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Renowned in traditional medicine and modern-day science, eleuthero stands the test of time as a potent adaptogen for endurance and vitality.*

Common Name Eleuthero, ezo-ukogi, ciwujia, shigoka, Siberian ginseng
Family Name Araliaceae
Parts Used Roots
Herbal Actions Adaptogen, Immunomodulator, Tonic
Health Benefits Energy, Mental Focus, Performance

The adaptogenic herb with “astronomical” powers.*

What are the Benefits of Eleuthero?

Eleuthero has adapted to thrive in rugged native ecosystems, including the extreme cold of the Siberian forests. Similarly, this adaptogen helps our bodies thrive under immense stress. This hearty root has been used for thousands of years to boost energy, fight fatigue, bolster immunity, and support cognitive function. * In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), eleuthero is known as a Qi tonic, which promotes whole-body vitality. In modern-day herbalism, it’s called an adaptogen, an herb used over time to help the body stay resilient against life’s everyday stressors.*

Part of eleuthero’s magic lies in its rich bioactive compounds, notably eleutherosides. These well-studied compounds are found in the roots and stems and are primarily responsible for the plant’s adaptogenic nature. They empower your body to adapt and overcome, and are scientifically proven to support your body in modulating stress and enhancing physical and mental performance.*

Folklore & Historical Use of Eleuthero

Native to Northeast Asia, eleuthero has been used for centuries in traditional medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, it’s widely used as a warming and invigorating Qi tonic that supports the spleen, liver, and kidneys. It also lives in a category of herbs believed to dispel “wind dampness,” which blocks Qi and can cause joint pain, swelling, and other forms of stagnation.*

In more recent history, eleuthero gained attention when two scientists in the former Soviet Union studied it. Dr. Nikolai Lazarev and Dr. Israel I. Brekhman conducted extensive research on eleuthero's medicinal properties during the mid-20th century, and during that time, they coined the now widely used term “adaptogens.” Since then, Russian Olympic athletes, astronauts, explorers, divers, sailors, and miners have all used eleuthero to prevent stress-related conditions.

Botanical Description & Habitat

When fully grown, eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, has ginseng-like leaves and delicate white flowers that give way to striking blue-black fruits. It’s native to Asia and can be found growing in the cold Siberian forests of Russia, northeastern China, and Japan. The roots are used in herbalism and can be harvested after several years of growth to be used in teas, tinctures, powders, and more.

This woody perennial shrub grows slowly to a height of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) and is hardy to zone 3. Its flowering season typically occurs in July across most habitats, with hermaphroditic flowers that insects pollinate. More recently, eleuthero has adapted to growing in the northwestern United States, in the forests of California, Oregon, and Washington. Eleuthero's resilience and ability to thrive in diverse environmental conditions represents its strength as an adaptogen.

When To Use Eleuthero


Drink consistently for smooth, sustained caffeine-free energy.


Stay resilient against life’s everyday stressors.

Mental Focus

Get the job done with a grounded mind and body.

The Business of Sustainable Plants

Our business is rooted in plants, and for us, it’s a business imperative that we care for the ecosystems where these plants live and thrive. We believe that everything is interconnected, which means supporting ecosystems and the farmers and collectors who harvest and gather our herbs. Finding opportunities to reduce or eliminate emissions at the source, we support organic and regenerative farming practices as well as voluntary certifications like Organic and FairWild. These ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, as well as the ongoing sustainability of wild collection, and the health and livelihoods of the collectors who forage. Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals’ Research Fellow, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply, asserts, “Everyone has a role to play in preserving biological diversity. One way of doing that is by equitably supporting the local people to serve as stewards of the land.”

It Starts with Organic

We choose to source organic because we believe in the positive impacts it has on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem health. Organic helps us increase transparency while prioritizing consumer well-being and farmer success, which is key to producing the high-quality herbs we source. In 2021, we procured 2.73 million pounds of certified organic herbs, over 99.7% of our total botanical herbs purchased. Volumes were down slightly from FY20 due to timing of inventories received.

The impact from organic farming creates a vital ecosystem through improved soil health, water quality, pollinator habitats, and biodiversity. Organic farms also have increased carbon sequestration potential through long-term carbon storage in the soil, helping to mitigate climate change.

One of the benefits of organic that we most value is farmer health. We care deeply about the people who produce our herbs, ensuring that they are not exposed to synthetic chemicals found in conventional agriculture.

Fair Trade

We believe that everyone deserves a fair wage for hard work. That’s one of the reasons why we’re committed to fair trade. Traditional Medicinals® is a registered Fair Trade “brand holder”, “licensee” and “manufacturer,” and our products are certified by Fair Trade USA, an independent third-party certifier. We were an early adopter of Fair Trade, having launched our first fair trade tea product in 1998, just one year after Fairtrade International (FLO) was established. We continue to work closely with our network of producers to help them to implement fair trade standards and get certified.

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Additional Information

Important Precautions

Consult your physician before use if you have high blood pressure. Do not exceed two months of continuous use. Not recommended for use with children under 12 years of age.

Legal Disclaimer

The information and other content in this article are designed to provide a general overview of the botany, cultural history, and traditional uses of this herb. It is not intended and should not be construed as health advice. Every person is unique and you should consult with your health care provider before using any herbal product or supplement.