Effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial

Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2004;(9):69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2004.04.012.


An unspecific feeling of fatigue and asthenia often pushes elderly patients to require any form of help even from non medically trained people. Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that Siberian ginseng could act as safe "adaptogenic" substance. Our aim was thus to test the effect of a middle term Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim. (Araliaceae) administration on elderly, health related quality of life (HRQOL). 20 elderly hypertensive and digitalized volunteers (age >/= 65 years) were randomized in a double -blind manner to E. senticosus dry extract 300 mg/day (n = 10) or placebo (n = 10) for 8 weeks. The short form-36 health survey version 2 (SF-36v2), a validated general health status questionnaire, was used to access HRQOL at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks. There were no significant differences in baseline demographics and SF-36v2 scores between the groups. At each visit, controls of digitalemia and blood pressure level were carried out. After 4 weeks of therapy, higher scores in social functioning (p = 0.02) scales were observed in patients randomized to E. senticosus; these differences did not persist to the 8-week time point. No adverse event has been observed in both groups of patients. No significant difference in both blood pressure control and digitalemia was observed in both treatment groups. Subjects give E. senticosus (70%) were more likely to state that they received active therapy than subjects given placebo (20%; p < 0.05). In conclusion, E. senticosus safely improves some aspects of mental health and social functioning after 4 weeks of therapy, although these differences attenuate with continued use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Eleutherococcus*
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires