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Eleuthero for Sports & Fitness

Why Use

Eleuthero

Why Do Athletes Use It?*

Some athletes say that eleuthero helps reduce fatigue.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

  • Eleuthero (sometimes known as Siberian ginseng) is more adaptogenic than its distant relatives American and Asian ginseng.
  • Eleuthero is often used as a digestive stimulant among underweight people.
  • Individuals who are depleted and fatigued who use eleuthero have reported increased alertness.
*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

Eleuthero

How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) supplementation may improve athletic performance, according to preliminary Russian research.1 Other studies have been inconclusive and two recent double-blind studies showed no beneficial effect on endurance performance in trained men.2 , 3 , 4 Eleuthero strengthens the immune system and thus might reduce the risk of post-exercise infection. Although some doctors suggest taking 1 to 4 ml (0.2 to 0.8 tsp) of fluid extract of eleuthero three times per day, evidence supporting the use of this herb to enhance athletic performance remains weak.

Side Effects

Reported side effects have been minimal with use of eleuthero.5 Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a very small number of users. Eleuthero may cause insomnia in some people if taken too close to bedtime. Eleuthero is not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. There are no known reasons to avoid eleuthero during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, pregnant or breast-feeding women should be aware that some products may be adulterated with herbs that should not be taken in pregnancy, such as Asian ginseng. Only eleuthero from a trusted source should be used.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

In one case report, a person taking eleuthero with digoxin developed dangerously high serum digoxin levels.6 Although a clear cause-and-effect relationship could not be established, it is wise for someone taking digoxin to seek the advise of a doctor before taking eleuthero.

Interactions with Medicines

Certain medicines interact with this supplement.

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • Bicalutamide

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.7 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.8

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Capecitabine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.9 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.10

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cisplatin

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.11 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.12

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cladribine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.13 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.14

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cyclophosphamide

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.15 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.16

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Cytarabine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.17 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.18

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Docetaxel

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.19 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.20

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Erlotinib

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.21 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.22

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Etoposide

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.23 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.24

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Floxuridine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.25 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.26

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Fludarabine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.27 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.28

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Fluorouracil

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.29 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.30

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Hydroxyurea

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.31 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.32

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine

    Some Russian studies suggest that eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) may reduce the risk of postvaccination reactions.33

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Irinotecan

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.34 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.35

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Mercaptopurine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.36 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.37

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Methotrexate

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.38 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.39

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Paclitaxel

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.40 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.41

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Thioguanine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.42 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.43

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vinblastine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.44 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.45

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vincristine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.46 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.47

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Digoxin

    People taking digoxin require regular monitoring of serum digoxin levels. In one report, addition of a product identified as Siberian ginseng to stable, therapeutic digoxin treatment was associated with dangerously high serum digoxin levels.48 The patient never experienced symptoms of digoxin toxicity. Laboratory analysis found the product was free of digoxin-like compounds but the contents were not further identified. This report may reflect an interaction of eleuthero with the laboratory test to cause a falsely elevated reading, rather than actually increasing digoxin levels.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required

  • Busulfan

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.49 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.50

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Carboplatin

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.51 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.52

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Carmustine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.53 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.54

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Chlorambucil

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.55 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.56

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Ifosfamide

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.57 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.58

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Lomustine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.59 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.60

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Mechlorethamine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.61 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.62

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Melphalan

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.63 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.64

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Polifeprosan 20 with Carmustine

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.65 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.66

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Thiotepa

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.67 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.68

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Ticlopidine

    Ginseng (Panax ginseng) was associated with a decrease in warfarin activity in a case study.69 This report suggests that ginseng may affect parameters of bleeding. Therefore, people taking ticlopidine should consult with a physician knowledgeable about botanical medicines before taking Asian ginseng or eleuthero/Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus).

  • Uracil Mustard

    Russian research has looked at using eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) with chemotherapy. One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when eleuthero was given simultaneously. Similarly, women with inoperable breast cancer given eleuthero were reported to tolerate more chemotherapy.70 Eleuthero treatment was also associated with improved immune function in women with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation.71

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Warfarin

    Asian ginseng was associated with a decrease in warfarin activity in a case report.72 However, in a clinical trial, no interaction was seen between Asian ginseng and warfarin.73 An animal study also found no significant interaction between warfarin and pure ginseng extract.74 Nevertheless, persons taking warfarin should consult with a physician knowledgeable about botanical medicines if they are considering taking Asian ginseng or eleuthero/Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). A 1999 animal study did not reveal any significant interaction between warfarin and pure ginseng extract.75

More Resources

Eleuthero

Resources

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