Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng)


Adaptogen, Anti-toxic, Anti-radiation, Immunoprotective and Immunoregulatory.


For patients going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy, Eleutherococcus would be very useful. In Cancer therapy, the immune defences are weakened and Eleutherococcus offers a better tolerance to such treatments.

It is also possible that it may offer prophylaxis against the development of cancer.

The glycans, eleutherans A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, have hypoglycemic effects, therefore, Eleutherococcus could be used in diabetic formulations.

Siberian ginseng could be used under any circumstance where there is the need to normalize any physiological, biochemical or immunological defects.


Lignans (sesamine, eleutheroside D [di-beta-D-glycoside of syringaresinol]), Polysaccharides (eleutherane A-G & eleutheroside C [ethyl-alpha-D-galactoside]), Triterpene saponins (eleutheroside I, K, L, and M), Steroid glycosides (eleutheroside A [glycoside of daucosterol]), Hydroxycoumarins (isofraxidin), Phenylacrylic acid derivatives (eleutheroside B [glycoside of syringin]), Minerals (Ca, P, K, Mg, Na, Al, Ba, Fe, Sr, B, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Cr)


The pharmacokinetics of eleutheroside B show that it accumulates in the pituitary, adrenal glands, pancreatic nuclei and spleen (Jaremenko, K.V. 1981)

In an alarming situation, the adrenal glands release corticosteroids and adrenaline which prepare the organism for the fight or flight reaction. When these hormones are depleted, the organism reaches an exhaustive phase. Eleutherococcus delays the exhaustive phase and allows a more economical and efficient release of these hormones (Brunner et al. 1990; Fulder, S. 1980)

Eleutherococcus has immunoprotective effects against breast (mammary gland) carcinoma, stomach carcinoma, oral cavity carcinoma, skin melanoma and ovarian carcinoma. It was found to have a pronounced effect on T lymphocytes, predominantly of the helper/inducer type, but also on cytotoxic and natural killer cells. (Bohn, B., et al. 1987; Kupin, V. 1985)

Caution should be exercised when used with other medications since Eleutherococcus inhibits the drug metabolizing enzymes and may prevent the biotransformation of other medications to less toxic compounds (Medon, P.J. et al., 1984; McRae, S. 1996).

Eleutherans A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, reduced plasma sugar levels in experimental rats (Hikino, H. et al. 1986).

Extract of Eleutherococcus had demonstrable affinity for progestin, mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid and estrogen receptors (Pearce, P.T. et al. 1982).


Bohn, B., Nebe, C.T. and BIrr, C. (1987). Flow Cytometric Studies with Eleutherococcus senticosus Extract as an Immunomodulating Agent. Drug Res. 37(10);1193-1196.

Brunner, R., Tabachnik, B. (1990). Soviet Training and Recovery Methods, pp.217-21. Sport Focus Publishing.

Fulder, S. (1980). The Drug that Builds Russians, New Scientist, 21 August, pp.567-69.

Hikino, H., Takahashi, M., Otake, K., Konno, C. (1986). Isolation and hypoglycemic activity of eleutherans A, B, C, D, E, F, and G: glycans of Eleutherococcus senticosus roots. J. Nat. Prod. 49(2):293-7.

Jaremenko, K.V. (1981). Main Aspects of Eleutherococcus Extract Administration in Oncology. In: New Data on Eleutherococcus and Other Adaptogens, pp.75-78. Academy of Sciences of the Russina Far East Science Centre, Vladivostok.

Kupin, V. (1985). Eleutherococcus and Other Biologically Active Modifiers in Oncology. Medexport, Moscow.

McRae, S. (1996). Elevated serum digoxin levels in a patient taking digoxin and Siberian ginseng. CMAJ 155(3):293-5

Medon, P.J., Ferguson, P.W. and Watson, C.F. (1984). Effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts on hexobarbital metabolism in vivo and in vitro. J. Ethnopharmacol. 10(2):235-41

Pearce, P.T., Zois, I., Wynne, K.N., Funder, J.W. (1982). Panax ginseng and Eleuthrococcus senticosus extracts--in vitro studies on binding to steroid receptors. Endocrinol. Jpn. 29(5):567-73

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Georges-Louis Friedli, PgDip., MSc., PhD.