is only distantly related to the true ginseng species (
According to Brekhman, eleutherococcus and ginseng are both
Perhaps the only indisputable example of an adaptogen is a healthful lifestyle. By eating right, exercising regularly, and generally living a life of balance and moderation, you will increase your physical fitness and ability to resist illnesses of all types. Brekhman felt certain that both eleutherococcus and ginseng produced similarly universal benefits. However, there is little to no meaningful evidence supporting this theory.
Herbs sold under the name ciwuja are most likely Eleutherococcus , as well.
If Brekhman is right, ginseng (whether Eleutherococcus or Panax ) should be the right treatment for most of us. Modern life is tremendously stressful, and if an herb could help us withstand stress
Better quality studies have evaluated the potential usefulness of Eleutherococcus for specific conditions. Most, however, have failed to find benefit.
In the one unquestionably positive study, a 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 93 men and women with recurrent herpes infections, treatment with eleutherococcus (2 g daily) reduced the frequency of outbreaks by approximately 50%.
is widely used as a
Several double-blind studies enrolling a total of about 500 people have evaluated a proprietary combination therapy containing extracts of Eleutherococcus and the herb andrographis for the treatment of
The typical recommended daily dosage of eleutherococcus is 2 g to 3 g whole herb or 300 g to 400 mg of extract daily.
According to studies performed primarily in the former Soviet Union, Eleutherococcus appears to present a low order of toxicity in both the short- and long-term. Human trials have not resulted in any significant side effects. 1,10 Safety in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.
One report suggests that
may alter the results of a test for the medication digoxin.
If you are taking:
5. Gaffney BT, Hugel HM, Rich PA. The effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus and Panax ginseng on steroidal hormone indices of stress and lymphocyte subset numbers in endurance athletes. Life Sci . 2001;70:431-442.
7. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Nees extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine . 2000;7:341-350.
8. Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, Chernikov MV, et al. Comparative controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination, Kan Jang and an Echinacea preparation as adjuvant, in the treatment of uncomplicated respiratory disease in children. Phytother Res . 2004;18:47-53.
9. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine . 2002;9:589-597.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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