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Since May 10th 2008

Initial E

Echinacea angustifolia
Echinacea purpurea
Ephedra sinica
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Eucalyptus globulus



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Untitled Document Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. and Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae)

Acanthopanax senticosus (Rupr. et Maxim.) Harms., Hedera senticosa

Local names
Buisson du diable, chi wu cha, ciwujia, devil’s bush, devil’s shrub, eleuthero, eleutherococc, eleutherococoque, eleutherokokk koljucij, ezoukogi, gashi ohgap, hongmao-wujiapi, many prickle acanthopanax, pai wu cha pi, prickly eleutherococc, prickly eleutherococcus, shigoka, Siberian ginseng, Stachelkraftwurz, Stachelpanax, taiga root, Taigawurzel, thorny ginseng, thorny Russian pepperbush, touch-me-not, tsu wu cha, wild pepper, wu cha sang, wu cha seng, wu jia pi

A prickly shrub, up to 4–6 m high, usually with several mostly unbranched stems; oldest stems may be unarmed, while the youngest are densely covered with flexible prickles. Palmate leaves, on long, often reddish stalks, usually composed of 5 elliptical leaflets with serrate margins. Flowers small, polygamous, occurring toward the tips of stems in single or paired umbels that have long peduncles. Floral parts are in groups of 5, including the epigynous ovary surrounded by a nectar-secreting disc. Fruit, a drupe, contains the same number of kernels as carpels. Flower and fruit resemble those of ivy (Hedera helix)

Plant material used
dried roots and rhizomes

Chemical assays
Several methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography are available for quantitative determination of syringaresinol-diglucoside (eleutheroside E) and syringin (eleutheroside B)

Major chemical constituents
The constituents responsible for the characteristic biological effects of Radix Eleutherococci appear to be a complex mixture of phenylpropane derivatives of diverse structure, and various sugar polymers. The principal components of the former group are the lignans, (+)-sesamin (eleutheroside B4), (+)-syringaresinol and its monoglucoside (eleutheroside E1) and diglucoside (eleutherosides D and E); the simple phenylpropanes, syringenin and its monoglucoside (eleutheroside B); and the coumarins isofraxidin and its monoglucoside (eleutheroside B1). An immunostimulant polysaccharide complex and a glycan series (eleutherans A–G) have also been isolated from the drug. β-Sitosterol and daucosterol (eleutheroside A) are the major sterols. Eleutheroside E has been found in all samples regardless of geographical origin, whereas eleutheroside B is present in all samples, except those from plants grown in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
As a prophylactic and restorative tonic for enhancement of mental and physical capacities in cases of weakness, exhaustion and tiredness, and during convalescence.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep.

Uses described in traditional medicin
As a carminative in the treatment of acute and chronic gastritis, as a diuretic, to treat impotence and to regulate blood pressure

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Adaptogenic/antistress, Antimicrobial, Inhibition of platelet aggregation

Human studies

Radix Eleutherococci should not be used during pregnancy or lactation, or by patients with blood pressure in excess of 180/90mmHg (24/12kPa). Radix Eleutherococci is also contraindicated in cases of known allergy to plants of the Araliaceae family.

No information available.

Drug interactions
There is one case report of an increased level of serum digoxin due to the concomitant use of digoxin and Radix Eleutherococci. However, the identity of the plant material as Eleutherococcus senticosus was not established, and it is believed that it may have been Periploca sepium, which contains cardiac glycosides.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
No carcinogenicity was observed in rats. No mutagenic activities were observed in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strains TA100 and TA98, in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test, or in rats in vivo. Desmutagenic effects were observed in Drosophila.

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
No teratogenic effects were observed in the offspring of rats administered total eleutherosides intragastrically (10 mg/kg body weight) daily for 16 days, or in pregnant rats given 13.5 ml/kg body weight fluidextract of Radix Eleutherococci daily during days 6–15 of gestation. No teratogenic effects were observed in the offspring of sheep or mink when an ethanol extract of the roots was added to the diet. (See also Contraindications.)

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Nursing mothers
See Contraindications.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions or paediatric use. Therefore, Radix Eleutherococci should not be used in children without medical supervision.

Adverse reactions
A few cases of insomnia, arrhythmia (including tachycardia), extrasystole and hypertonia were reported in a clinical study involving 64 patients with atherosclerosis, who received a 33% ethanol extract of the crude drug at a dose of 4.5–6.0 ml daily for 6–8 cycles of treatment (lasting 25–35 days). In another study of 55 patients with rheumatic heart lesions, two patients experienced hypertension, pericardial pain and palpitations, and pressure headaches after ingesting 3 ml of a 33% ethanol extract of the roots daily for 28 days. Insomnia has also been reported as a side-effect in other clinical trials. In one case report, neonatal androgenization was tentatively associated with the ingestion of Radix Eleutherococci tablets during pregnancy. However, analysis of the raw materials used in the preparation of the tablets indicated that they were probably from Periploca sepium. Furthermore, intragastric administration of either Radix Eleutherococci or P. sepium to rats (1.5 g/kg body weight) did not demonstrate any androgenization potential, indicating that the neonatal androgenization was probably not due to the plant material.

Dosage forms
Powdered crude drug or extracts in capsules, tablets, teas, syrups, fluidextracts. Store in a well-closed container, protected from light

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dosage: 2–3 g powdered crude drug or equivalent preparations


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