Eleuthero is a plant is commonly used in traditional medicines as an adaptogen, a compound that helps the body combat and adapts to stress. The herb also acts as a stimulant as it is effective for improving the function of the nervous system. Also, the primary components of eleuthero include a range of potent organic compounds that provide the amazing health effects that this herb is known for.
The leaves and the woody roots of the Eleutherococcus plant are mostly consumed in the form of a pill or supplement. However, in traditional medicine, the leaves and roots are consumed in their natural state as oil extract after boiling them. Still, in Asia, eleuthero tea remains the most popular way to consume the herb.
It is important to note that, though eleuthero possesses similar benefits as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) or true ginseng (Panax ginseng), they are not the same.
The Health Benefits of Eleuthero Root
In traditional and herbal medicines, eleuthero is effective as a treatment for various health conditions.
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of eleuthero.
In many traditional medicines, eleuthero is used to improve muscle and bone strength. In fact, in certain studies, the herb significantly enhanced the flexibility of joints, as well as reduced issues of pain in the affected areas of the body.
Increases Energy and Reduces Fatigue
Eleuthero is a stimulant that helps to boost energy levels and possess compounds that combat fatigue and inhibit its side effects. In fact, studies have shown that the consumption of eleuthero can significantly reduce fatigue.
Interestingly, one of the reasons for the popularity of eleuthero is its ability to increase energy levels. It does this by impacting on the nervous system, boosting metabolism, increasing blood circulation, and reducing fatigue. If you find yourself always needing naps during the day, or feeling tired after a large meal, you may need to regularly supplement with eleuthero to boost your energy.
Boosts Lymphatic Function
Eleuthero is believed to help improve the lymphatic function of the lymph node network, which means that it may help reduce edema, a swelling resulting from an accumulation of fluid.
Enhances Cognitive Function
Due to its ability to increase blood circulation, eleuthero may help improve blood flow to the brain, thereby boosting mental capacity with regards to memory and focus. To boost mental capacity and intelligence, eleuthero can prove very potent. The herb helps to increase blood flow to the brain and capillaries which, in turn, enhance cognition, boost memory, and improve concentration.
Eleuthero and eleutherosides have proven to be effective in binding to estrogen receptor points. They may, in fact, reduce the effects of estrogen withdrawal in menopausal women. Women with estrogen-induced cancer are therefore advised to check with their doctor before consuming eleuthero.
Although more research is required, eleuthero is believed to contain anti-cancer or anti-tumor properties, especially in lung cancers.
As a stimulant, eleuthero may be effective in improving the ability of muscles to function properly, especially in cases of vigorous physical activity.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Eleutherosides can help reduce insulin resistance as well as manage type 2 diabetes. In fact, studies suggest that eleuthero can significantly reduce fasting and after-meal blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Since it can boost the immune system, eleuthero may also help improve or hasten the healing process of wounds. The compounds present in eleuthero can also prevent the formation of ulcers, and even diabetic foot ulcers.
Prevents and Repairs Nerve Damage
Some studies have indicated that eleutherosides may actually help prevent and repair nerve damage. In addition, eleuthero can prevent or manage medication for neurological health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Lowers Blood Pressure
As a stimulant, eleuthero is effective for boosting blood circulation, heart rate, as well as lower blood pressure following a regular consumption of the herb. It is, however, important to keep in mind that although eleuthero may be effective for lowering blood pressure, it may increase the risks for hypertensive people.
Prevents Respiratory Tract Infections
As an immune-booster, eleuthero may lower the duration and severity of lung infections, including pneumonia and flu. People who often suffer from bronchitis, coughs, colds, or other respiratory problems may find eleuthero tea a very potent remedy. The herb contains certain anti-inflammatory abilities that help destroy the symptoms and actual illnesses that result in them. It also functions as an expectorant, helping eliminate phlegm and mucus in places where pathogens and bacteria thrive.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
It is already a known fact that herbs can react with some medications and result in negative reactions or decrease the potency of certain medications.
The possible side effects of eleuthero may include an increased risk of hemorrhage and sudden bleeding, increased or lowered blood pressure, increased or lowered blood sugar levels, hormone changes (especially as regards cortisol), skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea, and cramping), insomnia, muscle spasms, headaches, nerve pain, colds, confusion, and nervousness.
In addition, there are foods, medications, and illnesses that may increase the risk of side effects of eleuthero and they include ginkgo biloba, bleeding conditions, liver medications, sedatives, antidepressants, psychiatric health conditions, alcohol, garlic, anti-allergy medications, heart failure medications, radiotherapy, steroids, hormone-regulating medications, pregnancy, antibiotics, insulin use, vasodilators as well as medications that affect bleeding.
The Bottom Line
Eleuthero extracts are prepared from the plant’s leaves, stem, bark, or root. The herb comes in the form of tablets, a powder, capsules, a tincture, or liquid. Alternatively, it can also be consumed whole as the dried leaves and stems of the herb can be boiled to prepare a tea. The fresh fruit of eleuthero can also be consumed raw.
Similar to most herbal supplements, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not control the production, marketing, or sale of eleuthero. This means that you should first check with your doctor before using the herb. It is important to also check the components in products labeled as eleuthero before purchasing or using them.