HABITAT: native to subtropical Asia.
USED PART: the roots.
PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS: nebulised dry extract titrated in eleutheroside E min. 0.5 % (French Pharmacopoeia X). whose daily dose ranges from 5 to 6 mg./kg, divided into two administrations, one in the morning when waking up and the other in the early afternoon.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: It is a plant containing saponosides, in this case called eleuterosides. So far, eleuteroside B, eleuteroside E and eleuteroside A have been positively identified. There are phenylpropane compounds, lignans, coumarins, polysaccharides, sterols and both simple and complex sugars.
Adaptogenic action: is a plant with so-called adaptogenic action, as is Panax ginseng. Improved resistance to stress and psycho-physical exertion has been demonstrated in various models, against a variety of stressors, in both healthy subjects and ill patients.
Eleutherococcus stimulates protein synthesis in the muscles, liver, pancreas and adrenal cortex, with an anabolic-type action. This action is largely linked to an increase in growth hormone (GH), which promotes protein synthesis, especially in the muscles and liver.
The administration of eleutherococcus extract for two months of the year reduced lost working days due to illness by 30% in a group of 1200 skilled workers.
Studies have also been done on cosmonauts, which demonstrated the effectiveness of eleutherococcus in increasing resistance to fatigue, cold and illness in these subjects.
An evaluation of existing clinical studies assessed the effect of eleutherococcus on the psycho-physical performance of athletes, particularly those involved in endurance disciplines. Three studies investigated the action of eleutherococcus in athletes during endurance efforts and found an increase in cardiorespiratory function, fat metabolism and thus athletic performance. Five studies, on the other hand, did not show significantly greater improvements in cardiorespiratory function, fat metabolism and thus athletic performance than placebo. The dosages of eleutherococcus extract used in these studies ranged from 1,000 to 1,200 mg per day, while the duration of the studies ranged from a minimum of 7 days to a maximum of 6 weeks. The authors of this study conclude that it is difficult, on the basis of the studies published so far, to attribute a positive effect on endurance athletic performance to eleutherococcus extract.
SIDE EFFECTS: can cause insomnia, irritability, excitement, tachycardia and fine hand tremors, but generally only for high dosages administered over long periods of time. Rare cases of increased blood pressure have been observed. Therefore, this extract should never be administered in the evening hours.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: It is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: not known to date.
It can be found in ristabil®