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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dr. Saleeby contributes to Wikipedia - Eleutherococcus senticosus

Eleutherococcus senticosus

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Eleutherococcus senticosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus
Binomial name
Eleutherococcus senticosus
(Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim.[1]
Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus) is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia. It is often colloquially referred to as Siberian Ginseng or eleuthero, and is sometimes shortened to E. senticosus in medical literature. E. senticosus has been studied as an adaptogen, and has a history of use in Chinese medicine, where it is known as cì wǔ jiā (刺五加).[1].
The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. E. senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland. Its native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan, and Russia. E. senticosus is broadly tolerant of soils, growing in sandy, loamy, and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral, or alkaline chemistry and including soils of low nutritional value. It can tolerate sun or dappled shade and some degree of pollution. E. senticosus is a deciduous shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects.[2]
E. senticosus is a new addition to Western natural medicine, but has quickly gained a reputation similar to that of the better known and more expensive[citation needed] Chinese Ginseng. Though the chemical make-up of the two herbs differs, their effects seem to be similar. An extensive list of research on E. senticosus with links to PubMed is available.[3]
The herb is an adaptogen, is anticholesteremic, is mildly anti-inflammatory, is antioxidant, is a nervine, and is an immune tonic[citation needed]. It is useful when the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is depleted. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, stress, neurasthenia, and sore muscles associated with the hypofunctioning of the endocrine system, and adrenal exhaustion indicated by a quivering tongue, dark circles under the eyes, and dilating/contracting pupils. Eleuthero may alleviate these symptoms.[4]




E. senticosus was previously marketed in the United States as Siberian Ginseng because it has similar herbal properties to those of Panax ginseng. However, it belongs to a different genus in the family Araliaceae, and it is currently illegal in the United States to market eleuthero as Siberian Ginseng, since the term "ginseng" is reserved for the Panax species.[4]

Ethnomedical use

Eleutherococcus senticosus leaves
E. senticosus is an adaptogen that has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use.[citation needed] Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean.[citation needed] E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins that are lipophilic and that can fit into hormone receptors.[citation needed] Supporters[who?] of E. senticosus as medicine claim that it possesses a variety of medicinal properties, such as:
Eleutherococcus senticosis is more tonifying than the true Ginsengs (Panax sp.)[citation needed]. Taken regularly, it enhances immune function, decreases cortisol levels and inflammatory response[contradiction], and it promotes improved cognitive and physical performance[citation needed]. In human studies, Eleuthero has been successfully used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.[5][6][7]
The major constituents of E. senticosus are Ciwujianoside A-E, Eleutheroside B (Syringin), Eleutherosides A-M, Friedelin, and Isofraxidin.[4]
Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant effects in rats.[8][9]

Interactions and side effects

  • People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus because it may reduce their need for medication.


  1. ^ a b c d "Eleutherococcus senticosus information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  2. ^ "Eleutherococcus senticosus". Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  3. ^ List of Research on Eleuthero in PubMed
  4. ^ a b c d[unreliable source?]Winston, David & Maimes, Steven. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007.
  5. ^ Halstead B, Hood L (1984). Eleutherococcus senticosis–Siberian Ginseng, OHAI. p.7.
  6. ^ Chen JK, Chen TT. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, Art of Medicine Press, City of Industry, CA 2004
  7. ^ [David Winston. Native American, Chinese, and Ayurvedic Materia Medica, HTSBM, pp. 1-1
  8. ^ Kurkin VA, Dubishchev AV, Ezhkov VN, Titova IN, Avdeeva EV (2006). "Antidepressant activity of some phytopharmaceuticals and phenylpropanoids". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 40 (11): 614–9. doi:10.1007/s11094-006-0205-5. 
  9. ^ Deyama T, Nishibe S, Nakazawa Y (December 2001). "Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng". Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 22 (12): 1057–70. PMID 11749801. 
  • Brunner, R., Tabachnik, B. (1990). Soviet Training and Recovery Methods, pp. 217–21. Sport Focus Publishing.
  • Bohn B, Nebe CT, Birr C (1987). "Flow Cytometric Studies with Eleutherococcus senticosus extract as an Immunomodulating Agent". Drug Res 37 (10): 1193–6. 
  • Saleeby, MD, J.P., Keefer, A., "Wonder Herbs: A guide to three adaptogens", Xlibris, 2006. Entire chapter devoted to E. senticosus.
  • Winston, David & Maimes, Steven. “ADAPTOGENS: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007. Contains Russian research on E. senticosus and a monograph on the herb.

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