Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the US, perhaps most well known for its traditional use of boosting memory and energy levels. However, it has many other uses. Ginseng is considered an adaptogen, which means it helps your body to withstand mental and physical stress.
Until recently, most scientific research on Siberian ginseng was done in Russia. In the past few years, it has become one of the most studied herbs on the planet. Researchers around the world are taking a much deeper look at this wonderful herb and it’s many health benefits, including:
COLDS AND FLU
Numerous double-blind studies have found that Siberian ginseng reduced the severity and length of colds when taken within 72 hours of experiencing symptoms. One study found that people with flu who took the Siberian Ginseng product saw their symptoms go away faster than those who took amantadine.
Another study found that healthy people who took Siberian ginseng for 4 weeks had more T-cells, which indicates a strengthening of their immune systems.
In perhaps the most convincing study carried out so far, B. Bohn and co-workers in Heidelberg, West Germany looked at immune parameters in 18 individuals in a randomized, double-blind fashion for a total of four weeks. The subjects in this study had venous blood drawn both before and after Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) administration, and the samples were analysed by flow cytometry, which counted absolute numbers of immune cells present in their blood.
Overall, the Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) group showed an absolute increase in all immune cells measured. Total T-cell numbers advanced by 78 per cent, T helper/inducer cells went up by 80 per cent, cytotoxic Ts by 67 percent, and NK cells by 30 per cent, compared to the control group. B Lymphocytes, which are cells that produce antibodies against infectious organisms, expanded by 22 per cent in the Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) subjects, compared to controls. Most importantly, no side effects were noted in the Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) subjects up to five months after Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) administration ended.
The researchers stated: ‘We conclude from our data that Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) exerts a strong immunomodulatory effect in healthy normal subjects.’ The Bohn study has caused drug companies to spend millions of dollars in an effort to get Eleutherococcus Senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) approved as a drug by the FDA in the States.
HERPES VIRAL INFECTION
Other double-blind studies have found that people with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2, which can cause genital herpes, found that taking Siberian ginseng reduced the number of outbreaks. Outbreaks that did happen were less severe and did not last as long.
Siberian ginseng is often used to increase mental alertness. It contains choline, a brain chemical for learning and memory retention. This helps improve mental performance and alertness.
Siberian Ginseng has also been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the crash, or anxiety, of caffeinated products.
Siberian ginseng is often said to improve athletic performance and increase muscle strength. Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen. This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic activities such as, walking, jogging, biking, hiking, for longer and recover from activity much quicker.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Other studies have found that elderly people (65 and older) who took Siberian ginseng had better mental health and social functioning after 4 weeks of therapy, compared to those who took placebo.