Eleuthero: An Overview

Eleutherococcus senticosus

Also known as Siberian Ginseng, this adaptogen is native to Northeast Asia. It grows in Northeast China, Eastern Russia, Korea, and Japan.

Though one of its other names is Siberian Ginseng, eleuthero is actually not ginseng at all! True ginseng contains ginsenosides, while eleuthero does not. The word sounds a little strange, but ginsenosides are basically the active compound within ginseng. Eleuthero’s active constituents are its eleutherosides. It also contains triterpinoid saponins, which are natural products found in other medicinal plants.

Although only becoming popular in the last 60 years, eleuthero has been used for millennia. Ancient Chinese medical texts mention eleuthero, or, ci wu jia. Its use was to invigorate qi, which referred to vital energy, and to nourish the spleen and kidneys. From the 1940s to the 1960s, Russian researchers studied this herb, searching for an economical and readily available alternative to panax ginseng, otherwise known as Asian Ginseng.

Similar to ashwagandha, eleuthero is an adaptogen. Adaptogens help your body adapt and respond well to stress.

So what is eleuthero used for?

  • Stimulate the Immune System
    • A study found that a liquid extract from eleuthero was able to inhibit the reproduction of human rhinovirus and influenza A. This perhaps lesser known adaptogen has some powerful antiviral capabilities.
  • Improve Stamina
  • Adrenal Support
  • Help with Fatigue
  • Currently being researched for its anti-cancerous properties
    • “The aqueous extract of AS [acanthopanax senticocus, a new classification of eleutherococcus senticocus) is able to inhibit tumor metastasis prophylactically as well as therapeutically” (study here). In other words, eleuthero can be used preventatively and curatively.

Similar to ashwagandha, eleuthero can be consumed in tea, tinctures, and capsule form.

Resources to Learn More…









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