Eleuthero (Ci Wu Jia)

Botanical Name: Western – Eleutherococcus senticosus. Eastern – Acanthopanax senticosus.

Eleuthero (aka Siberian ginseng) is listed in the ancient Chinese herbal text, “The Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica,” written over 2,000 years ago. However, it was not really appreciated in the West until Russian research confirmed its healing abilities. The word “adaptogen” was coined by a Russian scientist to specifically describe this herbs properties. Eleuthero (aka Siberian Ginseng) remains to this day one of the best adaptogenic herbs available. Adaptogens are herbs that enhance the immune system, build strength, and promote overall health. It has long been used in Oriental herbal formulas.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – What’s the difference between Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero) and Chinese Ginseng?

Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.

Below is an overview of eleuthero, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of eleuthero.

How to take FULL advantage of Eleuthero's healing powers...

JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Eleuthero (Ci Wu Jia). Dive deep into the benefits and applications of Eleuthero, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!


Western Name: Eleuthero

Also Known As: Siberian Ginseng, Ussuranian Thorny Pepperbush, Touch-Me-Not, Devil’s Shrub, Pepper Brush, Wild Pepper

Organs/Systems: Immune System, Adrenals, Nervous System, Cardiovascular System

Key Actions: Adaptogen, Tonic, Relaxant, Anti-inflammatory, Detoxificant, Analgesic, Sedative, Antiseptic, Antiviral, Anticancer

Medicinal Uses: Builds endurance, general fatigue, builds immunity, colds, herpes simplex 2, possibly lowers blood sugar levels, slows blood clotting, relieves the signs and symptoms of stress, reduces inflammation, improves respiration, chronic fatigue, cancer, Parkinson’s, headaches, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, atherosclerosis, bronchitis, colds and flu, fibromyalgia, kidney disease.


Pin Yin: Ci Wu Jia

Also Known As: Wu Jia, Wu Jia Shen, Devil’s Shrub

Meridians: Spleen, Kidney, Heart

Key Actions: Tonifies Qi, Builds Blood, Tonifies Spleen, Nourishes the Kidneys, Expels Wind Damp, Reduces Swelling, Calms Shen, Builds Immunity, Aids Detoxification

Medicinal Uses: Fatigue, weakness, lethargy, counters signs and symptoms of stress, anorexia, forgetfulness, palpitations due to weak Spleen, impotence, male sexual disorders, spermatorrhea, aches and pains of the loins, weak knees due to Kidney Deficiency, inflammation, arthritis, joint pain, numbness of the limbs, colds, bronchitis, respiratory infections, insomnia, dreamed-filled disturbed sleep, improves resistance due to white blood cell loss in cancer patients caused by the side effects of chemotherapy or other harsh drugs.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

The Eleutherococcus genus contains over 30 species. It is a shrub that can grow to be 3-15 feet tall. Its leaves are palmate and its stems are covered in prickly bristles. The dark green leaves contrast with the purple male and yellow female flowers that bloom in early summer. The flowers become oval, bluish black berrylike fruits about ½ inch in diameter.

Eleuthero is native to northeastern China, Japan, Korea and Russia. It likes to grow in the understory of trees and mountain thickets.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Root (with or without the root bark). Occasionally the Leaves and Buds of certain species are used in teas or culinary dishes.

Flavors/Temps: Pungent, Slightly Bitter, Warming

Caution: Considered safe. In rare cases it has caused agitation and palpitations.

Key Constituents: Glycosides (including: Eleutheroside A, B, C, D, E, F, Beta-sitosterol, Secamin, Isofraxidin), Triterpenoid saponins, Polysaccharides, Glycans, Coumarins

History/Folklore: Both the Western and Oriental varieties of eleuthero are excellent for treating chronic fatigue, the effects of long term illnesses and poor stamina. For thousands of years this herb has been used in the Orient as a tonic herb used to invigorate Energy (Qi), nourish the Spleen and Kidney Systems, and promote general health. It has also been used to treat insomnia when there is excess dreaming and anxiety.

In China, the root cortex is considered the most potent part of the plant, so they often discard the root bark. The root is best harvested when the plant is dormant in the fall.

The herb is commonly called Siberian ginseng in reference to the health benefits it shares with Panax ginseng, the popular ginseng of Oriental medicine. Siberian ginseng’s anti-fatigue and anti-stress properties are actually considered stronger than Panax Ginseng.

A famous Chinese doctor is quoted as saying, “I would rather take a handful of eleuthero than a carload of gold and jewels.”

Eletheuro is excellent for people suffering from general fatigue, fatigue without explanation, or fatigue after eating a meal. It helps regulate the endocrine secretions, the adrenal cortex and blood sugar levels.

Eleuthero is known to stimulate the adrenals and sex hormone production. It has gonadotrophic properties. Gonadotropic hormones are secreted by the pituitary gland and placenta. They stimulate the gonads and control reproductive activity.

In Russia, the herb is called “shigoka” and is used as a tonic herb for building strength and supporting the immune system. The research done in Russia about this herb set the standard for all adaptogenic studies on any herbs that followed. While how these herbs work exactly remains in many cases uncertain, it is confirmed that they clinically improve stamina, mental acuity, and ease the impact of stress on the body, mind and spirit.

Unlike true ginseng, which eleuthero is distantly related to, eleuthero is not a stimulant or sexual enhancer. Like ginseng, the benefits of the herb are best witnessed when it is taken consistently over time.

Typical dosage is 9-30g when used in decoction or 0.5g when using powdered extract.

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Did you know?


Eleuthero is popularly used in Korea and Russia. It was Russian research that first brought this powerful herb to prominence in the West.

Look for Eleutherosides

There are many fake and adulterated products claiming to be the herb eleuthero. Look to be sure the herb’s main active constituent, eleutheroside, is present in the product before purchasing just any brand.
Fun fact!

Germany & France

Both Germany and France prescribe eleuthero to support general health and endurance.

How to use Eleuthero (Ci Wu Jia) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!

Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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