Awesome Adaptogens: Eleuthero
#1: Eleuthero, a.k.a. Siberian Ginseng
Adaptogens are amazing. They are plant parts that, when extracted and consumed, actually adapt to support our bodies in various ways. The main benefit of many adaptogens is their ability to balance our stress response and calm our flight or flight reaction, a physical response which, among other things, causes an increase in cortisol. Having high cortisol for extended periods is damaging to our health in a myriad of ways and can lead to heart conditions, blood sugar issues, and impact metabolism.
Adaptogens change as we do and help balance us out. In addition, each adaptogen has something it’s great at. Whether the adaptogen is really great at balancing blood sugar, decreasing fatigue or improving mood, they are generally very safe and they help us in ways we can feel. Our lives aren’t getting any less stressful any time soon, so think of adaptogens as a calming, comforting bestie for our stressed out souls. ;) In fact, the adaptogen I discuss below is actually known as liquid yoga.
As noted, I will be doing a bit of a series on these gems, which will include a short overview on the adaptogens benefits and safety. More importantly, I will always include information that has been part of a published research study, and I will include a list of great resources, based on research, that you should use to learn more for yourself. I am not a doctor or a naturopath or anything credible ;), so always do your only check for any conflicts with medicine you are on, conditions you have, and toxicity info. Those sorts of things.
Eleuthero is my newest favorite adaptogen. (I have three favorites, which will be the first three I post about, and they are eleuthero, holy basil, and ashwagandha. Stay tuned.) Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is considered to be a less intense ginseng, even though it is not technically a ginseng at all. It is used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, and is also really popular in Russia.
Eleuthero is known to balance energy, immunity, as well as stress’ impact on the body (think cortisol). It helps remove symptoms of fatigue – without the crash. ;) Anecdotally, some have found eleuthero helpful for chronic fatigue symptoms. Studies have actually shown that it may also helpful for:
Balancing blood sugar
Improves mood (think mild depression or stress-related mood concerns; it raises serotonin and noradrenalin)
Improves memory and learning
May help treat Parkinson’s
From my experience, I have grown to adore eleuthero. I don’t really go a day without it. I find it very balancing. I have enormous fatigue issues likely related to my underactive thyroid and taxed adrenal glands, declining hormone levels…. Etc. ;) It gives me energy, but doesn’t give me any jittery energy (like rhodiola can) or cause me to be too revved up. I find it easier to focus, and I feel much calmer. While still going through stressful things, I don’t feel the physical ups and downs of anxiety. I also find that my thoughts don’t go crazy. I love to solve any problem that comes my way, but things can’t always be figured out right away. Normally, I can create extra anxiety and stress by desperately trying to solve a problem before I really can. I find that with eleuthero, I can focus on what I am doing or need to do without my wheels turning in a distracting way. I find it sooooo helpful. Incidentally, it is cited on alt health sites as useful for ADHD, which may be why I feel I can focus better, but that appears largely anecdotal at this point.
You will see that my favorite brand for adaptogens is Gaia. It is priced much better on Amazon than at like Whole Foods. I love Gaia because they are liquid extracts in a capsule, are potent so you need to take less, and they are sourced in North Carolina on Gaia’s farm, so it’s great for peace of mind.
And, here are some great resources for your personal research. Thanks for reading! Eleuthero is considered to be very safe and can be taken for extended periods of time. If you try it or have a favorite adaptogen, please comment below!