Most of us can use a boost from time to time, and I have a favourite herb I like to take to give me a lift and to improve my stamina throughout the day.
But this herb is not just a stimulant. As usual, I go for something with an impressive range of health benefits, that can help on many levels:
Siberian Ginseng, or eleutherococcus senticosus.
Not to be confused with Chinese ginseng (panax ginseng), Siberian Ginseng is a powerful tonic herb. I tend not to take it when I am working from home, but keep it for when I am working at the Co-op, when the demands upon me are high, and I will get the most benefit from it.
Advising clients, hearing their woes and health problems, speaking in French all day, and coping with the physical demands of the work, all take their toll on me physically, emotionally and mentally.
Siberian Ginseng acts on all these levels, so is the perfect choice for an all-in-one herb, to help me cope with whatever challenges the day presents.
Siberian Ginseng, also known as eleuthero:
- Is an adaptogen, meaning it helps to balance adrenal function and our response to physical, emotional and mental stress.
- Has a general tonic effect, helping the body to withstand heat and cold, and to maintain homeostasis.
- Is useful in cases of chronic exhaustion and debility, as well as occasional fatigue.
- Can help with insomnia from nervous exhaustion and the “too tired to sleep” paradox.
- Stimulates the immune system, and can be taken both to aid recovery from chronic illness and to prevent infection.
- Increases physical endurance – athletes have experienced as much as a 9% increase in stamina when taking eleuthero.
- Improves concentration, and can be taken before exams or in situations that are mentally challenging and stressful.
- Helps to balance mood swings.
Quite a portfolio, non?
I take Siberian Ginseng in 240mg capsules, 2 in the morning and 2 at lunchtime, and this provides me with the lift I need. Be careful not to take it too late in the day, as you don’t want its stimulant properties to interfere with a good night’s sleep.
It is also available as a tincture, and in products where it is combined with other stimulant and immune boosting supplements, such as royal jelly, propolis, vitamin C and panax ginseng, to strengthen the body for the winter season.
It is recommended to take it for 3 weeks before an athletic event, if training, and otherwise to take for 4-6 weeks, followed by a week off, and then to renew if desired.
Although I don’t take this herb every day, it is one I always have on hand at home, and also keep in my handbag for those days when I am out at work. It even comes on holiday with me, to help me manage all the challenges of travel, different environments, and to give me a lift so I can make the most of the trip.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.