The Benefits of Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng

What is Siberian Ginseng?

The root of the Eleutheroccocus centicocus plant, also called Siberian ginseng or Eleuthero, has been used in China and Russia for centuries with a variety of uses and benefits which it provides to our bodies. The plant belongs to the ginseng family and is perennial growing between 25 cm and 50 cm in height in the wild. Siberian ginseng is botanically different from true ginseng species, namely Korean and American ginseng.

Each Siberian ginseng plant can take several years to grow but the roots can live for over a hundred years. The roots are creamy yellow or white resembling a parsnip with rootlets that often resemble a man.

The Chinese have used Siberian ginseng for over 4000 years for its multiple benefits, whilst Russians discovered that this herb has similar properties to ginseng even if it does not belong to the ginseng family.

The benefits of Siberian ginseng

Siberian ginseng’s multiple benefits have been known for centuries with the Chinese using it is for its tonic properties. The Russians studied it in the late 1950’s as an alternative to ginseng, which is where the word “adaptogen” was coined from. An adaptogen refers to a substance which promotes adaptation by the body to all kinds of stressors whether physical, emotive or environmental. Siberian ginseng contains ginsenosides, referred to as eleutherosides, which enable ginseng to balance and counterbalance the effects of stress.

Siberian ginseng helps to normalise the way in which the body responds to stress and acts to regulate the manufacture and secretions of the adrenal hormones. It strengthens the adrenal glands themselves which is especially important to those suffering from chronic stress. Siberian ginseng also supports the whole of the central nervous system, which may help restore proper neurological function after long term stress.

By far the biggest single use of Siberian ginseng is its ability to increase energy. Although cellular energy requires the production of the ATP molecule manufactured within every cell of the body, the primary glands for secreting energising hormones and enzymes are the adrenals. Siberian ginseng works to stimulate these enzymes so that symptoms of low energy and fatigue are addressed.

Siberian ginseng has also been found to increase white blood cell counts particularly T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. These cells work to engulf bacteria and viruses and are therefore important to protect the body against infection. Siberian ginseng is therefore frequently used as an immune booster.

Siberian ginseng also helps to enhance mental performance. In tests conducted in the 1960’s, people who took Siberian ginseng were quicker and more accurate in the work they performed. Additionally, their work accuracy and quality did not change even under severe stress or under extreme pressure. Stress hinders your mental performance. The nerve cells in the brain of a stressed person are usually shrivelled and have hardly any branches to facilitate communication. Conversely, the nerve cells in a healthy brain are thickly branched and sturdy. Research indicates that Siberian ginseng stimulates the production of two special proteins which appear to protect the brain cells when under stress.

Siberian ginseng seems to speed up your reaction time, improve learning and memory, and sharpen vision as well as strengthening hearing.

Siberian ginseng has been shown to lower blood sugar levels which makes it a useful herb for those with Type II diabetes and this herb can also be used alongside most medications for sugar control however you should always monitor your blood sugar levels using testing strips.

Traditionally used to increase sexual desire, research seems to indicate that Siberian ginseng does have an influence on the female sex hormones.

Arthritis is a debilitating and painful disease where anti-inflammatory drugs seem to be frequently prescribed. Siberian ginseng has been shown to alleviate painful joints and muscles. A word of caution: Siberian ginseng should not be taken by people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis due to its immune enhancing properties.

These are just some of the uses of Siberian ginseng and there are many other reported benefits of Siberian ginseng where it has been used to treat headaches, backache, normalising menstruation, easing childbirth, countering hot flushes during menopause, helping weight loss and improving skin health.

What are the side effects associated with Siberian ginseng side effects?

Siberian ginseng, or Eleuthero, is contraindicated in children under 12, pregnant and breastfeeding women and for anyone who has uncontrollable high blood pressure. Unlike Korean ginseng, Siberian ginseng appears to increase blood pressure for those with low blood pressure and decrease blood pressure for those with high blood pressure however I tend to be cautious and never recommend it for those who are struggling to keep their blood pressure within normal limits.

Since Siberian ginseng has an impact on the immune system, it should not be used by anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the best Siberian ginseng supplements?

Siberian ginseng is widely available in tablet, capsule, tincture, pure root and in tea bags. Because the therapeutic effect is between two and three grams per day, I tend to favour tablets and capsules as opposed to tea or tinctures because one would have to use these multiple times during the day.

Sibergin by Healthaid offers 500mg of Siberian ginseng extract derived from 2500mg of standardised Siberian ginseng herb and contains the full spectrum of ginsenosides found in the herb. This extract tends to work within a few days especially where fatigue is a concern with best effects experienced within a month. I also tend to recommend the use of Sibergin for a maximum period of three months with a break of a couple of weeks before restarting if required. This is to ensure that the adrenals are not over-stimulated.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Energy, Shabir Daya | , , , , , , ,
  • Abba

    Is this safe to use if you have had breast cancer [hormone positive] and currently have Zoladex injections to suppress oestrogen? The benefits are incredibly appealing as I am pretty exhausted and flat etc despite finishing chemo 3 years ago. I am 43. I think I was adrenal exhausted and “burnt out” when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Thanks, Abba

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Abba, I would not recommend the use of Siberian ginseng alongside oestrogen suppressing medications for two reasons. It is thought that this herb may act like oestrogen though this is not confirmed and the second reason is because we do not fully understand the interactions between many drugs and herbs. Consider the use of a good CoQ10 supplement and get this confirmed as safe to use by your consultant. Shabir

  • Rosemary Marshall

    Is it ok to combine Sibergin with Bisoprolol 2.5mg/daily (for reducing high blood pressure to 140/85)? Also, I have been taking Energizer multivitamins so maybe I won’t need these as well as Sibergin ? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Rosemary, in theory Siberian is safe to use as long as the blood pressure is controlled but this can be erratic sometimes with some people experiencing an increase in BP so I would say do not use this. The amount of the Energiser vitamins is small and does not increase BP. Shabir

  • Rosemary Marshall

    Thanks Shabir. In that case I will continue with Energiser as I will not be taking Sibergin. Regards, Rosemary

  • Victoria Health

    You are welcome Rosemary.

  • MER


    I had Chronic Fatigue which improved about 10 years ago, but I still struggle with energy, stamina, and stress management. I also take Thyroxine (125mg/day) and have done for 13yrs. Would this product be safe to try?
    Thanks you for your advice.

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Mer, Siberian ginseng is deemed to be safe alongside most medications including thyroid medications. Please do not take Siberian ginseng if you have uncontrolled elevated blood pressure. Shabir

  • Jacqui chambers

    I wondered if I could take these. I had lobular breast cancer. I stopped taking medication Letrozole August 2016 because of side effects. My regular blood tests show no cancer markers. I am 70 and sometimes I don’t have any energy.

  • Victoria Health

    Dear Jacqui, some of the ginseng species such as Korean ginseng and American ginseng are thought to display oestrogenicity. Siberian ginseng is not a true species and is not thought to display any oestrogenicity however I would always err on the side of caution which is why it might be prudent to consider the use of magnesium and ubiquinol which are two nutrients known to enhance energy safely. Best wishes Shabir

  • Jacqui chambers

    Thank you.

  • Sam

    What s the best Siberian ginseng n ashwagandha brands to buy?

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Sam,
    I tend to recommend Sibergin by Healthaid which is a high strength extract as per link below:
    And for Ashwagandha, I tend to recommend Pukka Herbs Ashwagandha as per link below:

    Best wishes,

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Wendy, Siberian ginseng is a great adaptogen. Adaptogens are a special class of herbs that act rather like a thermostat – they give energy and focus and at the same time work to calm the body. Adaptogens basically work to bring the body back into balance and of the thousands of herbs, only a few are classified as true adaptogens with Siberian ginseng being one of them. As long as you do not have high blood pressure then this would be deemed to be safe.
    Best wishes,

  • Ldy Wendy T Martin

    I take it that it’s not habit forming? How long would someone like me take this for? And after taking it for that period of time, will I be ok coming off of it?

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Wendy, Siberian ginseng is not habit forming. I prefer to use it for one month at a time with a break of a couple of weeks and repeat if required.
    Best wishes,

  • Kite

    I was prescribed Siberian Ginseng several years ago by a naturopath to help combat CFS. It gave me more energy. Encouraged, the naturopath told me to double my dose. I’m afraid I don’t remember the numbers. It gave me even more energy, and for a week, I thought I was cured. Then I crashed. Really badly. I was exhausted and could hardly get out of bed. I had an endocrinologist appointment for the first time a few days later, and I received an ACTH challenge test. I failed, and told my adrenal glands were hardly functioning (primary adrenal insufficiency). Thyroids etc normal. I was given a bottle of cortisol tablets as last resort and told if I got any sort of cold, to take myself to emergency because of risk of adrenal crisis. I stayed in bed, ate as well as I could, took lots of vitamins, no sugar, caffeine, any stimulants. I started to feel slightly better. I had another ACTH challenge test a week later, and this time I passed. I was told that all but the lowest adrenal function will pass this test, but I was no longer in danger. I have had a similar experience taking pseudoephedrine (energy, crash) though I did not have an ACTH challenge test for this. I mention this because for me, a high dose of Siberian Ginseng was not an adaptogen. It may be the case for someone else’s physiology too, so this is just a word of caution to perhaps not take too high a dose to begin with when the body is already weak.

  • Victoria Health

    Thank you for sharing and as is the case, mega doses are not always beneficial.

  • Victoria Health

    Hi Gauradas, Siberian ginseng would not be the herb of choice and perhaps you can consider the use of a Q10 supplement to oxygenate the heart ensuring healthy function. Please get this approved by your GP before taking any supplement.
    Best wishes,