Eleuthero is a shrub native to Asia formerly known as Siberian ginseng. However, although the plant is a distant cousin of Panax ginseng, it does not contain ginsenosides.
For this reason, also in compliance with the US Ginseng Labeling Act of 2002, the herb is no longer called Siberian ginseng but is referred to as eleuthero or, in Chinese medicine, as Ciwujia (Ci Wu Jia).
The herb does contain several active compounds, however, including a number of antioxidant polyphenols. The root also contains a compound called syringin that stimulates the production of acetylcholine, which triggers increased insulin release from the pancreas. For this reason, use this herb with caution if you take pharmaceutical medications to lower blood sugar.
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