Overview

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a woody shrub sometimes called Siberian ginseng. It is not a true ginseng. It is sometimes used as an adaptogen.

Eleuthero is often considered an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of substances that are believed to stimulate the body's resistance to physical, environmental, and emotional stressors. Eleuthero contains many chemicals that affect the brain, immune system, and certain hormones.

People use eleuthero for genital herpes, diabetes, athletic performance, memory and thinking skills, the common cold, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

Don't confuse eleuthero with other herbs called "ginseng," including American Ginseng, Blue Cohosh, Canaigre, Codonopsis, Panax Ginseng, and Panax Notoginseng. These are not the same.

How does it work ?

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Genital herpes. Taking a specific eleuthero extract (Elagen) by mouth might help reduce genital herpes outbreaks.
There is interest in using eleuthero for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Eleuthero is likely safe when used for up to 3 months. Eleuthero is usually well-tolerated. Side effects might include diarrhea, stomach upset, and headache. There isn't enough reliable information to know if eleuthero is safe to use for longer than 3 months.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if eleuthero is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Eleuthero is possibly safe in teenagers (ages 12-17 years) when taken by mouth for up to 6 weeks. There isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use long-term or in young children.

Heart conditions: Eleuthero might cause a pounding heart, irregular heartbeat, or high blood pressure in people who have heart disorders. If you have a heart condition, only use eleuthero under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Eleuthero might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use eleuthero.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    There is some concern that eleuthero might increase levels of digoxin. This could increase the effects and side effects of digoxin. If you are taking digoxin, speak with a healthcare provider before taking eleuthero.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Eleuthero might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Eleuthero might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Eleuthero might lower blood sugar levels. Taking eleuthero along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Eleuthero might slow blood clotting. Taking eleuthero along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

  • Medications moved by pumps in cells (Organic Anion-Transporting Polypeptide Substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are moved in and out of cells by pumps. Eleuthero might change how these pumps work and change how much medication stays in the body. In some cases, this might change the effects and side effects of a medication.

  • Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-glycoprotein Substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are moved in and out of cells by pumps. Eleuthero might change how these pumps work and change how much medication stays in the body. In some cases, this might change the effects and side effects of a medication.

  • Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Eleuthero can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking eleuthero along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Eleuthero might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with ELEUTHERO

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Eleuthero might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Dosing

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of eleuthero might be. It's often used in combination with other herbs such as Andrographis and Echinacea. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.