Herb: Siberian Ginseng


Latin name: Eleutherococcus senticosus


Synonyms: Acanthopanax senticosus


Family: Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)



Medicinal use of Siberian Ginseng:

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. This plant is a very commonly used folk treatment in China and Russia where it is used as a ginseng substitute. It is a pungent bitter-sweet warming herb that is said to be stronger in its action than ginseng. Regular use is said to restore vigour, improve the memory and increase longevity. 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. It works by strengthening the bodies natural immune system. It has also been used to combat radiation sickness and exposure to toxic chemicals. This herb is not prescribed for children, and should not be used for more than 3 weeks at one time. Caffeine should not be taken when using this herb. The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

Flovering:
July

Habitat of the herb:

Mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming small undergrowth or groups in thickets and edges. Sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland.

Edible parts of Siberian Ginseng:

Young leaves and buds - cooked. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Propagation of the herb:

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

Cultivation of Siberian Ginseng:

Mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming small undergrowth or groups in thickets and edges. Sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland.

Known hazards of Eleutherococcus senticosus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.