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Eleutherococcus senticosus - (Rupr.&Maxim.)Maxim.                
                 
Common Name Siberian Ginseng
Family Araliaceae
Synonyms Acanthopanax asperatus. Acanthopanax senticosus. Eleutherococcus asperatus. Hedera senticosa
Known Hazards Caution if high blood pressure. Avoid coffee. 6 weeks maximum use. Avoid during pregnancy. Unsuitable for children. High doses may cause drowsiness, anxiety, irritability, mastalgia and uterine bleeding. Possible blood pressure increases and irregular heart beats. Effects of antidiabetic drugs, sedatives and anticoagulants may be potentiated [301]
Habitats Mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming small undergrowth or groups in thickets and edges. Sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland[74].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Siberia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Eleutherococcus senticosus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : 3-7


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Eleutherococcus senticosus Siberian Ginseng


Eleutherococcus senticosus Siberian Ginseng
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Young leaves and buds - cooked[105, 177]. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[105, 177].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Adaptogen;  Antiinflammatory;  Hypoglycaemic;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

Siberian ginseng is a powerful tonic herb with an impressive range of health benefits. Unlike many herbs with a medicinal use, it is more useful for maintaining good health rather than treating ill health. Research has shown that it stimulates resistance to stress and so it is now widely used as a tonic in times of stress and pressure[254]. This plant is a very commonly used folk treatment in China and Russia where it is used as a ginseng substitute[218]. It is a pungent bitter-sweet warming herb that is said to be stronger in its action than ginseng[238]. Regular use is said to restore vigour, improve the memory and increase longevity[218]. The root and the root bark are adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycaemic, tonic and vasodilator. It is taken internally during convalescence and in the treatment of menopausal problems, geriatric debility, physical and mental stress etc[238]. It works by strengthening the bodies natural immune system[140, 165, 176, 238]. It has also been used to combat radiation sickness and exposure to toxic chemicals[200, 218, 238]. This herb is not prescribed for children, and should not be used for more than 3 weeks at one time[238]. Caffeine should not be taken when using this herb[238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Eleutherococcus senticosus for tendency to infection, lack of stamina (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds[11, 200]. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun[200]. (A surprising report, this species is a woodland plant and we would expect it to prefer shade[K]) Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils[200]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds[200]. A highly polymorphic species[74]. Siberian ginseng is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Russia and China[140].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame[200]. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification[113] and can be very slow to germinate[133]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113, 200]. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 30cm long in a cold frame[238]. Root cuttings in late winter[200]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(Rupr.&Maxim.)Maxim.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1158200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[74]Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR.
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[133]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[140]Kamen. B. Siberian Ginseng.
Detailed information for the lay person on this medicinal plant that is so widely used in the Orient and Russia.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[176]Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.
[302]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Commission E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_E

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Thu Sep 21 2006
why should caffeine not be taken with this herb?? i've been looking and can't find out why. if anyone knows, please e-mail me at mshepard@uncc.edu. (the energy drink Rockstar has this herb and caffeine in it) thanks.
Elizabeth H.
Bob Maljaars Mon Oct 23 2006
We are interested in growing this plant and developing adaptogens. CAn you point us in the right direction?
Elizabeth H.
david nicholls Mon Mar 26 2007
Ref caffine & Eleutherococcus. I am also very interested to know about this supposed incompatability. It is in some health tablets I am taking and I drink loads of coffee, they say nothing about contra-indictations on the pack, thought they would to avoid being sued or worse if there was a problem. I've not noticed any ill effect. This would be a serious problem for the plant if there is a problem since caffine is the official religion of the west.
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Mon Mar 26 2007
As far as I understand it, the main problem with using caffeine at the same time as taking this herb is beacuse the caffeine reduces the effect of Siberian Ginseng. The reports I have read do not explain why this should be, but looking at the scientific work on Siberian Ginseng, there is quite a lot of recent evidence that the plant has a sedative action on the central nervous system. If this is part of its overall medicinal effect upon the body, then caffeine will directly counteract it since it acts as a stimulant upon the CNS. This is conjecture upon my part, since I have found no reports of this. However, it does seem a distinct possibility.
Elizabeth H.
david nicholls Mon Mar 26 2007
Ref caffine & Eleutherococcus. I am also very interested to know about this supposed incompatability. It is in some health tablets I am taking and I drink loads of coffee, they say nothing about contra-indictations on the pack, though they would to avoid being sued or worse if there was a problem. I've not noticed any ill effect. This would be a serious problem for the plant if there is a problem since caffine is the official religion of the west.
Elizabeth H.
Andreda Thu Apr 26 2007
Why should this her not be taken for longer than three weeks? And does that apply when it is used in a mxture of herbs or liquid drink?
Elizabeth H.
rachel murphy Wed Jan 23 2008
Message for Bob Maljaars - I'm going to try embarking on growing some adaptogens this year, inc. Eleutherococcus senticosus. Have you had any luck??
Elizabeth H.
Gabriel Dürr Sun Jan 25 2009
Hello I have read that Eleutherococcus senticosus got very taste berries that are very rich in vitamin C... You should include the berries in the edibility section. Thanks! Gabriel
Elizabeth H.
Gabriel Dürr Mon Jan 26 2009
Berries are edible and healthy. Or are they poisonous? If so, please declare that clearly.
Elizabeth H.
Gabriel Dürr Mon Jan 26 2009
You're still not sleeping?? You could also send me an email or simply put "fruit" into the "edible use" list. Greetings! Gabriel from Switzerland, and: sleep well now as time it would be!
Elizabeth H.
Dennis Thu Dec 31 2009
The reason why it should not be used for longer than 3 weeks at a time, is because it can be quite stimulating ( although not as much as Ginseng ). People can feel a little excitable after a period of time. This is particularly noticeable when you are using good quality tinctures ( ie - Mediherb - AUstralia ) This is also another reason why you should not use caffeine with it. Not everything about herbs is going to be evidence based, and a lot is still anecdotal amongst herbalists and Naturopaths. But I am a praticing Naturopath, and have observed these things.
Suryajot S.
Sep 15 2013 12:00AM
Siberian Ginseng with caffeine may increases stimulation, and as a result can be hypertension and hyperactive based on conclusion of one clinical study, maybe. One study, two years lasting study where to give ginseng 3 - 15 grams daily to 133 psychiatric patients and other drugs such caffeine. This study, 26 out of 133 patients developed hypertension and other problems. But this study was not reliable and it was criticized various reason. Caffeine is known to raise systolic and diastolic pressure in acute use and chronic use of caffeine increase risk to get hypertension. Too much is too much in everything.
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