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Eleutherococcus senticosus


Eleutherococcus senticosus is a plant that has been used to improve general health and wellbeing. The root has been used to ease feelings of stress, improve athletic performance, and reduce high blood pressure. It has also been used to ease cold-like symptoms. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be injected into the bloodstream by a healthcare provider.


400 milligrams once daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Upper respiratory tract infection —may ease cough and quicken recovery when used with other extracts J1, J2

May Not Be Effective

  • Bipolar disorder —may not ease symptoms in adolescents B1
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome —may not ease fatigue C1
  • Stress management —may not ease symptoms of stress I1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Atopic dermatitis A1
  • Hangover D1
  • Health-related quality of life in older adults E1
  • Herpes F1
  • Mediterranean fever G1

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

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most adults to take Eleutherococcus senticosus in small doses for a short time, but may cause rash when taken with other medicine. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • People with depression should talk to their doctors before taking Eleutherococcus senticosus. It may interact with their medicine.
  • People with heart conditions or high blood pressure should talk to their doctors before taking Eleutherococcus. It may cause irregular heartbeat and increase blood pressure.H1, H2


A. Atopic Dermatitis

A1. Shapira MY, Raphaelovich Y, et al. Treatment of atopic dermatitis with herbal combination of Eleutherococcus, Achillea millefolium, and Lamium album has no advantage over placebo: a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Apr;52(4):691-693.

B. Bipolar Disorder

B1. Weng S, Tang J, et al. Comparison of the Addition of Siberian Ginseng (Acanthopanax senticosus) Versus Fluoxetine to Lithium for the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Adolescents: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2007 Jul;68(4):280-290.

C. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

C1. Hartz AJ, Bentler S, et al. Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue. Psychol Med. 2004 Jan;34(1):51-61.

D. Hangover

D1. Bang JS, Chung YH, et al. Clinical effect of a polysaccharide-rich extract of Acanthopanax senticosus on alcohol hangover. Pharmazie. 2015 Apr;70(4):269-273.

E. Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Adults

E1. Cicero AF, Derosa G, et al. Effects of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus maxim.) on elderly quality of life: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2004;(9):69-73.

F. Herpes

F1. Tyler, V. Immuno-Protection Against herpes simplex type II infection by Eleutherococcus root extract. International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1995;9.

G. Mediterranean Fever

G1. Amaryan G, Astvatsatryan V, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, pilot clinical trial of ImmunoGuard--a standardized fixed combination of Andrographis paniculata Nees, with Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim, Schizandra chinensis Bail. and Glycyrrhiza glabra L. extracts in patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever. Phytomedicine. 2003 May;10(4):271-285.

H. Safety

H1. Izzo AA, Di Carlo G, et al. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy and herbal medicines: the risk of drug interaction. Int J Cardiol. 2005 Jan;98(1):1-14.

H2. Rasmussen CB, Glisson JK, et al. Dietary supplements and hypertension: potential benefits and precautions. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2012 Jul;14(7):467-471.

I. Stress Management

I1. Schaffler K, Wolf OT, et al. No benefit adding eleutherococcus senticosus to stress management training in stress-related fatigue/weakness, impaired work or concentration, a randomized controlled study. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2013 Jul;46(5):181-190.

J. Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

J1. Narimanian M, Badalyan M, et al. Randomized trial of a fixed combination (KanJang) of herbal extracts containing Adhatoda vasica, Echinacea purpurea and Eleutherococcus senticosus in patients with upper respiratory tract infections. Phytomedicine. 2005 Aug;12(8):539-547.

J2. 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 upper respiratory tract infection: A comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Phytomedicine. 2015 Dec 1;22(13):1195-1200.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/6/2020