Eleuthero is an herb that is well researched, with over 3000 studies done on its medical benefits and uses, yet it hasn’t made its way fully into the Western herbal pharmacopeia. Formerly known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero is a plant from the ginseng family, that works as an adaptogen. What makes it special is that it offers many of the same benefits as the more endangered, expensive, and harder-to-find Asian and American ginsengs, but in a biologically different way. While the true ginsengs’ effects come from constituents called ginsengosides, eleuthero’s are called eleutherosides.
True ginsengs are very stimulating, often reserved for the elderly, and those who are generally deficient in life force. I find true ginseng to be often too stimulating for healthy individuals, but eleuthero is less stimulating, and therefore more useful for a broad population. Factor in the lower cost, and the fact that eleuthero is easy to grow and abundant, while ginsengs are endangered, overharvested, and expensive; and eleuthero is certainly an herb that needs more time in the herbal spotlight.
It plays an important role in my formulas for those undergoing cancer treatments, people who are immunocompromised, and those who are overworked, deficient, and dysfunctional because of their deficiencies. It is an important part of my herbal pharmacy, and I hope you will find it useful as well.