Plant Profile: Eleuthero

Eleuthero (A.K.A. Siberian Ginseng)
(Eleutherococcus senticosus)


Energetics: Warming

Taste: Bitter. Acrid. A bit sweet. In my opinion all of the flavors are extremely mild but of you really explore you can find them. 

Tissue States: Tension

Parts Used: Root bark. Sometimes leaves.

Systems affected:  Adrenals (Hypothalamus). Circulatory/Heart. Nervous system. Spleen. Pancreas.

Key Components: Crude & dietary fiber. Fat. Protein. Calcium. Chromium. Cobalt. Iron. Magnesium. Manganese. Phosphorus. Potassium. Selenium. Silicon. Zinc. B1 (Thiamine). B2 (Riboflavin). B3 (Niacin). Vitamin A. Vitamin C. Choline (a macronutrient). Triterpinoid saponins called Eleutherosides, Essential oils. Resin. Starch. Sterols. Coumarins. Flavonoids. Polysaccharides. 

Preparations & dosage: Decoction. Tincture. Powdered (8-30g per day) can be encapsulated or blended into foods or in smoothies. Tablet form. Not a fast acting plant. Should be taken over a period of weeks to months to get the best results. 8-30g per day.


Foundational: Bitter. Stimulant.
Primary: Adaptogenic. Circulatory stimulant. Hypoglycemic. Immunomodulator. Neuroprotective. Vasodilator. Restorative
Secondary: Antibacterial. Anti-fungal. Antimicrobial. Antioxidant. Anti-rheumatic. Antiseptic. Antispasmodic. Antiviral. Chemoprotective. Ergogenic. Radioprotective. Tonic. 

  • Low Energy
  • Debility, Exhaustion & Depression where there can be no medical cause found.
  • Increases body resistance.
  • Improves response to environmental stress. This response is regulated by the hypothalamus. 
  • Decreases adrenal hypertrophy & spares the loss of Vitamin C from adrenals. 
  • Regulates the thyroid for both hyper and hypo thyroid.
  • Increases cortisone secretion thus acting on exhausted adrenals.
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol & triglyceride levels.
  • Reducing stress induced hypertension & angina
  • Strengthens immune system over time. 
  • Enhance performance by increasing endurance and stamina. 
  • Improve cognitive function, alertness, memory & learning. 
  • For diabetics, combined with diet and other lifestyle changes can support the body in its production of insulin. 
  • Protects and nourishes the nervous system. 
  • Protect the body of those going through chemo or radiation therapy from decreased white blood cells and suppressed bone marrow.
  • Also inhibits metastasis and the reoccurrence of cancer. 
  • Antioxidants protect body from free radicals.
  • Can help to normalize body temperature. 
  • Tonic for both male and female reproductive systems.
  • Improves male sexual function (perhaps because of its action on the adrenals and thyroid).
Safely increase stamina in the face of undue demands & stress, be it physical or mental.Wonderful for supporting capacity for concentration. Works very rapidly as opposed to other adaptogens that take up to a few weeks to notice change. Exceptional for acute situations such as studying for a big exam or another moment of acute challenge. Use for ADHD with kids as young as 8 or 9 combined with Lavender, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Holy Basil. Debility, exhaustion, depression except when due to specific medical reason. Increases all kinds of body resistance. Low energy, increasing endurance. Excellent for blood profusion when traveling to a higher elevation (start taking for a week in advance of trip & continue for about a week after arriving). Circulatory effects shown in Russian research studies. Russian studies believe it acts upon the hypothalamus because it has a mild, normalizing effect on the endocrine system. Improves response to environmental stress. Causes gentle warming effect toward periphery while reducing excess internal heat. Improves blood circulation & cardiovascular health. Particularly good for people who are “overreactive”. Sensitive to temp changes (very cold in winter) and exaggerated physical, mental and emotional ups and downs leading to adrenal exhaustion. Appears to regulate the thyroid. Normalizes both low and high thyroid but especially high due to hypothalamic stress. Stabilizes blood sugar. Increases cortisone secretion on exhausted adrenals (sign of this is circles under the eyes). Studies show improvement in male sexual function & suspected it can do the same for women. Suited to people who have been weakened by the enervating influence of civilization. Gives people a better, grounding relationship to the Earth. Convalescing from disease or surgery. Can act as stimulant or sedative depending on the person. 1 Dropper full morning and night especially in winter, not blended with anything else if endocrine problems are suspected. Wonderful for elderly given for as long as 6 months especially in winter.

Indications:  Dark Circles under the eyes (adrenal fatigue)

Combines Well With: For Heart combine with Motherwort.
For cognitive function & alertness: Cordyceps, Rhodeola or Schisandra. 
Essential Oil: 
Flower Essence: 
Look Alike? 
Growing: Can be grown from seed or cuttings. Generally does well in zones 3-7. Can adapt to almost any type of soil (clay, sand, loam) and even when there is a deficiency of nutrients. 
Growing from seed can take some patience as it can take up to 2 years for the seeds to germinate. How to grow. Soak seeds in warm water for up to 24 hours to soften the shell. Remove from water and plant in a container filled with compost. Plant about 1/4" deep. Water. Date your seeded pot and place it in a warm spot for 4-5 months where the temperature will remain at temperature will remain roughly 64-68 degrees. Water from time to time. After 4-5 months, move the pots to a cold location where the temps are around 32-35 degreed. In 2-3 months, put pots back in a warm location and hopefully you should start seeing some sprouts! 
To Grow From Cutting: If you have a parent plant o take cuttings from, this is the easier and faster route. Begin in early Summer. Cut soft wooded stems about 6" long that have at least 2 nodes. Dip the cut end in powdered Willow Bark (contains rooting compounds that will help the cutting grow roots). Plant the cutting in a container filled with compost and enclose in a large ziploc bag or cover with a glass jar to keep in moisture. in about 2-3 weeks, roots should begin to grow and after about a month, you should see new leaves begin to grow! 


Contraindications: Those taking Digoxin should not use Eleuthero. Can overstimulate those who are sensitive to stimulants and cause symptoms such as jitters, rapid heartbeat and headaches. May enhance the effectiveness of mycin-class antibiotics. 


The Complete Herbs Sourcebook: David Hoffman. Pg 316.
The Way of Herbs: Michael Tierra. Pg 193.
The Way of Herbs: Michael Tierra. Pg 226-227
The Earthwise Herbal: Matthew Wood. Pg 241-244
Rosemary Gladstar's Healing Herbal for Men: Rosemary Gladstar. Pg 174.