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Eleutherococcus senticosus

Eleutherococcus senticosus is an adaptogen and herb that may increase work capacity during strenuous aerobic activity. It also has anti-stress and potential immunity-boosting effects.

Our evidence-based analysis on eleutherococcus senticosus features 91 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Eleutherococcus senticosus

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Eleutherococcus senticosus, commonly known as Siberian ginseng, is an herb used in traditional medicine to combat fatigue. It is an adaptogen compound.

Preliminary evidence suggests that Eleutherococcus senticosus can improve physical performance during periods of high intensity exercise. Unfortunately, this effect is not very reliable. The studies that showed the most promise for Eleutherococcus senticosus also had the worst methodology. Though additional research is needed to confirm Eleutherococcus senticosus’s ergogenic effect, it cannot be disproven either.

Preliminary in vitro (outside the body) and animal research suggests Eleutherococcus senticosus supplementation can provide a variety of protective effects for cognition, meaning it can protect the brain from harm. Again, further research is needed to confirm these effects.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The standard dose for Eleutherococcus senticosus is 300-1,200mg, though the 2-4g range and more have been traditionally recommended.

The most common form of Eleutherococcus senticosus supplements are root and stem extracts, though leaf extracts have been used as well.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Eleutherococcus senticosus has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c Minor - See study
Possibly effective at increasing cardiovascular exercise performance, likely secondary to fatigue reduction (although similarly unreliable)
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in glucose consumption during exercise (without affecting metabolic rate and due to an increase in fat oxidation) has once caused an acute lowering of glucose. The magnitude is quite minor, and there is no evidence to assess the effects of eleuthero on fasting blood glucose or in diabetes management
grade-c Minor - See study
A positive influence on the cognitive state of elderly persons (reduction of cognitive decline) has once been noted
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in DNA damage biomarker has been noted, thought to be secondary to antioxidative effects
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Some studies have noted an increase in fat oxidation during exercise; no current studies conducted at rest
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
May increase physical performance, but is unreliable in doing so
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Appears to have a stimulating effect on T-cell proliferation and NK cell activity, but requires more evidence.
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in LDL-C has once been noted
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase has been noted, but there is insufficient evidence to assess the magnitude of increase or the reliability
grade-c Minor - See study
Limited evidence, but it is in support of an increase in oxygen consumption
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in protein carbonylation has been noted, which is thought to be secondary to antioxidative effects
grade-c Minor - See study
Appears to increase social functioning in elderly persons, which is a measurement of cognition (and eleuthero is thought to, via this, possible attenuate the rate of cognitive aging)
grade-c - - See study
No significant influences yet known for HDL cholesterol
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to evaluate lipid peroxidation reducing effects
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on liver enzymes when measured as a part of a safety test battery
grade-c - - See study
Despite possible influences on fatigue production, there is currently no demonstrated reduction in the rate of perceived exertion during exercise
grade-c - - See study
No significant influences yet known for total cholesterol
grade-c - - See study
No significant influences yet known for triglycerides
grade-d Minor - See study
Possible increases in VO2 max, but requires more evidence to ascertain potency and reliability
grade-d - - See study
No significant influences on heart rate are yet known

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Comparative study with no placebo control group, additionally confounded with lithium usage[1]

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Things to Note

Other Functions:

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Siberian ginseng, Ciwujia, Acanthopanax senticosus, Eleuthero

Goes Well With

  • Scutellaria baicalensis (for anti-inflammatory purposes)

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Click here to see all 91 references.