Herb Reference Guide

Eleuthero

History

This plant is found in North East China, Eastern Russia, Korea and Japan. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to expel "Wind Dampness", to strengthen the sinews and bones, transform dampness and reduce swelling. It is classified and responsible in large part for the coining of the term, Adaptogen; describing a class of plants and substances that increases an organisms "non specific resistance" to stress of various kinds. There is a slight problem with adulteration of this plant medicine in the US as many companies marketing this herb are actually selling species of Eleutherococcus other than senticosus, or selling the herb Periploca. It is important to know your source and look for products which are screened for proper identity, purity and concentration.

Function

An Adaptogen is a substance that helps the body adapt to various types of stress. In order to achieve this status a plant must be harmless to the body. It must also have a broad-spectrum, normalizing action that brings an organism back to homeostasis. Through Russian Research, Eleuthero became the model for all other adaptogens. In the late ‘60’s and ‘70’s, studies were conducted in over 2,100 healthy people. These studies showed that Eleuthero increased the ability of subjects to withstand stress such as heat, noise, motion, exercise, and increase in workload. Subjects also experienced a normalization in mental alertness and work output. The exact mechanism of action of Eleuthero and the significance of each of its various constituents is not yet fully understood.

Uses of Eleuthero

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Eleuthero contains a group of constituents known as Eleutherosides (A,B,B1, C,D,E) ranging from .6 to .9%. It also contains Triterpenoid sapponins, polysaccharides and Glycans.

Parts Used

  • Root

Important precautions

Additional Resources

Wagner H, Heur YH, Obermeir A et al. Planta Medica 1982; 44 (4): 193-198

Dardymov IV, Khasina EI, Bezdetko GN. Rastit Resur 1978; 14 (1): 86-89

Brekhman II and Dardymov IV. New substances of plant origin which increase non-specific resistance. Anuual Review of Pharmacology. 1969; 9: 419-430.