Siberian ginseng

Strike me lucky

Well-Known Member
Medicinal Plants
Siberian ginseng: Actions

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ADAPTOGENIC (MODULATES STRESS RESPONSE)
Siberian ginseng appears to alter the levels of different neurotransmitters and hormones involved in the stress response, chiefly at the HPA axis. It degrades the enzyme (catechol-O-methyl transferase), and increases levels of noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain and adrenaline in the adrenal glands, according to animal studies. Eleutherosides have also been reported to bind to receptor sites for progestin, oestrogen, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids in vitro and therefore may theoretically exert numerous pharmacological actions important for the body’s stress response.

Owing to such actions, herbalists and naturopaths describe the herb’s overall action as ‘adaptogenic’, whereby the body is better able to adapt to change and homeostasis is more efficiently restored. More recently, the term ‘allostasis’ is being adopted in the medical arena to describe ‘the ability to achieve stability through change’.

Although the mechanism of action responsible is still unclear, several theories have been proposed to explain the effect of Siberianginseng on allostatic systems, largely based on the pharmacological actions observed in test-tube and animal studies.

Siberian ginseng increases levels of noradrenaline, serotonin, adrenaline and cortisol that are able to induce both positive and negative feedback responses. Therefore, for example, if allostatic load is such that responses have become inadequate, then the resulting increase in hormone levels would theoretically induce a more efficient response. Alternatively, situations of chronic overactivity, also due to allostatic load, would respond to Siberianginseng in a different way, with negative feedback systems being triggered to inactivate the stress response. As a result, Siberianginseng could theoretically induce quite different effects, largely dependent on whether allostatic responses were underactive or overwhelmed.

IMMUNOMODULA TION
Siberian ginseng appears to exert an immunomodulatory rather than just an immunosuppressive or stimulating action; however, evidence for the immune enhancing effects of Siberian ginseng is contradictory. Clinical studies in vitro and in vivo have revealed stimulation of general non-specific resistance and an influence on T-lymphocytes, NK cells and cytokines, although other studies suggest that Siberian ginseng does not significantly stimulate the innate macrophage immune functions that influence cellular immune responses. Alternatively, another in vitro study has demonstrated that activation of macrophages and NK cells does occur and may be responsible for inhibiting tumor metastasis both prophylactically and therapeutically.

The main constituents responsible appear to be lignans (seamin, syringin) and polysaccharides such as glycans, which demonstrate immunostimulant effects in vitro. Additionally, effects on the HPA axis will influence immune responses.

It has been suggested that eleutheroside E may be responsible for the improved recovery from reduced NK activity and the inhibition of corticosterone elevation induced by forced swimming in mice and may contribute to the antifatigue action.

ANTIVIRAL
In vitro studies show a strong antiviral action, inhibiting the replication of RNA type viruses such as human rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza A virus.

ANABOLIC ACTIVITY
Siberian ginseng extracts have been reported to provide better usage of glycogen and high energy phosphorus compounds and improve the metabolism of lactic and pyruvic acids. Additionally, preliminary evidence of possible anabolic effects makes this herb a popular treatment among athletes in the belief that endurance, performance and power may improve with its use.

While initial animal studies showed promise for improving weight gain and increasing organ and muscle weight, clinical studies confirming whether anabolic effects occur also in humans could not be located.

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ANTICOAGULANT AND ANTIPLATELET EFFECTS
A controlled trial using Siberian ginseng tincture for 20 days in 20 athletes detected a decrease in the blood coagulation potential and activity of the blood coagulation factors that are normally induced by intensive training of the athletes. Whether the effects also occur in non-athletes is unknown. The 3, 4-dihydroxybenzoic acid constituent of Siberian ginseng has demonstrated antiplatelet activity in vivo.

VASCULAR RELAXANT
In vitro studies have demonstrated vasorelaxant effects for Siberianginseng. The effect is thought to be endothelium-dependent and mediated by NO and/or endothelium-derived hyperpolarising factor, depending on the size of the blood vessel. Other vasorelaxation pathways may also be involved.

ANTI-ALLERGIC
In vitro studies demonstrate that Siberian ginseng has anti-allergic properties in mast-cell-mediated allergic reactions.

RADIOPROTECTIVE
Animal studies have found that administration of Siberian ginsengprior to a lethal dose of radiation produced an 80% survival rate in mice. This result suggests that Siberian ginseng may protect against radiation toxicity.

NEUROPROTECTIVE
Preliminary animal studies have suggested possible neuroprotective effects in transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Infarct volume was reduced by 36.6% by inhibitinginflammation and microglial activation in brain ischaemia after intraperitoneal injection of a water extract of Siberian ginseng. Similarly, intraperitoneal injection of Siberian ginseng was found to relieve damage to neurons following hippocampal ischaemia hypoxia and improve the learning and memory of rats with experimentally induced vascular dementia. Thesaponins present in Siberian ginseng have also been shown to protect against cortical neuron injury induced by anoxia/ reoxygenation by inhibiting the release of NO and neuron apoptosis in vitro.


HEPATOPROTECTIVE
Animal studies have demonstrated that an intravenous extract of Siberian ginseng decreased thioacetamide-induced liver toxicity when given before and after thioacetamide administration. More recently oral administration of aqueous extract and polysaccharide was found to attenuate fulminant hepatic failure induced by D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide in mice, reducing serum AST, ALT and TNF-alpha levels. The protective effect is thought to be due to the water-soluble polysaccharides.

REDUCES OBESITY
Animal studies have demonstrated that the inclusion of Siberianginseng attenuated the ‘weight gain, serum LDL-cholesterol concentration and liver triglycerides accumulation in mice with obesity induced by high-fat diets’.

GLYCAEMIC CONTROL AND INSULIN-SENSITISING EFFECT
Animal studies have indicated a potential for hypoglycaemic effects when used intravenously. Eleutherens A-G exert marked hypoglycaemic effects in normal and alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic mice and eleutherosides show an insulin-like action in diabetic rats. However, these effects have not been borne out in human studies and may not relate to oral dosages of Siberianginseng.

A small, double-blind, randomised, multiple-crossover study using 12 healthy participants actually showed an increase in postprandial plasma glucose at 90 and 120 minutes when 3 g Siberian ginsengwas given orally 40 minutes before a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. More recently, oral administration of an aqueous extract of Siberian ginseng was shown to improve insulin sensitivity and delay the development of insulin resistance in rats. As a result further trials in people with impaired glucose tolerance and/or insulin resistance are warranted.
 
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Remy

Administrator
Ginseng is one of those categories of plants that totally confuses me. There are so many types and I never know which is best for what...

  • American Ginseng – Panax Quinquefolius – Good for fighting fatigue, *possibly* improving sexual performance, and improving cellular health in general
  • Red Ginseng – Panax Ginseng – The original one. A good metabolic regulator that seems to perk up your cells in a variety of environments, including some forms of cancer.
  • Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha) – Withania Somnifera – Has a variety of neuroprotective effects, might improve some forms of cognition, and likely a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  • Siberian Ginseng – Eleutherococcus Senticosus – Particularly good at allowing your body to cope with metabolic stress. Cellular regulator, and provides a sustained energy boost/improvement in physical performance. Also called eleuthero root.
  • Brazilian Ginseng – Pfaffia Paniculata – Seems to improve physical performance somewhat, a few anti-cancer properties, and likely scavenges free radicals within the body.
It's worth noting that only Ashwagandha is both neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory. The studies strongly support the use of ashwagandha for a a variety of conditions that look a lot like MECFS.

Neurochem Res. 2014 Dec;39(12):2527-36. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1443-7. Epub 2014 Nov 18.
Withania somnifera alleviates Parkinsonian phenotypes by inhibiting apoptotic pathways in dopaminergic neurons.

Prakash J1, Chouhan S, Yadav SK, Westfall S, Rai SN, Singh SP
Abstract

Maneb (MB) and paraquat (PQ) are environmental toxins that have been experimentally used to induce selective damage of dopaminergic neurons leading to the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the mechanism of this selective neuronal toxicity in not fully understood, oxidative stress has been linked to the pathogenesis of PD. The present study investigates the mechanisms of neuroprotection elicited by Withania somnifera (Ws), a herb traditionally recognized by the Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. An ethanolic root extract of Ws was co-treated with the MB-PQ induced mouse model of PD and was shown to significantly rescue canonical indicators of PD including compromised locomotor activity, reduced dopamine in the substantia nigra and various aspects of oxidative damage. In particular, Ws reduced the expression of iNOS, a measure of oxidative stress. Ws also significantly improved the MB + PQ mediated induction of a pro-apoptotic state by reducing Bax and inducing Bcl-2 protein expression, respectively. Finally, Ws reduced expression of the pro-inflammatory marker of astrocyte activation, GFAP. Altogether, the present study suggests that Ws treatment provides nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuroprotection against MB-PQ induced Parkinsonism by the modulation of oxidative stress and apoptotic machinery possibly accounting for the behavioural effects.
I would also add gynostemma/jiaogulan to this list as it is typically considered a ginseng as well. It has positive effects, most notably, on blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. It's often used for people with metabolic syndrome because it also helps the liver convert sugar into energy instead of triglycerides (which are often stored as fat). It also has beneficial effects on the circulatory system.

Good stuff!
 

bobby

Well-Known Member
I tried Siberian Ginseng/Eleuthero because of all these beautiful benefits described above, but it didn't work out well for me. I had a very strange (and very strong) sensation of stimulation and sedation at the same time. It also made me emotionally out of whack. I only took a minute dose, as I'm hypersensitive to pretty much everything. I'd love to be able to take it though, cause it's one of those awesome all round herbs. :happy:
 

Strike me lucky

Well-Known Member
Ginseng is one of those categories of plants that totally confuses me. There are so many types and I never know which is best for what...




It's worth noting that only Ashwagandha is both neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory. The studies strongly support the use of ashwagandha for a a variety of conditions that look a lot like MECFS.



I would also add gynostemma/jiaogulan to this list as it is typically considered a ginseng as well. It has positive effects, most notably, on blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. It's often used for people with metabolic syndrome because it also helps the liver convert sugar into energy instead of triglycerides (which are often stored as fat). It also has beneficial effects on the circulatory system.

Good stuff!
Ashwagandha/withania i like as its calming. Hoping it benefits immune function and general well being.
 

Beth from Oz

Active Member
I love Siberian ginseng. I'm taking it in a Chinese herbal formula currently, and I must say it's helped. It's mixed in with a formula full of other heating herbs which would make someone who was "hot and dry" rather sick. I'm cold and damp, or in Ayurveda I'm predominately Kapha. (Slightly insulting to my Islamic self LOL).

I was taking astragalus formula prior to the one I'm on now. It has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to combat an imbalance called a "lingering pathogen", which sounds a lot like me/cfs. Anyway that formula was great and my health was definitely improving. I could do more and even the PEM lightened a little.

Unfortunately things went south again when I caught three flues in six weeks. I was so sick I couldn't be up for more than half an hour at a time. That's when my husband put me on the current formula. He says in China that ginseng is usually given to the very old and dying.

From an acupuncture perspective Siberian Ginseng is very heating, whereas other ginseng can be cooling. It depends on the type of ginseng what qualities it has.

I might pass th above article onto him, he might find it interesting.
 

Strike me lucky

Well-Known Member
I love Siberian ginseng. I'm taking it in a Chinese herbal formula currently, and I must say it's helped. It's mixed in with a formula full of other heating herbs which would make someone who was "hot and dry" rather sick. I'm cold and damp, or in Ayurveda I'm predominately Kapha. (Slightly insulting to my Islamic self LOL).

I was taking astragalus formula prior to the one I'm on now. It has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to combat an imbalance called a "lingering pathogen", which sounds a lot like me/cfs. Anyway that formula was great and my health was definitely improving. I could do more and even the PEM lightened a little.

Unfortunately things went south again when I caught three flues in six weeks. I was so sick I couldn't be up for more than half an hour at a time. That's when my husband put me on the current formula. He says in China that ginseng is usually given to the very old and dying.

From an acupuncture perspective Siberian Ginseng is very heating, whereas other ginseng can be cooling. It depends on the type of ginseng what qualities it has.

I might pass th above article onto him, he might find it interesting.

I think i was a kapha but been awhile since i looked into it.
 

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