When an organism is exposed to an environmental threat, it has an initial response of alarm and, when the aggressive condition persists, a second stage comes into play with progressive adaptation. And if the stress is too great or prolonged over time, signs of a breakdown start to show through decreased strength, tiredness, weakness, asthenia, adynamia, lack of energy. It all occurs due to increased energy requirements (motor activity, sports practice, seasonal change, work commitments, schooling, convalescence), excessive nutrient loss (sweating, stressful conditions, birth control pill, breastfeeding) or reduced nutrient intake (modern diet or monotonous diet).
Russian and German researchers introduced the term “adaptogenic” to indicate single active ingredients or whole plants able to increase the non-specific strengths, latent potentials, defence and adaptation mechanisms of the body, mainly in the face of stress.
In 1958 Soviet scientist Brekhman of the Academy of Sciences at the University of Vladivostok coined the term ‘adaptogenic substance’. Upon concluding studies on animals and man, he attributed some medicinal plants, such as Ginseng and Eleutherococcus, as being ‘adaptogenic’ substances able to cause an optimal response in the body to stressful, unfavourable conditions.
Native to the desert steppes of eastern Siberia, Eleutherococcus is a prickly bush that can grow to 2-3 metres tall. Defined as an “adaptogenic” phytocomplex due to its lack of toxicity, its non-specific activity on a single organ and its modulating activity on the different functions of the body. In phytotherapy the root of the plant is used. The active ingredients that offer these properties are 13 glucosides, called eleutherosides, in addition to vitamins and amino acids. Known since ancient times as an elixir for longevity, Eleutherococcus was used to fight fatigue on a physical, mental, psychological and sexual level. Its properties are so similar to Ginseng that it is also referred to as ‘Russian Ginseng’. Eleutherococcus is used in cases of occasional, habitual or prolonged exposure to stressful conditions; physical, mental and intellectual surmenage; convalescence; preparation for sporting activity; memory and concentration difficulties; preparation for examinations; low immune system.