Siberian ginseng, also known as eleuthero, is a distant relative to Panax ginseng. The ancient Chinese used the root of this herb to enhance memory, improve energy (qi), relieve stress and prevent cold and flu.
Siberian ginseng became popular in Russia during the 1950s and has been the subject of many studies in that country. Many Russians with demanding jobs take Siberian ginseng as an anti-stress tonic. It was even given to victims of the Chernobyl disaster to counteract some effects of radiation poisoning.
Siberian ginseng stimulates the adrenal glands, which helps eliminate stress hormones from the body. It also seems to tone the uterus and is beneficial for relieving various menstrual and menopausal symptoms. Some have used Siberian ginseng to treat male and female infertility, and even impotence. It also seems to boost the activity of T-cells, which is why it gives the immune system a boost in fighting colds and flu. It has been noted that the herb has a calming effect on the nervous and digestive systems.
Other conditions that may benefit from the power of Siberian ginseng include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer's.