This is one of those supplements I don't think we hear about enough. It is an excellent adaptogen for athletic performance, bodybuilding, or simply to lose fat.
Eleuthero regulates the activity of the adrenal cortex in response to stress. It stimulates the immune system, especially during times of strenuous physical exertion and stress, and seems especially beneficial for supporting a healthy mood and mental alertness. The herb is an adaptogen, is anti-cholesteremic, is mildly anti-inflammatory, is an antioxidant, is a nervine and an immune tonic. It is useful when the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is depleted. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, stress, neurasthenia and sore muscles associated with the hypo-functioning of the endocrine system, and adrenal exhaustion indicated by a quivering tongue, dark circles under the eyes, and dilating / contracting pupils. Eleuthero may alleviate these symptoms.
This certain type of ginseng is used by Russian athletes to improve their stamina, reflexes, coordination and athletic performance.
It is also thought to help regulate cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced within the body to help cope with stress; Unfortunately, it also destroys protein needed to build and maintain muscle while causing the body to store excess amounts of fat. More recently cortisol is referred to as the "belly fat hormone" due to its affect on the body to store more fat in the abdominal area. This supplement is exactly what you need if you want to lose belly fat.
Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. (1) Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle. (2) which makes this an excellent supplement for exercising and losing weight.
Historically, eleuthero is taken continuously for six to eight weeks, followed by a one-to two-week break before resuming. Be sure to read the bottle for any contraindications that may apply to you.
1. Farnsworth NR, Kinghorn AD, Soejarto DD, Waller DP. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Current status as an adaptogen. In Economic and Medicinal Plant Research, vol 1, ed. Wagner H, Hikino HZ, Farnsworth NR. London: Academic Press, 1985, 155-215 [review].
2. Asano K, Takahashi T, Miyashita M, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus extract on human working capacity. Planta Medica 1986; 37: 175-7.