Eleutherococcus. Spiny eleutherococcus rhizomes and roots

Eleutherococcus. Spiny eleutherococcus rhizomes and roots

Eleutherococcus. Spiny eleutherococcus rhizomes and roots

Specification & Spread

Spiny eleuterococus rhizomes and roots – rhizomaта eт radices eleutherococci senticosi
Spiny eleuterococus — eleutherococcus senticosus (rupr. Et maxim.) Maxim. ( = acanthopanax senticosus (rupr. Et maxim.) Harms)
Aralia family — araliaceae
Other names: spiky free wild pepper, wild pepper, spiny pepper, netronnik, devil bush.

It is a monoecious shrub with numerous erect stems 1.5-2.5 m tall, rarely 3-5 m.
The branches are covered with light gray or greyish-brown bark. The young shoots are densely planted with numerous thin spines, directed obliquely downwards. It is easy to find the eleutherococcus in these shoots in dense thickets of various shrubs. The branches of old plants may not have thorns. Of all the plants of aralia family, eleutherococcus is the most inconspicuous and prickly, in connection with which it received the name «netronnik» and «devil bush». The leaves are long-petiolate, five-palmately compound; the leaflets are obovate or elliptical with a acuminate top and a wedge-shaped base, drawn in petioles, sharply biconate serrated along the edge, bare or with setae above, along the veins with reddish pubescence. The flowers are bisexual and dioecious, small, in simple umbrellas located at the ends of the branches; the female – yellowish, the male – pale purple.
The fruit is a coenocar spherical juicy drupe of black colour, shiny, with 5 stones.

It blooms in July – August, the fruits ripen in September – October. The abundant fruiting occurs about once every two years.

Spreading. It grows in the Far East of Russia – in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, the Amur Region and South Sakhalin.

Habitat. It grows in the cedar-deciduous forests, both in the valleys and on the mountain slopes. It prefers open, well moistened, but not damp places. It is found unevenly: in dense forests – single specimens, it forms thickets in light forests. There is a biological incompatibility between ginseng and eleutherococcus. Where ginseng is found, eleutherococcus never grows.


The chemical composition of eleutherococcus
The sum of the active substances of the rhizomes and roots of eleutherococcus prickly includes a variety of biologically active compounds.

These include phenolic substances –

  • aromatic alcohols,
  • coumarins,
  • lignans and their glycosides (eleutherosides).
  • It also contains:
  • sterols,
  • essential oil,
  • tar,
  • polysaccharides,
  • lipids.

Unlike other aralia eleutherococcus does not contain saponins.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. In late autumn in leafless taiga, eleutherococcus attracts attention with abundant beautiful fruits. The raw materials are dug out of the ground with picks or crowbars, the root system lies shallow. It is necessary to remove the ground by shaking, quickly washed in running water, the roots are chopped into pieces.

Drying. The chopped roots are dried at 80 °C for one hour in artificial dryers, then the raw material is dried under a canopy. The long-term natural drying leads to the molding of raw materials in places of cracks.

Storage. It is packaged on scaffold poles in a dry and well-ventilated area.

External signs of raw materials

Whole raw materials
The pieces of rhizomes and roots are whole or split lengthwise, no more than 8 cm long, no more than 4 cm thick, woody, solid, straight or curved, sometimes branched. The rhizomes from the surface are smooth or slightly longitudinally wrinkled with axillary buds and traces of dead stems and broken off roots; the root surface is smoother with pale transverse tubercles.
The bark is thin, tight to the wood (unlike the roots of Aralia). The fracture is long staple, light yellow or cream coloru. The rhizomes from the surface are light brown, the roots are darker.
The smell is weak and fragrant. The taste is slightly sweet and burning.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of rhizomes and roots passing through a sieve with 7 mm diameter holes.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. General tonic and adaptogenic agent.

The pharmacological properties of eleutherococcus

The preparations of eleutherococcus:

  • excite the central nervous system
  • increase motor activity and conditioned reflex activity,
  • increase the excitability and functional mobility of the muscles and neuromuscular apparatus.

The preparations of eleutherococcus increase:

  • mental performance
  • visual acuity
  • the body’s adaptation abilities in extreme situations, weaken stress reactions.

The preparations of eleutherococcus:

  • normalize immunity indicators in the period of convalescence after severe infections,
  • normalize carbohydrate metabolism,
  • reduce blood glucose levels in experimental alloxan diabetes, have a cholesterol-lowering property. The plant has an anabolic effect.

Application of eleutherococcus

The application of eleutherococcus preparations is similar to the application of magnolia vine preparations.


It is not recommended

  • at high temperature
  • in the acute period of infectious and somatic diseases,
  • with severe hypertension.