As technology expands and the world shrinks, practices around the world can come to be seen differently. This is particularly true with respect to herbal therapies and remedies. This paper shines a light into the world of herbs and highlights some of the therapies associated with their use. Many of the products identified enjoy growing popularity, which is only expected to increase in the coming years. The journey begins with eleuthero.
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also known as Siberian ginseng, has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Applications range from anti-cancer remedies to treatments for nausea. The literature speaks to the role of the herb in mitigating pain, reducing anxiety, and providing energy. However, its most compelling use regards its beneficial effects in cognitive functions. Users of this adaptogenic herb attest to thinking more clearly and enjoying longer periods of concentration. The most beneficial results appear to derive from oral intake of leaf extracts of the plant. One study in mice showed that eleuthero has remarkable effects in memory function. The mammals displayed improved ability to recognize certain objects and to respond appropriately to their presence (Yamauchi et al., 2019). Several compounds from the leaf extracts were also proven to be effective in terms of transcending the blood/brain barrier (BBB), and they have been connected to gains in the form of promoting and extending the growth of dendrites. Findings point to eleuthero as a plant that can ward off many forms of cerebral damage related to the ageing process.
Eleuthero’s growing ledger of uses includes treatments for insomnia, urinary tract infections, pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and skin inflammations. All these applications demand greater scrutiny and more tests to scientifically support efficacious aspects of use. However, as mentioned above, the truly compelling results from eleuthero use points to its role in cognitive function. The scientific world now looks toward longitudinal studies to determine if the benefits sustained from use of the herb will improve with the passage of time.
Yamauchi, Y., Ge, Y., Yoshimatsu, K., Komatsu, K., Kuboyama, T., Yang, X., & Tohda, C. (2019). Memory enhancement by oral administration of extract of Eleutherococcus senticosus leaves and active compounds transferred in the brain. Nutrients, 11(5), 1142. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051142