Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Eleuthero, Eleutherococcus senticosus was once widely known as Siberian Ginseng. However; due to new regulations regarding the naming of herbs in an attempt to have a “Standard Common Name” for labeling, it was decided that only Panax spp. could be named as “Ginsengs”. Therefore, Siberian Ginseng is now commonly known as Eleuthero. It has also been called Acanthopanax senticosus; Ciwujia; Touch-me-not; Devil’s Bush; Wujiaseng; and Ussurian Thorny Pepper Bush.

Eleuthero is a deciduous shrub in the Araliaceae family that grows to about 6 1/2 feet tall. It is native to Siberia, Korea and parts of China and can be grown in US Zones 3-7 in light, medium or heavy soils as well as nutritionally poor soil, though it does prefer moist soil. It can grow in full sun to partial shade. It does produce flowers in the summer. You can check out what zone you are in here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/


EleutheroEleuthero may help the body normalize blood pressure and blood sugar levels, improve hearing, improve sight and alleviate allergies. It may inhibit the replication of viruses responsible for the common cold, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), and Rhinoviruses as well as the flu. It is thought to enhance the immune system, the function of the thymus gland (even possibly preventing stress-induced damage to this gland), enhance the production of red blood cells and the function of white blood cells. Eleuthero supports the function of the adrenal glands and may even reduce enlargement of the adrenal glands caused by Cushing’s Syndrome. Eleuthero helps normalize sleep patterns, improve the body’s ability to handle stres, withstand heat, cold and/or noise, increase dopamine levels and norepinephrine levels. It possesses antioxidant properties, may improve athletic performance, enhance the production of energy, extend how long an individual can exercise, alleviate fatigue, improve stamina, and increase muscle strength. Eleuthero may also increase alertness and attention span, improve mood, memory, and learning, and may even be helpful in as part of a treatment plan for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In the immune system Eleuthero may increase the number of T-Helper cells and the activity of NK Lymphocytes while also enhancing the function of Macrophages. These are of great interest for those of us with autoimmune issues.

As I’m sure you can see, Eleuthero may be beneficial for many body systems and health concerns. This is why it is an adaptogen.

The average dosage for unstandardized dried root is 6,000 to 12,000 mg per day (split into three doses). For standardized root powder containing at least 1% Eleutheroside E is from 300 to 600 mg per day. For a 1:5 tincture it would be 30 to 60 ml per day (30 ml is one ounce) and for a 1:1 tincture around 6-12 ml per day. Again, these doses would be divided into three separate dosages throughout the day, and they are just averages. We all respond differently to the things we put into our bodies. You might find you need more or less than the average individual, or you may even find it isn’t the right herb for you. Always watch how you respond to new herbs, and limit how many new herbs you start at one time so you can better tell what response is coming from what herb.


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