Top 10 Benefits of Eleuthero

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most important health benefits of eleuthero include its ability to relieve stress, increase cognitive function, boost the immune system, and reduce fatigue. It also helps lower inflammation, protect heart health, prevents degenerative diseases, boosts respiratory health, and increase energy levels.

What is Eleuthero?

Eleuthero has been a hot name in the alternative medicine world for some time, but it is actually the common name of Eleutherococcus senticosus, a species of small shrubs that are primarily found in China, Korea, Russia, and Japan. It has recently become highly desired for its health benefits, and as an herbal supplement, it is one of the most widely researched and studied. It has been in use in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years but has only been known in the USA in the past century. One of the other commonly used names for eleuthero is Siberian ginseng, because the health benefits of the herb are closely related to Panax ginseng. [1]

Eleuthero can be acquired from the leaves and the woody roots of the Eleutherococcus plant and is most commonly consumed in pill or supplement form, although, in traditional medicine, the leaves and roots are used in their natural form, boiled in water or pressed to extract the volatile oils. Eleuthero tea remains a popular means of consuming the herb, particularly in Asia. The main components of eleuthero include a variety of active organic compounds unique to this species, which provide the unique health effects that have made this herb so highly desired around the world. [2]

Close up of fresh eleuthero leaves in a forest background

Eleuthero, an Asian herb, has been used for thousands of years as a healing remedy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Eleuthero

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the health benefits of eleuthero.

Boosts Immunity

Studies into the health effects of eleuthero revealed that it can significantly boost the immune system when taken in combination with various other immune-improving herbs. It can reduce the severity and duration of colds when taken early on in the illness. This can be achieved through a supplemental form or by regularly drinking eleuthero tea. [3]

Reduces Fatigue

One of the major claims to fame for eleuthero is its ability to boost energy levels. This is accomplished by its impact on the nervous system, boosted metabolism, increased circulation, and reduction in cloudiness and fatigue. For people who regularly need naps during the day, feel the mid-day exhaustion following a large meal or find themselves tired without a good explanation, regular supplementation with eleuthero can get you back to normal. [4]

Improves Cognition

For those looking to boost their mental capacity and get a temporary boost of intelligence, eleuthero is a strong contender. It has been proven to increase blood flow to the brain and small capillaries, thereby helping cognition, improving memory, and keeping your wits a bit sharper than normal. While cognitive effects can vary, there is a significant improvement in the academic performance of test-takers in research settings, making this useful for students of any age. [5]

Relieves Stress

Eleuthero is considered an adaptogen, one of those rare herbs that can actually help your body adapt and change to better handle various stimuli or conditions. For example, eleuthero has been shown to improve user response to stress, namely in the way that their body responds when anxious or upset. It’s powerful components actually teach the body to handle bio-chemical situations in the best way possible. [6]

Reduces Neurological Disorders

Eleuthero helps eliminate many of the free radicals that build up in the brain and cause plaque to form. This can help keep neural pathways clear and improve memory retention.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

If you suffer from any form of inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis or gout, the effects of eleuthero can be particularly important. In a recent study, it significantly improved flexibility and functionality of joints, while also reducing complaints of overall pain in the affected areas. While research is still ongoing in this particular application, the studies are very promising. [7]

Protects Heart Health

There are a number of ways that eleuthero can improve the overall health and function of your cardiovascular system, including lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and reducing overall cholesterol. Although it increases blood flow to certain parts of the body, it also dilates the blood vessels so more blood can flow with less strain on the arteries and vessels. Eleuthero also helps reduce and balance cholesterol levels in the body, thereby lowering the chances of suffering from atherosclerosis, as well as the peripheral conditions, like heart attacks and strokes, that so commonly follow. [8]

Manages Diabetes

Traditional East Asian medicines consider eleuthero to be an effective therapy course for diabetes, amongst other things. A study published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found components of eleuthero, such as Eleutheroside E, to be effective for regulating insulin signaling and glucose utilization. The animal study also observed it to protect pancreas against damage from diabetes. [9] [10]

Improves Respiratory Health

If you regularly suffer from colds, coughs, bronchitis or other respiratory afflictions, eleuthero tea may be a wise solution. It has certain anti-inflammatory properties that help eliminate the symptoms of those conditions, while also helping eliminate the underlying illnesses that cause them. It also acts as an expectorant, helping clear out phlegm and mucus where pathogens and bacteria can settle and thrive. [11]

Word of Caution: There is some controversy about the various applications of eleuthero, and it is important to understand the risks. If you suffer from certain mental conditions (mania or insomnia) or hormone-related disorders, it can be dangerous to take eleuthero. Also, in the case of heart conditions, diabetes, or cancer, its use can be beneficial, but only under the strict guidance of your medical provider. This is a very powerful herb and can have complex interactions with other drugs, so caution and consultation are highly recommended. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 204 user(s).