Siberian ginseng

Chinese Name: Ci wu jia
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Acanthopanax (Eleuthrococcus) senticosus family, Araliaceae
Origin: Root. The plant is not a true ginseng (Panax spp).
Taste: Pungent, slightly bitter

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN-NONG: "Treats stagnation of qi in the chest and abdomen, hernia, abdominal pain, infantile inability to walk, abscesses, boils, genital ulcers and abdominal cysts."

ANNOTATION ON THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN-NONG: "After going through clouds, the lower part of the body may be affected by pathogenic dampness, harming the skin, muscles, bones and tendons. As the liver and kidneys are located in the lower part where bones and muscles predominate, these two channels are the first to be affected by pathogenic wind-cold-dampness. Siberian ginseng can dispel wind with its pungent taste, expel cold with its warm nature and remove dryness with its bitter taste. The two organs will be freed from all ailments by the potency of this herb."

Western Research

Bull Exp Biol Med. 2002 Mar;133(3):252-4.
Effects of Siberian ginseng extract and ipriflavone on the development of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.
Kropotov AV, Kolodnyak OL, Koldaev VM. Department of Pharmacology, Vladivostok State Medical University.
Siberian ginseng extract produced a protective effect during experimental steroid-induced osteoporosis, which was comparable with the influence of ipriflavone.

Life Sci. 2001 Dec 14;70(4):431-42.
The effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus and Panax ginseng on steroidal hormone indices of stress and lymphocyte subset numbers in endurance athletes.
Gaffney BT, Hugel HM, Rich PA. School of Nursing. Griffith University, Australia.
A clinical trial was undertaken to investigate the effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES) and Panax ginseng (PG) on competitive club-level endurance athletes engaged in their normal in-season training. Participants were matched for training stress and received a 33% ethanolic extract (8 mL/day) containing either ES, PG (equivalent to 4 g and 2 g/day of dried root, respectively), or a placebo. No significant change in testosterone, cortisol or TCR was observed in the PG group. In the ES group, however, TCR decreased by 28.7% from 0.0464 to 0.0331 (P=0.03). Contrary to initial expectation, ES increased rather than decreased hormonal indices of stress, which may be consistent with animal research suggesting a threshold of stress below which ES increases the stress response and above which ES decreases the stress response

Antiviral Res. 2001 Jun;50(3):223-8.
Antiviral activity of an extract derived from roots of Eleutherococcus senticosus.
Glatthaar-Saalmuller B, Sacher F, Esperester A. Labor Dr. Glatthaar, Virologische Testsysteme, Gewebekulturen, Immundiagnostik, Biotechnologie Zentrum Tubingen/Reutlingen, Germany.
A liquid extract from Eleutherococcus senticosus roots inhibited the productive replication of human rhinovirus (HRV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus in cell cultures infected with these viruses. This antiviral activity remained stable under the conditions used for drug preparation and storage.

Phytother Res. 2000 Feb;14(1):30-5.
The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus senticosus on cellular defence and physical fitness in man.
Szolomicki J, Samochowiec L, Wojcicki J, Drozdzik M, Szolomicki S. Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Pomeranian University School of Medicine, Poland.
The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus senticosus were studied on cellular defence and physical fitness in man. 50 healthy volunteers were randomly subdivided into two study groups. Changes in the following blood parameters were observed in comparison to initial values in group A: total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose. No alterations were seen in group B. The ergospirometric test revealed a higher oxygen plateau in group A (Taiga Wurzel). Active components in Eleutherococcus senticosus contained in Taiga Wurzel preparation affect cellular defence and physical fitness, as well as lipid metabolism. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Eksp Klin Farmakol 1997 Sep-Oct;60(5):58-60
Effects of eleutherococcus, elton, leuzea, and leveton on the blood coagulation system during training in athletes [Article in Russian]
Azizov AP.
Department of Medicobiological Problems of Higher Achievements in Sports, Research Institute of Physical Culture, Moscow, Russia.
Comparative study was conducted of formal preparations of tinctures of eleutherococcus and leuzea and the newly developed preparations. Twenty-day treatment with the new broad-spectrum adaptogens Elton and Leveton causes a more marked reduction of the coagulation potential in athletes.