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Edible uses


Young leaves and buds - cooked[1][2]. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[1][2].


Unknown part


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Eleutherococcus senticosus.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

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[3]. This plant is a very commonly used folk treatment in China and Russia where it is used as a ginseng substitute[4]. It is a pungent bitter-sweet warming herb that is said to be stronger in its action than ginseng[5]. Regular use is said to restore vigour, improve the memory and increase longevity[4].

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[5]. It works by strengthening the bodies natural immune system[6][7][8][5]. It has also been used to combat radiation sickness and exposure to toxic chemicals[9][4][5]. This herb is not prescribed for children, and should not be used for more than 3 weeks at one time[5]. Caffeine should not be taken when using this herb[5].

The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[5].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame[9]. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification[10] and can be very slow to germinate[11]. 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[10][9]. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 30cm long in a cold frame[5]. Root cuttings in late winter[9].

Division of suckers in the dormant season[9].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Eleutherococcus senticosus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds[12][9]. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun[9]. (A surprising report, this species is a woodland plant and we would expect it to prefer shade[K]) Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils[9].

Plants are hardy to at least -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds[9]. A highly polymorphic species[13].

Siberian ginseng is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Russia and China[6].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Eleutherococcus senticosus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Eleutherococcus senticosus.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    2 x meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    2. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    4. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    5. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    6. ? Kamen. B. Siberian Ginseng. ()
    7. ? 7.07.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    9. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    11. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1. Thompson and Morgan. (1987-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    13. ? Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    14. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-58