Eleuthero is a woodland plant native to southeastern Siberia and the Korean peninsula, and adapted to the damp forests of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Eleuthero grows to a height of ten feet and thrives as a crop in well-drained, rich, moist soil in sun or partial shade, but it can be broadly tolerant of soils, growing in loamy and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral or alkaline chemistry, including soils of low nutritional value. The plant is deciduous with flowers that are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. The dried roots and root bark are used in herbal medicine.
Eleuthero Root is considered an "adaptogen" in that it normalizes bodily functions during stressful or other situations that might alter those functions, helping the body to adapt and return to an overall sense of well-being. The herb contains active chemical ingredients called eleutherosides, which appear to inhibit the stress response by reducing the activity of the adrenal cortex and is an immune system stimulant that is especially useful for preventing infection during times of intense physical activity. Its stress-fighting and depression-relieving capacities have made it useful in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).