Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Eleutherococcus senticosusSiberian ginseng


Ciwujia is a small plant that has been used with other herbs and vitamins to ease symptoms caused by the cold. It has also been used to treat diabetes. Its leaves and root can be taken as pill, powder, or extract. Its leaves can also be made into a tea. It can be injected by a healthcare provider as well.


There are no advised doses for ciwujia.

What Research Shows

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Acute respiratory tract infection A1
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy B1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take small doses of ciwujia by mouth for a short period of time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It may be unsafe to take ciwujia by injection.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse. Ciwujia interacts with many prescription medicines.C1, C2



A. Acute Respiratory Tract Infection

A1. Barth A, Hovhannisyan A, et al. Antitussive effect of a fixed combination of Justicia adhatoda, Echinacea purpurea and Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts in patients with acute respiratory tract infection: A comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Phytomedicine. 2015; 22(13): 1195-1200.

B. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

B1. Chen Wei, Zhang Yin, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013(11).

C. Safety

C1. Hu J, Shang H, Li J, Zhang L, Zhang J, Zheng W, Li T, Zhang B, Li Y. Adverse drug reactions linked to Ciwujia injection: a systematic review of 521 cases. J Evid Based Med. 2010 Feb;3(1):37-43.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC