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Maral root (Leuzea carthamoides, Rhaponticum carthamoides, Stemmacantha carthamoides)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 1-beta-hydroxymakisterone, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, 3',4',5,7-pentahydroxy-6-methoxyflavonol (patuletin), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (protocatechuic acid), 4',5,7-trihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone (hispidulin), 5,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavanone (eriodictyol), 6-hydroxykaempferol-7-(6"-acetyl-beta-glucopyranoside), 6-hydroxykaempferol-7-O-(6''-O-acetyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside), 14-epi-ponasterone-A22 glucoside, 15-hydroxyponasterone A, 20-hydroxyecdysone, 20,22-acetonides of inokosterone and integristerone A, 24(28)-dehydro-makisterone A, ajugasterone, ajugasterone C, aplotaxene, carthamoleusterone, Cnicus carthamoides, cynaropicrin, cyperene, dehydroxymakisterone, (E)-1-[5-(hept-5-en-1,3-diynyl)-2-thienyl]ethan-1,2-diol, E-3,3-dimethoxy-4,4dihydroxystilbene, ecdisten, ecdysten, ecdysteroids, ecdysterone, eriodictyol, eriodictyol-7-beta-glycopyranoside, geraniol, hispidulin, hydroxyponasterone A 22-deoxy-28-hydroxymakisterone, integristerone A, isorhamnoside-rhamnoside, lanosta-9(11),24-dien-3\b/-yl acetate (parkeyl acetate), Leuzea carthamoides, linalool, makisterone C, N-feruloylserotonins, norsesquiterpene-13-norcypera-1(5),11(12)-diene, patuletin, p-caryophyllene, protocatechuic acid, quercetin-5-O-galactoside, Rhaponticum carthamoides, Stemmacantha carthamoides, thiophene polyine (E)-2-[5-(hept-5-en-1,3-diynyl)-thien-2-yl]-ethan-1,2-diol.
  • Combination product examples: Admax® (ethanol/water extracts of dried roots of Leuzea carthamoides (maral root), Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and fruits of Schizandra chinensis).
  • Note: The maral plant is called by at least three scientific names: Leuzea carthamoides, Rhaponticum carthamoides, and Stemmacantha carthamoides. Henceforth, it will be written as Leuzea carthamoides in most cases.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The maral plant is called by the genus species names Leuzea carthamoides (Willd.) DC., Rhaponticum carthamoides, and Stemmacantha carthamoides, which all refer to the same plant (1). Siberian traditional medicine has used Leuzea carthamoides to provide relief from overstrained muscles, fatigue from overwork, and weakness from illness. Eastern and Central Europeans have begun growing Leuzea carthamoides because of its promising adaptogenic properties. The plant is a perennial herb that grows up to 150cm high in the subalpine meadows of Siberia. Anecdotally, a tea brewed from the dried roots is reported to have a licorice-like flavor, but others suggest diluting the tea with juice for better flavor.
  • The main constituents of Leuzea carthamoides root are suggested to be ecdysteroids, which have been reported to exhibit anabolic activities. According to secondary sources, many ecdysteroids are growth hormones in insects.
  • Traditionally, Eastern European and Russian field and track athletes have used Leuzea carthamoides root extracts to recover from strenuous training and boost muscle mass more quickly. Chinese athletes have also been reported to use Leuzea carthamoides root to increase their strength and improve recovery time after intense training. Anecdotally, herbal preparations containing Leuzea carthamoides root were taken by some Olympic athletes as recently as 2002.
  • There is limited clinical evidence for the use of Leuzea carthamoides for any indication. Further study is required in order to confirm its immunological, antidepressive, antiparasitic, and performance-enhancing effects.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.