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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
1. Li XY. Immunomodulating Chinese herbal medicines. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 1991;86 Suppl 2:159-64.
2. Davydov M, Krikorian AD. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;72:345-93.
3. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Ness extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7:341-50.
4. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine 2002;9:589-97.
Asian ginseng and eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) have immune-enhancing properties, which may play a role in preventing infection with the influenza virus. However, they have not yet been specifically studied for this purpose. One double-blind trial found that co-administration of 100 mg of Asian ginseng extract with a flu vaccine led to a lower frequency of colds and flu compared to people who just received the flu vaccine alone.1
Double-blind trials have shown that common cold symptoms improve1, 2 and recovery is faster3 when andrographis extract containing 48 to 60 mg andrographolides is taken in three or four divided doses daily, beginning as soon as possible after symptoms appear. In addition, preliminary research in Russia suggests andrographis extract may be effective for the treatment of influenza.4 This extract was also tested for preventing colds in a double-blind study of teenagers.5 After three months, the group taking 5 mg of andrographolides twice daily had only half the number of colds experienced by the placebo group.
Other preliminary6 and double-blind7, 8 research has shown similar benefits for treating the common cold from a combination of andrographis extract and an eleuthero extract containing 2.0 to 2.4 mg per day eleutherosides.
1. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23.
2. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, Wikman G. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559-62.
3. Melchior J, Palm S, Wikman G. Controlled clinical study of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract in common cold-a pilot trial. Phytomedicine 1996;34:315-18.
4. Kulichenko LL, Kireyeva LV, Malyshkina EN, Wikman GA. Randomized, controlled study of Kan Jang versus amantadine in the treatment of influenza in Volgograd. J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3:77-93.
5. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: a pilot double blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-104.
6. Spasov AA, Ostrovskij, OV, Chernikov MV, Wikman G. Comparative controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination, Kan Jang and an Echinacea preparation as adjuvant, in the treatment of uncomplicated respiratory disease in children. Phytother Res 2004;18:47-53.
7. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Ness extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7:341-50.
8. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine 2002;9:589-97.
Immune-modulating plants that could theoretically be beneficial for people with HIV infection include Asian ginseng, eleuthero, and the medicinal mushrooms shiitake and reishi. One preliminary study found that steamed then dried Asian ginseng (also known as red ginseng) had beneficial effects in people infected with HIV, and increased the effectiveness of the anti-HIV drug, AZT.1 This supports the idea that immuno-modulating herbs could benefit people with HIV infection, though more research is needed.
The herbs discussed here are considered members of a controversial category known as adaptogens, which are thought to increase the body's resistance to stress, and to generally enhance physical and mental functioning.1, 2 Many animal studies have shown that various herbal adaptogens have protective effects against physically stressful experiences,3, 4 but whether these findings are relevant to human stress experiences is debatable.
Animal research has reported antistress effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus (also known as Siberian ginseng),5 and Russian research not available in the English language reportedly describes human studies showing similar effects in humans.6, 7 A double-blind study of healthy elderly people reported that those who took 60 drops per day of a eleuthero liquid extract (concentration not specified) scored higher in some quality-of-life measures after four weeks, but not after eight weeks, compared with a group taking a placebo.8 Athletes experiencing the stress of training who took an eleuthero extract equivalent to 4 grams per day had no changes in their blood levels of an adrenal stress hormone after six weeks.9 More research is needed to clarify the value of eleuthero for treating stress.
1. Brekhman II, Dardymov IV. New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance. Annu Rev Pharmacol 1969;9:419-30 [review].
2. Panossian A, Wikman G, Wagner H. Plant adaptogens. III. Earlier and more recent aspects and concepts on their mode of action. Phytomedicine 1999;6:287-300 [review].
3. Rege NN, Thatte UM, Dahanukar SA. Adaptogenic properties of six rasayana herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. Phytother Res 1999;13:275-91 [review].
4. Wagner H, Nörr H, Winterhoff H. Plant adaptogens. Phytomedicine 1994;1:63-76.
5. Deyama T, Nishibe S, Nakazawa Y. Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng. Acta Pharmacol Sin 2001;22:1057-70 [review].
6. Brekhman II, Dardymov IV. New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance. Annu Rev Pharmacol 1969;9:419-30 [review].
7. Farnsworth NR, Kinghorn AD, Soejarto D, Waller DP. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Current status as an adaptogen. Econ Med Plant Res 1985;1:156-215.
8. Cicero AFG, Derosa G, Brillante R, et al. Effects of Siberian ginseng (eleutherococcus senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl2004;9:69-73.
9. Gaffney BT, Hugel HM, Rich PA. The effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus and Panax ginseng on steroidal hormone indices of stress and lymphocyte subset numbers in endurance athletes. Life Sci 2001;70:431-42.
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) supplementation may improve athletic performance, according to preliminary Russian research.1 Other studies have been inconclusive and two recent double-blind studies showed no beneficial effect on endurance performance in trained men.2, 3, 4 Eleuthero strengthens the immune system and thus might reduce the risk of post-exercise infection. Although some doctors suggest taking 1 to 4 ml (0.2 to 0.8 tsp) of fluid extract of eleuthero three times per day, evidence supporting the use of this herb to enhance athletic performance remains weak.
1. Kelly GS. Sports nutrition: A review of selected nutritional supplements for endurance athletes. Alt Med Rev 1997;2:282-95 [review].
2. McNaughton L. A comparison of Chinese and Russian ginseng as ergogenic aids to improve various facets of physical fitness. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1989;9:32-5.
3. Dowling EA, Redondo DR, Branch JD, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus on submaximal and maximal exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exer 1996;28:482-9.
4. Eschbach LF, Webster MJ, Boyd JC, et al. The effect of siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) on substrate utilization and performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000;10:444-51.
Adaptogenic herbs such as Asian ginseng and eleuthero may also be useful for CFS patients—the herbs not only have an immunomodulating effect but also help support the normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hormonal stress system of the body.1 These herbs are useful follow-ups to the six to eight weeks of taking licorice root and may be used for long-term support of adrenal function in people with CFS. However, no controlled research has investigated the effect of adaptogenic herbs on CFS.
One study found that an eleuthero extract improved symptoms in patients suffering from mild-to-moderate chronic fatigue. However, after one month of treatment, the benefit began to wane, and eleuthero was not more effective than a placebo after two months of treatment.These findings support the observation of herbalists that eleuthero is more effective when used in a pulsed manner (a few weeks at a time) than when used continuously.
Eleuthero belongs to the Araliaceae family and is a distant relative of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Also known commonly as touch-me-not and devil’s shrub, eleuthero has been most frequently nicknamed Siberian ginseng in this country. Eleuthero is native to the Taiga region of the Far East (southeastern part of Russia, northern China, Korea, and Japan). The root and the rhizomes (underground stem) are used medicinally.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.
|Supplement Facts |
Serving Size: 3 capsules
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Total Carbohydrate||1 g||<1%*|
|Dietary Fiber||<1 g||4%*|
|Siberian Eleuthero (root)||1.23 g |
|*Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. |
**Daily Value (DV) not established.
Caution: Consult a healthcare professional before using if you have high blood pressure.