There are many natural plant substances that have a documented effect that increases the efficiency and fitness of the body. One of these plants is the spiny eleutherococcus, mainly known as Siberian ginseng.
In order to find out whether Siberian ginseng may be helpful in increasing the strength and efficiency of the body, a cross-checked, randomized, double-blind study was conducted. 9 healthy, recreationally trained men took part in it. The average age was 19 years old. For 8 weeks some of the subjects received capsules with powdered root and rhizomes of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) at a dose of 800 mg, containing 0.11% of eleuterozyde B (syringin) and 0.12% of eleuteroside E. The second group received identical-looking placebo capsules. Then a 4-week break (washout period) was introduced, and then the trial was continued for another 8 weeks, giving test subjects who were taking placebo before, capsules with Siberian ginseng and vice versa, according to the principles of conducting a cross-over experiment. The entire study lasted 20 weeks.
Four days before the start of the study, the peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak), a classical indicator of overall physical performance, was measured.
After 20 weeks, the participants’ capacity was tested by measuring the appropriate parameters (heart rate, respiration rate, perceived effort) during exercise cycling at 75% VO2 peak until exhaustion. The subjects also had equipment installed that allowed them to take blood samples at intervals.
The results of the experiment were surprising. There was a significant increase in strength in the Siberian ginseng group. Higher pulse rate, faster increase in VO2 peak and lower blood glucose were observed. Almost half of the respondents reported a noticeable, subjective increase in strength and fitness. The increase in the percentage utilization of VO2 peak is the main parameter significantly affecting the increase of strength.
This study confirms the properties of Siberian ginseng in increasing the efficiency of the body, the 1 and the action regulating the level of glucose. It can be an ideal dietary supplement for athletes. Importantly, Siberian ginseng is not forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency.