Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for ELEUTHERO are as follows:

Possibly effective for…

  • Common cold. Some research shows that taking a combination product containing eleuthero plus Andrographis (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) improves symptoms of the common cold. This product must be taken within 72 hours after symptoms begin. Some symptoms can improve after 2 days of treatment. But it usually takes 4-5 days of treatment to get the most benefit.
  • Diabetes. Taking eleuthero extract can reduce blood glucose levels in some people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Genital herpes. Taking a specific eleuthero extract (Elagen) can reduce how often genital herpes flares up.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Athletic performance. Most research shows that taking eleuthero doesn’t improve breathing or heart rate recovery after treadmill, cycling, or stair-stepping exercises. Taking it also doesn’t improve endurance or performance in trained distance runners. But some research shows that taking powdered eleuthero might improve breathing and endurance while cycling.
  • Bipolar disorder. Taking eleuthero plus lithium for 6 weeks might improve symptoms of bipolar disorder as well as taking lithium plus fluoxetine. It’s unclear if taking it plus lithium works better than taking only lithium.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Taking eleuthero by mouth doesn’t seem to reduce symptoms of CFS any better than a placebo.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that taking it might improve memory and feelings of well-being in some healthy, middle-aged people.
  • Nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Early research shows that taking eleuthero extract may improve nerve pain by a small amount in some people with diabetes.
  • Hangover. Early research shows that taking the extract before and after drinking alcohol might relieve some hangover symptoms.
  • Quality of life. Some research shows that taking eleuthero can improve the sense of well-being in people over 65-years-old. But this effect doesn’t seem to last for more than 8 weeks.
  • Stress. Early research shows taking eleuthero root doesn’t reduce stress levels.
  • An inherited fever disorder (familial Mediterranean fever).
  • Altitude sickness.
  • Alzheimer disease.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Bronchitis.
  • Chemotherapy side effects.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Flu (influenza).
  • High cholesterol.
  • Motion sickness.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Upper airway infection.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate it for these uses.

Side Effects Of Eleuthero

  • When taken by mouth: Eleuthero is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken for up to 3 months. While side effects are rare, some people can have nausea, diarrhea, and rash. In high doses, it might cause nervousness and anxiety. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use for longer than 3 months.

Warnings & Precautions

  • 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 safe when taken for longer than 6 weeks or when taken by children younger than 12 years of age.
  • 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.
  • Bleeding disorders: Eleuthero contains chemicals that might slow blood clotting. In theory, it might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders.
  • Heart conditions: Eleuthero might cause a pounding heart, irregular heartbeat, or high blood pressure. People who have heart disorders (e.g., “hardening of the arteries,” rheumatic heart disease, or history of heart attack) should use eleuthero only under a healthcare provider’s supervision.
  • Diabetes: Eleuthero might increase or decrease blood sugar. In theory, it might affect blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you take eleuthero and have diabetes.
  • 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.
  • High blood pressure: Eleuthero should not be used by people with blood pressure over 180/90. Eleuthero might make high blood pressure worse.
  • Mental conditions such as mania or schizophrenia: Eleuthero might make these conditions worse. Use with caution.

Eleuthero Dosage

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For the common cold: 400 mg of a specific combination product (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) containing eleuthero plus andrographis extract, three times daily for 5 days.
  • For diabetes: 480 mg of extract, standardized to contain eleutheroside E and B 1.12%, daily for 3 months.
  • For genital herpes: 400 mg of extract standardized to contain eleutheroside E 0.3%, daily for 3 months.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.