Best Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) Supplements

eleuthero extracts

Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is one of the most highly-studied natural medicines and has many known health benefits. However, there have been a lot of issues with fake and contaminanted eleuthero products.  Here’s what you need to know about choosing eleuthero supplements to ensure you get a good product and which brands are best.

Quick Pick: Nature’s Way Eleuthero extract contains standardized eleuthero for a guaranteed amount of eleutherosides as well as 235mg non-standardized eleuthero root so you get the benefits of the entire plant.

Benefits of Eleuthero

There are numerous studies showing that eleuthero has health benefits.  These are the main benefits which are backed by science:

  • Fights chronic fatigue
  • Improved cognitive thinking
  • Increase immunity
  • Boosts mental health
  • Performance enhancer
  • Increases fat metabolism
  • Antioxidant
  • Improves bone density
  • Treating herpes infections


Active Ingredients in Eleuthero

Eleuthero contains many natural compounds which can improve health. These include triterpenoid saponins, coumarins, and flavones.  However, the main active ingredients of eleuthero are eleutherosides. There are multiple types but eleutherosides B and E have been most studied and are known to be strong adaptogens. (1, 2, 3, 4)


Which Part of Eleuthero Plant Should You Take?

The roots, stems and leaves of eleuthero plant all contain compounds which provide health benefits.  However, most of the eleutherosides in the plant are found in the root.  For this reason, quality eleuthero supplements are made from the root of the plant.

Cheap eleuthero supplements sometimes use the leaves of the plant instead.  The leaves will provide health benefits too but you’ll need to take them in large amounts to get the same benefits.

Note that the leaves of eleuthero do contain higher amounts of ciwujianosides, which are powerful histamine-inhibitors.  If you are taking eleuthero to block histamine, then you will want to choose a supplement made from the leaves instead of the roots. (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)


Eleuthero Dosage

The dosage of eleuthero is usually 300 to 500mg of dried root per day, or the equivalent amount of plant matter as a liquid extract.  However, dosages can vary greatly so consult with your health care practitioner.  Eleuthero should not be taken long-term.  It is generally recommended to take a break from using eleuthero after 3-8 weeks, depending on the condition it is being used for. (11, 12, 13, 14)


Standardized vs. Non-standardized Eleuthero

Standardized eleuthero supplements are created in a lab to contain a specific amount of eleutherosides. When taking standardized eleuthero extracts, you can be sure you are getting a quality product that has exactly what it claims to have.  However, the process used to standardize eleuthero might sacrifice some of the other healthy compounds in the plant.

Non-standardized eleuthero root supplements are made from the entire root.  They also contain eleutherosides, as well as other healthy compounds.  However, you can’t be sure how much eleutherosides the supplements contain.  Not only does this mean quality can vary, but it also makes it harder to get the right dose.

In the case of eleuthero supplements, standardized is generally considered better because the plant’s benefits are so clearly linked to the eleutherosides. Some brands of eleuthero supplements (like Nature’s Way) actually include both standardized and non-standardized eleuthero so you get the benefits of both options.


Powder vs. Liquid Eleuthero Extracts

Eleuthero supplements are available as powders (usually put into capsules) or as liquid extracts (in capsules or drops). Liquid extracts are usually much more potent than dry powders.  However, what ultimately matters is the amount eleuthero included per serving.

When comparing eleuthero supplements, look at how much dry plant root is included per serving.  This is pretty straight forward with powders.  With liquid extracts though, you’ll need to look at the amount of dry plant per 1ml.  This is sometimes listed as the menstruum ratio. A menstruum ratio of 1:1 means that 1,000mg of plant was used per 1ml of liquid. The higher the menstruum ratio, the stronger the supplement is.


Eleuthero Liquid Extracts

Herbs can be extracted in oil, alcohol or glycerin.  For eleuthero extracts, glycerin is generally considered the best: it does a good job of extracting the active substances in the herb while still having a good shelf life.  Avoid eleuthero extracts in oil as they go bad fairly quickly.  Read more about extract types here.


What about Eleuthero Tea?

You can also find dried eleuthero for sale as a tea.  Eleuthero tea is usually not nearly as potent as a powder or liquid extract. You’ll have to drink a lot of tea to get the same benefits you’d get from supplement.  It’s also much harder to control the dosage and strength when consuming eleuthero tea compared to taking a supplement.


How to Avoid Fake Eleuthero Products

According to Mount Sinai medical center, tests found that as many as 25% of eleuthero supplements did not actually contain any of the herb.  Another study tested 25 eleuthero supplements and found that, while they did contain the herb, 36% of them were contaminated with other species of Eleutherococcus.

This goes to show how important it is to choose an eleuthero supplement from a reputable brand.  You’ll also want to choose a brand which does third-party testing and provides lab results.  When in doubt, choose a standardized eleuthero supplement as these are held to more vigorous standards.


Best Eleuthero Supplements

1. Nature’s Way Standardized Eleuthero Extract

  • Type: standardized extract in capsule
  • Standardized to 0.8% eleutherosides B and E
  • Guaranteed 2mg eleutherosides per capsule
  • Plus additional 235mg non-standardized eleuthero root
  • Vegan
  • Buy here

2. Gaia Herbs Eleuthero Root

  • Type: Glycerin extract in capsules
  • 1,650mg dried herb equivalent per capsule
  • Guaranteed 2 mg of active Eleutherosides B and E per serving
  • Grown in North Carolina
  • Vegan
  • Buy here

3. Blue Bonnet Standardized Eleuthero Extract

  • Type: standardized extract in capsule
  • Standardized to 0.8% eleutherosides
  • Guaranteed 4mg eleutherosides per capsule
  • Vegan
  • Buy here

4. Sthenia Standardized Eleuthero Extract

  • Type: standardized extract in capsule
  • Standardized to 0.8% eleutherosides (B and E)
  • Guaranteed 4mg eleutherosides per capsule
  • Vegan
  • Buy here

5. Florida Herbs Eleuthero Root

  • Type: Glycerin extract as liquid drops
  • 670mg dried herb equivalent per 0.7ml serving
  • Menstruum ratio 1:3
  • Certified organic
  • Buy here

6. NOW Eleuthero Powder 

  • Type: Dried root powder in capsule
  • 500mg dried herb per capsule
  • 100 capsules per bottle
  • Vegan
  • GMP Quality Assured
  • Buy here


Image credit: “Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian-gi” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Tatters ✾

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *