Acanthopanax senticosus (Siberian ginseng)

Benefits of Siberian ginseng
Acanthopanax senticosus (Siberian ginseng)

Acanthopanax senticosus, the synonym for Eleutherococcus senticosus, commonly known as the “Siberian ginseng”. It is distributed in Korea, Japan, China and Russia. In China, the roots and stems are known as “Ciwujia” that can be used as replenishing, heart-nourishing and tranquilising herbal medicine. The medicinal parts of Siberian ginseng include the roots, rhizomes, stems, leaves and fruit. The chemical constituents vary between different parts 1. In Chinese pharmacopoeia, it is used to treat rheumatism, diabetes and hepatitis 2.

Nutritional Facts

Siberian ginseng is rich in compounds such as flavonoids, triterpenoid saponins, phenylpropanoids, organic acids, lignans, coumarins, phenols and polysaccharides 1,4. Its main active component is the eleutherosides.

Published Health Benefits

1. Vitality

Siberian ginseng has a stimulating effect on the metabolism of substrate, as it significantly alters the mobilization and utilization of carbohydrates and fatty acids as a source of energy, thus helping to boost body energy level 4. Chronic supplementation can provide beneficial effects on physical performance 4.

2. Blood sugar control

Eleutherosides found in the Siberian ginseng can help stimulate insulin sensitivity and improve glucose uptake by cells to lower blood glucose level 5. Siberian ginseng can help regulate blood glucose level by inducing hyperglycemia in the early stage of stress, and a hypoglycemic action in the “post-adaptation” phase of stress response 5.

3. Adaptogen

Siberian ginseng has shown to help adapt to and cope with stressful conditions. Study found that it is able to reduce cardiovascular responses (such as blood pressure and heart rate) to stress in stressful cognitive tasks 7. It also helps reduce fatigue and improve quality of work which result in a higher productivity 7.

4. Heart health

Siberian ginseng is clinically used as a treatment for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases due to the presence of eleutherosides 1. It can improve serum lipid profiles and prevent the development of atherosclerosis 3,7.

5. Brain health

Siberian ginseng extract has shown a regulative effect of noradrenaline and dopamine levels in specific brain regions, which may be beneficial for Parkinson’s disease and managing depression 6. It also possesses neuroprotective effects which help protect brain neurons from various injuries 6.

6. Immunity

Polysaccharides and protein are the active components for immunomodulation effects of Siberian ginseng 1. It significantly increases lymphocytes predominantly T cells and natural killer cells and increases the T cells activation in the human body 7. It has shown to reduce the risk of complications from respiratory tract infections 7.

References:

1. Jia, A., Zhang, Y., Gao, H., Zhang, Z., Zhang, Y., Wang, Z., Zhang, J., Deng, B., Qiu, Z. & Fu, C. (2020). A review of Acanthopanax senticosus (Rupr and Maxim.) harms: From ethnopharmacological use to modern application. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 268(3), 113586. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113586

2. Chen, H. J., Zhang, X. S., Zhang, J. W., Gu, H. X. & Huang, J. X. (2020). Chemical constituents from the stems of Acanthopanax senticosus with their inhibitory activity on α-glucosidase. Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 23(8), 803-808. https://doi.org/10.1080/10286020.2020.1783657

3. Xue, Q., He, N., Wang, Z., Fu, X., Aung, L. H. H., Liu, Y., Li, M., Cho, J. Y., Yang, Y. & Yu, T. (2021). Functional roles and mechanisms of ginsenosides from Panax ginseng in atherosclerosis. Journal of Ginseng Research, 45, 22-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgr.2020.07.002

4. Arouca, A. & Grassi-Kassisse, D. M. (2013). Eleutherococcus senticosus: Studies and effects. Health, 5(9), 1509-1515. DOI: 10.4236/health.2013.59205

5. Freye, E. , & Gleske, J. (2013). Siberian Ginseng Results in Beneficial Effects on Glucose Metabolism in Diabetes Type 2 Patients: A Double Blind Placebo-Controlled Study in Comparison to Panax Ginseng. International Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1(1), 11-17.

6. Yan-Lin, S., Lin-De, L., & Soon-Kwan, H. (2011). Eleutherococcus senticosus as a crude medicine: Review of biological and pharmacological effects. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5(25), 5946-5952. DOI: 10.5897/JMPR11.728

7. European Medicines Agency. (2014). Assessment Report on Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. et Maxim) Maxim., radix. Retrieved from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-report/final-assessment-report-eleutherococcus-senticosus-rupr-et-maxim-maxim-radix_en.pdf

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