Siberian ginseng is widely used to treat individuals with nervous exhaustion or anxiety due to chronic exposure to stress, or what is now termed 'allostatic load situations'.

The biochemical effects on stress responses observed in experimental and human Ginseng—Siberian 581

studies provide a theoretical basis for this indication (Abramova et al 1972, Gaffney et al 2001a).

One placebo-controlled study conducted over 6 weeks investigated the effects of an ethanolic extract of Siberian ginseng (8 mL/day, equivalent to 4 g/day dried root). In the study, active treatment resulted in increased Cortisol levels, which may be consistent with animal research suggesting a threshold of stress below which Siberian ginseng increases the stress response and above which it decreases the stress response (Gaffney et al 2001 b).

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