Related Terms

  • Acanthopanax senticosus, acanthosides, Araliaceae (family), Argoeleuter tablets, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, chlorogenic acid, ci wu jia, ciwujia, ciwujianosides, devil’s bush, devil’s shrub, dihydrodehydrodiconiferyl alcohol monopyranose, Eleu-kokk®, eleuthera, eleutheran, eleuthero, eleuthero ginseng, eleutherococci radix, Eleutherococcus senticosus, eleutheroside, episyringaresinol, extractum eleutherococci fluidum, Ezoukogi (Japanese), ferulic acid, free phenolic acids, ginseng, glucopyranosides, glycans, Hedera senticosa, Immuplant tablets, iridoid glycosides, isomaltol, lignans, p-coumaric acid, phenolic acids, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phytoestrogen, phytosterols, prickly eleutherococcus, protocatechuic acid, Russian root, shigoka, Siberian ginseng, stigmasterol, syringic acid, Taiga Wurzel, thorny bearer of free berries, thymidine, touch me not, triterpene saponins, untouchable, ussuri, ussurian thorny pepperbrush, vanillic acid, wild pepper, wu jia pi, wuchaseng, wu-jia, wujiaseng.
  • Select combination products: AdMax® (dried ethanol/water extracts from roots of Leuzea carthamoides, Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and fruits of Schisandra chinensis), Chisan® (extracts of Rhodiola rosea L., Schisandra chinensis Turcz. Baill., and Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim.), ImmunoGuard® (Andrographis paniculata Nees, Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim., Schizandra chinensis Baill., and Glycyrrhiza glabra L. extracts), Kan Jang® (Andrographis paniculata and Eleutherococcus senticosus).

Background

  • Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a small, woody shrub in the Araliaceae family native to northeastern Asia. Although it is not related to true ginseng (Panax ginseng), the name Siberian ginseng became popular based on potential effects similar to Panax ginseng. Siberian ginseng is also referred to by its genus name, Eleuthero, in some products.
  • Siberian ginseng has long been used in Asia for various indications, possibly dating back over 2,000 years in China. It has also been historically used in Russia. Traditionally, Siberian ginseng has been used as an herb to increase the body’s ability to defend against stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue, and has been termed an “adaptogen” for these uses. It has also been suggested as a therapy for increased endurance and memory improvement, as well as for protection against cancer, enhancement of the immune system, and overall well-being.
  • In general, research does not support use of Siberian ginseng for enhanced athletic performance. There is some evidence to suggest increased immune response.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Cancer

    Although Siberian ginseng is commonly used by patients with cancer, there is limited human study investigating the effects of Siberian ginseng on cancer.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Siberian ginseng has a long history of use as therapy for increasing energy. Siberian ginseng may reduce the severity and duration of fatigue in patients with less severe forms of chronic fatigue syndrome. There is insufficient scientific evidence at this time to form clear conclusions about safety or efficacy in humans.

    Exercise performance enhancement

    Siberian ginseng is traditionally used as an exercise performance enhancement agent, due to its supposed beneficial effects on heart and lung fitness, fat burning, and endurance performance. Overall there is a lack of support from studies conducted in humans for the use of Siberian ginseng for exercise performance enhancement.

    Familial Mediterranean Fever

    Familial Mediterranean Fever is a disorder passed down through families that affects the abdomen or lungs and causes repeated fevers and inflammation. A combination product containing Siberian ginseng may reduce symptoms in patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever. More studies with Siberian ginseng alone are needed.

    Genital herpes

    Siberian ginseng may reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of genital herpes outbreaks after three months of use. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence at this time to form clear conclusions about safety or efficacy in humans.

    Low blood pressure

    Siberian ginseng extract may increase blood pressure. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence at this time to form clear conclusions about safety or efficacy for this use.

    Immune function

    Siberian ginseng may stimulate the immune system in various groups, including athletes, healthy individuals, and cancer patients. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence at this time to form clear conclusions about safety or efficacy in humans.

    Menopause

    A combination product containing Siberian ginseng has not been shown to reduce hot flushes in menopausal women. More studies with Siberian ginseng alone are needed.

    Pneumonia

    A combination product containing Siberian ginseng may reduce the need for antibiotics in patients with pneumonia. More studies with Siberian ginseng alone are needed.

    Quality of life

    Siberian ginseng has been included in various supplements to purportedly improve well-being. Limited studies have investigated the role of Siberian ginseng in improving well-being in the elderly. More studies are needed in this area.

    Respiratory tract infections

    A combination product containing Siberian ginseng may reduce symptoms in patients with respiratory tract infections. More studies with Siberian ginseng alone are needed.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for Siberian ginseng. The following doses have been used daily: 500-1,200 milligrams Siberian ginseng; a tea prepared with 9-30 grams of Siberian ginseng in boiling water; 2-3 grams of dried, powdered Siberian ginseng root and rhizomes; 300-400 milligrams of a concentrated standardized Siberian ginseng solid extract; and 2-10 milliliters of an alcohol-based Siberian ginseng extract, taken in 2-3 divided doses.
    • Siberian ginseng for longer than two months without a two to three week break is not recommended.
  • Children (younger than 18 years)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for Siberian ginseng in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergy

    • Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to Siberian ginseng, related products, or members of the Araliaceae family.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Aggression, altered hormone levels, blood thinning, breast tenderness, confusion, diarrhea, drowsiness, headaches, increased blood pressure, muscle spasms, nervousness, and reduced glucose levels have been reported.
    • Siberian ginseng may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that increase blood pressure.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
    • Use cautiously in patients taking digoxin, medications that lower cholesterol, CNS depressants, or steroids.
    • Use cautiously in patients with psychiatric disorders, autoimmune disorders, or impaired gastrointestinal function.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Siberian ginseng is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Siberian ginseng may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase blood pressure. Caution is advised when using medications that may also increase blood pressure.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
    • Siberian ginseng may cause sedation. Use cautiously with agents that depress the central nervous system.
    • Siberian ginseng may also interact with anticancer drugs, antivirals, dextromethorphan, digoxin, drugs that lower cholesterol, hexobarbital, hormonal drugs, immune stimulating drugs, neurologic agents, photosensitizers, steroids, and vasodilators (drugs that open the blood vessels).
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Siberian ginseng may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase blood pressure. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also increase blood pressure.
    • Siberian ginseng may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
    • Siberian ginseng may cause sedation. Use cautiously with herbs and supplements that depress the central nervous system.
    • Siberian ginseng may also interact with anticancer herbs and supplements, antivirals, cardiac glycosides, herbs and supplements that lower cholesterol, hormonal herbs and supplements, immune stimulating herbs and supplements, neurologic herbs and supplements, photosensitizers, steroids, and vasodilators (herbs and supplements that open the blood vessels).

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Amaryan, G., Astvatsatryan, V., Gabrielyan, E., 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;10(4):271-285.
    View Abstract
  • Asano, K., Takahashi, T., Miyashita, M., et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus extract on human physical working capacity. Planta Med 1986;(3):175-177.
    View Abstract
  • Cicero, A. F., Derosa, G., Brillante, R., 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.
    View Abstract
  • Dowling, E. A., Redondo, D. R., Branch, J. D., et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus on submaximal and maximal exercise performance. Med Sci.Sports Exerc. 1996;28(4):482-489.
    View Abstract
  • Eschbach, L. F., Webster, M. J., Boyd, J. C., et al. The effect of siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) on substrate utilization and performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000;10(4):444-451.
    View Abstract
  • Goulet, E. D. and Dionne, I. J. Assessment of the effects of eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc.Metab 2005;15(1):75-83.
    View Abstract
  • Hartz, A. J., Bentler, S., Noyes, R., et al. Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue. Psychol.Med 2004;34(1):51-61.
    View Abstract
  • Kormosh, N., Laktionov, K., and Antoshechkina, M. Effect of a combination of extract from several plants on cell-mediated and humoral immunity of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Phytother Res 2006;20(5):424-425.
    View Abstract
  • Kropotov, A. V., Kolodnyak, O. L., and Koldaev, V. M. Effects of Siberian ginseng extract and ipriflavone on the development of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Bull.Exp.Biol.Med 2002;133(3):252-254.
    View Abstract
  • Medon, P. J., Thompson, E. B., and Farnsworth, N. R. Hypoglycemic effect and toxicity of Eleutherococcus senticosus following acute and chronic administration in mice. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue.Bao. 1981;2(4):281-285.
    View Abstract
  • Mkrtchyan, A., Panosyan, V., Panossian, A., et al. A phase I clinical study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang versus ginseng and valerian on the semen quality of healthy male subjects. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(6-7):403-409.
    View Abstract
  • Narimanian, M., Badalyan, M., Panosyan, V., 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;12(8):539-547.
    View Abstract
  • Newton, K. M., Reed, S. D., Lacroix, A. Z., et al. Treatment of vasomotor symptoms of menopause with black cohosh, multibotanicals, soy, hormone therapy, or placebo: a randomized trial. Ann.Intern.Med 12-19-2006;145(12):869-879.
    View Abstract
  • Perfect, M. M., Bourne, N., Ebel, C., et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of genital herpes. Herpes. 2005;12(2):38-41.
    View Abstract
  • Rogala, E., Skopinska-Rozewska, E., Sawicka, T., et al. The influence of Eleuterococcus senticosus on cellular and humoral immunological response of mice. Pol.J Vet.Sci. 2003;6(3 Suppl):37-39.
    View Abstract