Appreciated for its revitalizing and immunostimulating properties, it is a useful plant when you want to increase resistance to fatigue and diseases.

What is it

Eleutherococcus, vulgar name of Eleutherococcus senticosus is a plant native to China, Mongolia and Siberia.

Like Ginseng, it is known and used for its adaptogenic properties, i.e. it is able to improve the body’s resistance to stressors.


The active ingredients of this plant are saponosides, called eleutherosides, which are in greater concentration in the roots where they are concentrated especially in the months of May and October.

Eleutherococcus-based herbal therapeutics act on the endocrine system causing an enlargement of the adrenal glands, responsible for the production of some important hormones involved in resistance to stress and modulation of the immune response.

In addition, it seems to exert an action similar to that of testosterone by increasing, in animal models, the weight of seminal vesicles, the prostate and the amount of sperm.

In some studies conducted on athletes it has been shown that eleutherococcus improves sports performance, both in terms of resistance to effort and power.

Effects probably due to increased contractile strength of the heart and oxygen consumption by the muscles.

Another important action is then that on the immune system: eleutherococcus improves its activity in a non-specific way through the stimulation of phagocytosis processes by white blood cells.

In summary, here are the effects of eleutherococcus:

Endocrine system Enlargement of the adrenal glands
Genital system Increase, in animal models, in the weight of seminal vesicles, prostate and sperm quantity
Heart and muscles Increased contractile strength of the heart and oxygen consumption by the muscles
Immune system Stimulation of phagocytosis processes by white blood cells

Why is it used

Considering the effects on physical endurance and the immune system, eleutherococcus provides the body with a better resistance to various types of stress, both physical and mental.

Therefore it is indicated in states of organic deterioration, in situations of decreased appetite and decreased psychophysical performance.

Did you know that there are many medicinal plants that can be used for anxiety? Find out what they are in this article.

How to use it

Self-medication with this plant should be done with caution, especially if untitled extracts are used.

The recommended preparation is the dry extract nebulized and titrated in eleutheroside E (minimum 0.5%), with two divided administrations, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon.


At high doses or after prolonged use eleutherococcus can cause insomnia, irritability, excitement, hand tremors and tachycardia. However, evening administration is not recommended to avoid cases of insomnia.


Do not use during pregnancy, lactation and in children under 4 years of age.


There are no known interactions with drugs or other herbal medicines.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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