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By Steve P Smith
In Russia, herb extract of Eleutherococcus, also known as eleuthero or Siberian Ginseng, was approved for human use as early as 1962 and many subsequent scientific studies have examined its effects upon thousands of people. Siberian ginseng is consequently known to be a powerful adaptogen, a term believed to have been first used in Russia in the late 1940s which describes substances found to help optimise physical and mental performance, and to normalise the body’s functioning in response to all kinds of stress.
Research has shown that Siberian Ginseng may produce significant improvements in individuals’ adaptogenic response to such stresses as heat, cold, excessive noise and vibration, physical exhaustion, viruses and bacteria, chemicals and pollution. In fact, the positive effects identified have been so many that it almost seems as though eleuthero may enhance the human organism’s ability to cope with the stresses of 21sr century life itself. And the power of its tonic and stimulant effects quickly made it a favourite with millions of ordinary Russians.
But the power of this remarkable plant (an unprepossessing spiny shrub growing to a maximum of nine feet tall) has been known in China for at least 2,000 years and it is still widely used there as a general tonic and stimulant in keeping with Chinese medicine’s focus on prevention rather than cure, and for promoting improved vigour and general health and increasing resistance to disease and longevity.
More specifically, eleuthero is also a traditional Chinese folk remedy for heart and circulatory problems, bronchitis, rheumatism, male infertility and a host of other common ailments. And more recent Russian studies have also highlighted Siberian Ginseng’s potential role in tackling diabetes, blood pressure problems and even cancer.
It’s important, of course, to stress that eleuthero is not claimed as a cure for these conditions, but rather that the tonic and stimulant properties of the adaptogen give a major boost to the entire system, helping the body’s natural healing processes restore it to health and vitality.
But your doctor, in line with orthodox medical opinion in the West, may well still nevertheless insist that you don’t need Siberian Ginseng, or indeed any of the other herbal adaptogens such as Black Cohosh and Dong Quai which are now becoming readily available.
And if you get a regular eight hours of quality sleep a night; always eat a well balanced nutritious diet, consume alcohol only in strict moderation and tobacco not at all; have a mutually satisfying intimate relationship with a loving partner and enjoy freedom from work and financial pressure but nevertheless take plenty of relaxing breaks and vacations, your doctor may just be right.
And if this sounds like your life then I must congratulate you, because it’s clear that you already have it organised for optimal mental and physical performance, giving your mind and body the best possible chance of resisting the stresses that are systematically breaking down the health of so many millions in the affluent Western world.
But if you’re like most of us your life is a long way from this ideal. Likely you find that our culture’s obsession with work and the gadgets that keep us always in touch with the office, not to mention the demands of family life and the ready availability of 24/7 electronic entertainment, all militate against your getting anywhere close to enough sleep. Likewise, you eat on the run; a snatched breakfast or none at all followed by lunch on a sandwich at your desk; and in the evening ‘enjoy’ a highly processed, nutrition-stripped ready ‘meal’ for dinner. Still, you can always disguise the taste with the drink or two that by now you really need to help you relax.
Now, you’re not exactly ill, or not yet anyway. There may not be any specific physical symptoms you can point to. But at best you’re conscious of a vague feeling that you lack the energy to get all that you could and should out of life. At worst you feel like you’re clinging to a sheer cliff face, maybe even sliding towards depression.
Not that doctors aren’t sympathetic; why wouldn’t they be when they’re often in this condition too? But the problem they have is that their training simply doesn’t equip them to tackle this kind of general lifestyle problem. In fact the more traditionally minded amongst them might even argue that it is no part of their business to do so.
You see, conventional western medicine is very effective at producing specific treatments for the specific illnesses with which it’s commonly confronted. But it’s not nearly so good at preventing you from becoming ill in the first place, or at optimising every aspect of your physical and mental performance.
That’s where Siberian Ginseng and other adaptogens can be of tremendous value, as the many elite athletes, military personnel, deep sea divers, cosmonauts and others making extreme demands on their bodies who have used it for enhanced performance can attest.
About the Author: Steve Smith is a freelance copywriter specialising in direct marketing and with a particular interest in health products.
Find out more at sisyphuspublicationsonline.com/LiquidNutrition/EleutheroSiberianGinseng.htm