heart beats. Effects of antidiabetic drugs, sedatives and anticoagulants may be potentiated.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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