Eleuthero, the herb formerly known as Siberian Ginseng, is one of my favorites.
It always has been. This classic adaptogen has been researched historically for its effects in enhancing physical and mental performance, for reducing stress, for protecting the heart against ischemia, protecting against liver toxicity and stimulating the immune system. The latest research, however, is about its effects on diabetes, an effect that has apparently been linked to a natural constituents of the herb, syringin.
An article in Planta Medica explore the effect of syringin in diabetic rats. When syringin was ejected interventionists late, plasma glucose levels decreased in a dose dependent fashion. It also modulated the plasma glucose spike caused by glucose challenge testing. The authors conclude “The ability of syringin to enhance glucose utilization and lower plasma glucose level in rats suffering from insulin deficiency suggested that this chemical may be useful in the treatment of human diabetes.”
Planta Med. 2008 Feb;74(2):109-13. Epub 2008 Jan 17.
Hypoglycemic effect of syringin from Eleutherococcus senticosus in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Niu HS, Liu IM, Cheng JT, Lin CL, Hsu FL. Graduate Institute of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
To further elucidate the action of this compound, and of this plant, the same authors published another article showing one mechanism of action, “enhancing the secretion of beta endorphins from adrenal medulla to stimulate peripheral micro-opioid receptors resulting in a decrease of plasma glucose in diabetic rats lacking insulin.”
Horm Metab Res. 2007 Dec;39(12):894-8. Increase of beta-endorphin secretion by syringin, an active principle of Eleutherococcus senticosus, to produce antihyperglycemic action in type 1-like diabetic rats. Niu HS, Hsu FL, Liu IM, Cheng JT.