Eleutherococcus senticosus is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia. It is often colloquially referred to as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero or ciwujia.
Eleutherococcus senticosus has been marketed in the United States as Siberian Ginseng because it is believed to have similar herbal properties to those of Panax ginseng. It belongs, however, to a different genus in the family Araliaceae, and it is currently illegal in the United States to market eleuthero as Siberian Ginseng, since the term “ginseng” is reserved for the Panax species.
The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. Eleutherococcus senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland. Its native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan, and Russia.
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