In traditional Chinese medicine, Siberian ginseng is used in range of applications including insomnia, nervous exhaustion with headache, poor appetite and high cholesterol conditions. It is completely different from Asian and American ginsengs, with different chemical components.
In Russia it was traditionally taken to prevent colds and flu, and to increase vitality, energy and longevity. Known as an adaptogen, Siberian ginseng is believed to effective in helping the body adapt to conditions of physical or mental stress. It is available as a dietary supplement in capsules, tablets, liquid, solid and powdered extracts, and as roots dried for tea.
Supplements are made from the root, which contains plant sterols called eleutherosides that are believed to have health benefits, potentially improving cognitive functions, and polysaccharides which can lower blood sugar levels and strengthen the immune system.
Some research reports that Siberian ginseng seems to increase social functions in the elderly, which as a means of measuring cognition levels may potentially slow down the cognitive ageing rate. Some studies into the effect of Siberian ginseng on colds and flu show positive results in the immune response, while others reported effectiveness in treating outbreaks of the herpes virus.