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Botanical Name

Eleutherococcus senticosus

Common Name

Eleuthero, Siberian ginseng, Acanthopanax senticosus



Parts Used

Root, rhizome

Native To

Northeastern China, eastern Russia, Korea, and northern Japan

Harvesting Guidelines

The roots, rhizomes and bark are harvested during the month of October when active constituents are highest.


Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is a deciduous perennial shrub that belongs to the ginseng family. It is native to northeastern China, eastern Russia, Korea, and northern Japan. Although it is not a true ginseng of the Panax species, eleuthero has similar medicinal properties and is often used as a substitute for true ginseng. The name Siberian ginseng was coined by commercial interests to give an expensive mystique to a relatively cheap drug. In the United States, only Panax ginseng can legally be marketed as ginseng, so Eleutherococcus senticosus is now known as eleuthero.

Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, has a long history of use in Russia and China. In Russia, it was used to improve performance and quality of life, and to reduce infections in athletes, cosmonauts, and factory workers. In China, it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese Medicine to treat conditions such as spasms and swelling, and to promote happiness and vigor. Modern scientific studies have also shown that eleuthero can improve mental health and social functioning in elderly patients with hypertension. Today, eleuthero is used to strengthen the body's life force and combat fatigue, chronic diarrhea, low appetite, and bloating.(1)

Eleuthero is a powerful adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress. It works by nourishing the adrenal glands, which produce hormones that regulate the body's response to stress. By normalizing stress hormone levels, eleuthero helps to smooth out the peaks and valleys of chronic stress. In addition to its physical benefits, eleuthero has a calming and grounding effect, helping to develop a strong inner core and a sense of rootedness that can withstand stress.

Eleuthero is a versatile herb that can be used by people of all ages and genders. It is known for its general strengthening properties and is often used as a tonic to combat fatigue and improve concentration. In fact, Germany's Commission E has approved eleuthero for use as a tonic during times of debility or declining capacity for work. Herbalist David Hoffman recommends eleuthero for a variety of stress-related conditions, including hypertension, neuroses, and even cancer. It is also useful for symptoms of stress such as exhaustion, irritability, insomnia, and mild depression.(2)

Eleuthero has been utilized for centuries to enhance athletic performance by reducing fatigue. They suggest that Eleuthero can boost endurance and stamina, improve mitochondrial activity, accelerate recovery, and prevent immune depletion caused by excessive training. (3)

Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, has been found to have positive effects on endocrine function and hormone balance, particularly in men. It is often used as a tonic for the male reproductive system and has been shown to stimulate male virility, according to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in her book "Herbal Healing for Men."(4)


Adult Dose (5)

Tincture: 50-100 drops tincture, 3 times per day.* Decoction: 1-2 tsp dried eleuthero root in 12-16 oz water, decocted 20-30 minutes, steep 1 hour, drink up to 3 cups per day.


Eleuthero is generally considered safe and can be taken for extended periods of time. However, individuals with high blood pressure should avoid taking eleuthero. In rare cases, sensitive individuals may experience overstimulation, which could be due to the effects of eleuthero or the use of adulterated products. Some eleuthero products sold in the US may be made from other species or herbs that can have toxic effects and interact with cardiac medications. It is important to purchase eleuthero from reputable sources to ensure purity and avoid potential interactions with medications.(6)




(1)Huang L, Zhao H, Huang B, Zheng C, Peng W, Qin L. (2011). Acanthopanax senticosus: review of botany, chemistry and pharmacology. Pharmazie. 2011 Feb;66(2):83-97.

(2)Hoffman, D (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

(3)Yance, Donald. (n.d.) The Monographs: Eleuthero. Retrieved on October 16, 2014 from

(4)Gladstar, Rosemary. (2001). Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal. North Adams, MA: Storey Books.

(5)Hoffman, D (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

(6)Winston, David and Maimes, Steven. (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.


Scientific Research:

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements


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