Manchurian Thorn

Other Name(s):

Angélique du Japon, Aralia elata, Aralia mandshurica, Aralie Japonaise, Espino de Manchuria, Manchurian Angelica Tree, Mandschurische Aralie.


Manchurian thorn is a tree. The bark and roots are used to make medicine.

People take Manchurian thorn by mouth for weight loss, tiredness, weakness, headache, depression, stress, to boost the immune system, as a stimulant, and as an adaptogen.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how Manchurian thorn might work as a medicine when taken alone. But a combination product containing Manchurian thorn and Engelhardia chrysolepsis might improve weight loss by increasing levels of an enzyme that helps burn fat.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Weight loss. Early research shows that taking a specific product (Aralox) containing Manchurian thorn 150 mg and Engelhardia chrysolepsis 150 mg three times daily for 15 weeks reduces body weight and fat weight in obese women.
  • Tiredness.
  • Weakness.
  • Headache.
  • Depression.
  • Stress.
  • To improve the immune system.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Manchurian thorn for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It isn't known if Manchurian thorn is safe. There is concern that Manchurian thorn might cause liver damage when used at high doses.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Manchurian thorn during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Manchurian thorn might lower blood sugar. People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels closely. If you have diabetes, it's best to check with your healthcare provider before starting Manchurian thorn.

Liver disease: Manchurian thorn might make liver disease worse.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Manchurian thorn might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Manchurian thorn along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Manchurian thorn might harm the liver. Taking Manchurian thorn along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take Manchurian thorn if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver. Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.


The appropriate dose of Manchurian thorn depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Manchurian thorn. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Abidov MT, del Rio MJ, Ramazanov TZ, et al. Effects of Aralia mandshurica and Engelhardtia chrysolepis extracts on some parameters of lipid metabolism in women with nondiabetic obesity. Bull Exp Biol Med 2006;141(3):343-6. View abstract.

Brekhman II, Dardymov IV. New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance. Annu Rev Pharmacol 1969;9:419-30. View abstract.

Burgos R, Hancke J, Caceres DD, et al. Hepatotoxic effect of Aralia mandshurica dried root extract in pigs. Phytotherapy Res 1997;11(1):59-61.

Burgos R, Hancke J, Wikman G, et al. Toxicological assessment of Aralia mandshurica (Araliaceae) root extract after subchronic administration in rats. A biochemical and histological study. Phytotherapy Res 1994;8(1):1-9.

Dong WC. [Determination of total aralosides in Aralia mandshurica grown in Jilin and Liaoning Provinces]. ZhongYao TongBao 1986;11(7):44-6. View abstract.

Iskenderov GB. [The metabolism of araloside A]. Farmakol Toksikol 1991;54(6):33-5. View abstract.

Lutomski J, Gorecki P, Halasa J. [Immunologische Eigenschaften der Saponosidfraktion aus Aralia mandshurica]. Planta Med 1981;42(6):116-7. View abstract.

Lutomski J, Nham NT. Studies on the saponin fraction from the root of Aralia mandshurica Rupr et Maxim Part I Chromatographic investigations. Herba Polonica 1977;23(1):5-11.

Mal'chukovskii LB, Takhtobaeva GM, et al. [Determination of the sum of aralosides A, B, C in the roots of Aralia mandshurica]. Farmatsiia 1972;21(6):45-7. View abstract.

Martinez, B. and Staba, E. J. The physiological effects of Aralia, Panax and Eleutherococcus on exercised rats. Jpn J Pharmacol 1984;35(2):79-85. View abstract.

Shikov AN, Pozharitskaya ON, Makarov VG, et al. Medicinal plants of the Russian Pharmacopoeia; their history and applications. J Ethnopharmacol 2014;154(3):481-536. View abstract.

Wang M, Xu X, Xu H, et al. Effect of the total saponins of Aralia elata (Miq) Seem on cardiac contractile function and intracellular calcium cycling regulation. J Ethnopharmacol 2014;155(1):240-247. View abstract.

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