Human Studies on Eleutherococcus
This hardy plant is known to survive brutal Siberian weather conditions. Many plant experts believe it can confer this strength to those of us who take it. Human studies seem to support this idea. One study of 45 men and women revealed a 40% reduction in raised heart rate during stress overall, and up to a 60% reduction in women (10).
Other studies showed eleuthero lowered blood pressure, and eliminated symptoms of angina. Interestingly, as a true adaptogen, it seems to help raise blood pressure in those with low blood pressure (11).
When Should You Take Eleutherococcus?
We tell our patients to take this herb in the morning and/or afternoon. Some sources suggest for best effect, it helps to take it for 6 to 8 weeks straight, and then have a two-week pause before restarting (12).
Who Should Use Eleuthero?
The person who benefits the most from Siberian ginseng is a stressed person with a low-functioning immune system, who may have an unhealthy cardiovascular response from stress (type A personality) with higher blood pressures and heart rates. Eleuthero can be taken as a tea, or in even stronger forms like capsules or tinctures.
Originating in Europe and England, Hawthorne (Cratageus) has both a calming and nourishing effect on the cardiovascular system. It can have a special gentle relaxant effect on the vascular system in people that have higher blood pressures due to a lot of stress hormones (13).
Hawthorne contains healthy plant chemicals called flavonoids that help keep the blood vessels strong. It may also balance total cholesterol, triglycerides, and bad (LDL) cholesterol as well (14). Some studies also showed it may even help in congestive heart failure (CHF), a type of heart disease where the heart is working very poorly (15).