hero image

Incredible Health Benefits of Rhaponticum - The World’s Most Amazing Unknown Herb

8 min read time

Incredible Health Benefits of Rhaponticum

- The World’s Most Amazing Unknown Herb

          Rhaponticum has a long history as a medicinal plant having been used for generations by people in Siberia, Russia, Eastern Europe and as a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

          Like the other six primary adaptogens herbs in this elite family, rhaponticum is a non-toxic plant recognized to fight against the harmful effects of stress, whether biological, chemical, or physiological.  

          Similar to panax ginseng, rhodiola, eleuthero and the other adaptogens in this plant family, the health benefits of rhaponticum grow stronger when combined with the other adaptogens.

          Known for its pointed leaves and thistle-like magenta blossom, rhaponticum is a well researched adaptogenic herb but relatively little known in the west. 

          Commonly known as "maral root", early Russian settlers in the Mongolian Altai Mountains believed the rhaponticum plant provided the maral deer population with the strength and energy they needed to survive the severe Russian winters.  

          These Russian settlers also started using the plant and noticed it's amazing benefits to treat fatigue and anemia, increase muscle, boost libido in both men and women and speed recovery from different diseases. 

          It’s this early use of rhaponticum that helped this amazing adaptogen herb become known for its life-building (anabolic) properties


Officially Recognized as a Natural Remedy

          In 1961, Rhaponticum was officially categorized as a natural remedy for overcoming fatigue, shortening recovery time after ailment, and improving mental and physical productivity by the Soviet pharmacopeia. 

          Since then, many modern herbalists have used rhaponticum to support resilience, physical and mental endurance

          Some traditional benefits of the herb have been shown to:

  • Promote stamina
  • Support lean muscle mass
  • Boost healthy oxygen levels in muscles before, during exercise 
  • Support the healthy physical stress response of the body - which is controlled by the adrenal glands 

          Modern researchers have found that therapeutic doses of rhaponticum have the potential to:

  • Increase protein synthesis
  • Lower adipose tissue and build muscle mass
  • Boost endurance, stamina, and work productivity 
  • Improve memory, learning, and mental health 
  • Enhance immunity activity 
  • Lower body fat and cholesterol 
  • Increase lean muscle 
  • Protect against the effects of steroids 
  • Stabilize cell membranes 
  • Reduce alcohol cravings and more 
  • Enhance sexual activity - improves sperm quality and quantity 

          The physical and mental anti-fatigue effects of rhaponticum have been seen in both animal and human trials. (1)  Clinical uses have shown that rhaponticum: 

  • Improves stamina, strength, and endurance
  • Promotes recovery after exertion
  • Improves mental work capacity
  • Promotes lean muscle mass
  • Supports recovery from surgery and illness 
  • Lowers insulin utilization  
  • Stabilizes blood lipids and blood sugar 
  • Improves stress resistance 
  • Lowers ischemic damage 
  • Improves tissue repair after myocardial infarction 
  • Has anti-aging characteristics
  • Anti-catabolic anabolic agent 
  • Inhibits insulin resistance 

          The benefits or rhaponticum seem virtually endless. Another reason why this adaptogen herb has withstood the test of time and has been a staple in so many regions worldwide.

          Rhaponticum may also provide important organ protection for the liver and kidney, as it's also recommended to people with hypoglycemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or hypercholesterolemia. 

          Additionally, used during intense muscular activity, this herb can support proper energy metabolism, increase the blood supply to the brain & muscles, maintain stable sugar levels in the skeletal muscles, and shorten the recovery after prolonged muscular workloads. (8) 


Recent Studies Show Additional Benefits

1. Protects Your Brain 

    Rhaponticum Carthamoides can protect specific parts of the brain from excitotoxicity. For instance, ecdysterone in this herb can lower glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in the hippocampus. (9) Rhaponticum may also help in protecting the brain during a stroke. (10)  For example, the adaptogen may prevent destructive changes and reduce synapses’ density in the cerebral cortex after stroke. (11)

    2. Boosts Athletic Performance 

    Rhaponticum is highly rich in ecdysteroids - a plant-based steroid type that helps in regulating protein synthesis. Researchers believe that the herb has anabolic features but without the harmful effects of anabolic steroids.

    3. Can Help People with Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome 

      There is some research that rhaponticum can benefit people with obesity and diabetes. A study published in BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine in 2012 stated that rats who were given a high-fat diet containing this adaptogen experienced enhanced glucose tolerance. That means they had less fluctuation in their blood sugar levels. (14) Also, the rats experienced reduced triacylglycerol rates - increases of which are associated with metabolic syndrome. 

      The study showed that by lowering triacylglycerols and improving glucose tolerance, rhaponticum can help diabetics achieve better glucose control. The research also showed improved weight loss in people with metabolic syndrome. However, more research is required to identify whether the effects of this adaptogenic herb seen in animal studies can be seen in humans. 

      4. Can Support the Vascular System 

      Rhaponticum can help with vascular conditions like atherosclerosis and heart attacks. (25) In hypertensive animal studies, Rhaponticum can lower levels of high blood pressure. (16) The herb may also assist with arrhythmias. (26, 27) 

      These are some of the evidence-based health benefits of Rhaponticum Carthamoides. The adaptogenic herb may also boost wound healing, improve the biliary system, lower fatigue, improve immunity, and more. (28, 25, 18)


      Rhaponticum is a powerful adaptogen herb
      with many health benefits


                Because of it’s anabolic properties (life-building), rhaponticum is often used to build muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Yet another reason why rhaponticum has been used for hundreds of years to treat a range of symptoms. The plant contains powerful compounds known to support a healthy lifestyle, such as antioxidants, plant-based steroids like ecdysteroids, and more. (3) 

                Rhaponticum can also help you increase libido, sharpen concentration, boost mood, lower body fat, stimulate the immune system, and replenish energy reserves. 

                Rhaponticum is a truly amazing member to the family of adaptogen herbs -- and exactly why it is an important part of the Peak Male and EmpowHER adaptogenic formula.

        Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs that have been used for thousands of years for healing. They have been used by many cultures who discovered they strengthen the body’s resistance to disease.  Adaptogens have powerful anti-stress, anti-fatigue, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-depression and anti-aging characteristics.2, *

      2,000+ studies confirm the benefits
                Used effectively for hundreds of years in Asia and Europe, adaptogens were scientifically validated when Russian researchers heard of their remarkable properties. Over a period of four decades after World War II, Soviet scientists conducted over 2000 secret studies that verified the amazing benefits of adaptogens.

      7 primary adaptogens = amazing health benefits
                These scientists further discovered that when the 7 primary adaptogens are combined together in the correct dosages, they create a synergy magnifying their benefits beyond just the sum of the individual herbs.3

                That in-depth research led to the development of  Peak Male for men and EmpowHER for women, which stand apart from every other adaptogen supplement available because of the unique combination of the 7 primary adaptogens along with other exceptional natural ingredients that further reinforce their benefits.


      1. Adaptogens in Medicinal Herbalism, Donald Yance, CN, MH, RH(AHG)

      2. Saratikov, “On the simulative action of Siberian Leuzea carthamoides” and A. S. Saratikov, “Leuzea carthamoides as a stimulator of the nervous system,” in Materials of Second Conference on Research of Siberian and Far Eastern Medicinal Plants, 150 (Vladivostok: Academy of Science of USSR, 1961); A. S. Saratikov, L. N. Azbukina, et al., “Experimental studies of phytostimulants,” in Symposium on Eleutherococcus and Ginseng (Vladivostok: Academy of Science of USSR, 1962); A. S. Saratikov and S. F. Tuzov, “Influence of Leuzea carthamoides on the physical work ability and some functional indicators of the organism,” Izvestia Sibirskogo Otdelenia AN SSSR, Seria Obshestvennych Nauk [News of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR], Services in Biomedical Science 12(3) (1963): 126–32; J. Jankulow, I. Issaew, M. Bojadjiewa, et al., “Preparations with stimulating effect from the roots of Rhaponticum carthamoides (WILLD) ILJIN cultivated in Bulgaria,” Die Pharmazie 19 (1964): 345–47; L. F. Kolmakova and N. L. Kutolinam, “Clinical observation for action of Leuzea, Eleutherococcus and golden root extracts in diabetes patients,” in Stimulants of the Central Nervous System, 131–32 (Tomsk, Russia: Tomsk State University Press, 1966); C. G. Cherdyntsev, “Physiological mechanism of action of some stimulants of CNS and role of endocrinological system in implementation of their action,” abstract of dissertation in Biological Science (Tomsk, Russia: Tomsk State University Press, 1970); B. U. Salnik, “Effect of stimulants of CNS on energy supply for different kinds of muscle activity,” dissertation, Doctor of Science degree in Medicine (Tomsk, Russia: Tomsk State University Press, 1970); A. H. Mosharrof, “Effects of extract from Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd) Iljin (Leuzea) on learning and memory in rats,” Acta Physiologica et Pharmacologica Bulgarica 13(3) (1987): 37–42; Anatoly Antoshechkin, Leuzea and Your Health: The Siberian Wonder-Plant which Improves Stamina, Slows the Effects of Aging, and Increases Your Resistance to Disease (Clearwater, Fla.: Ceptima Publishing, 2000), 53; I. Kholodova, V. A. Tugai, and V. P. Zimina, “Effect of vitamin D3 & 20-hydroxyecdysone on the content of ATP, creatine phosphate, carnosine and Ca2+ in skeletal muscles,” Ukrains’kyi Biokhimichnyi Zhurnal 69(3) (1997): 3–9; and A. Panossian and G. Wikman, “Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress-protective activity,” Pharmaceuticals 3(1) (2010): 188–224.

      3. Rhaponticum - An Overview - ScienceDirect - https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/rhaponticum

      4. Effects of extract from Rhapontcum carthamoides (Willd) Iljin (Leuzea) on learning and memory in rats - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3439473/

      5. ADAPTOGENS: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief - Healing Arts Press, 2007 - http://rhodiolarosea.org/Web-Rhaponticum.pdf#search=%22carthamoides%22

      6. Rhaponticum carthamoides: Anabolic effect of whole extract is superior to individual Ecdysterones - http://rhodiolarosea.org/Web-Rhaponticum.pdf#search=%22carthamoides%22

      7. The Inhibiting Effect of Phyto Adaptogenic Preparations From Bioginseng, Eleutherococcus Senticosus and Rhaponticum Carthamoides on the Development of Nervous System Tumors in Rats Induced by N-nitrosoethylurea - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1300820/

      8. M. A. Gerasyuta and T. N. Koval, “The experience of prolonged use of Leuzea carthamoides extract for the purposes of preservation and increase of mental and physical work capacity,” in New Data on Eleutherococcus and Other Adaptogens: Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Eleutherococcus (Hamburg, 1980), 135–38 (Vladivostok: Far East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science of the USSR, 1981).

      9. Ecdysterones from Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd.) Iljin reduce hippocampal excitotoxic cell loss and upregulate mTOR signaling in rats - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28373010

      10. Effect of Rhaponticum carthamoides extract on structural and metabolic parameters of erythrocytes in rats with cerebral ischemia - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10517-008-0202-7

      11. Ischemia-induced changes in synaptoarchitectonics of brain cortex and their correction with ascovertin and Leuzea extract - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11782809

      12. Consumption and biochemical impact of commercially available plant-derived nutritional supplements. An observational pilot-study on recreational athletes - https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-9-28

      13. Rhaponticum carthamoides Transformed Root Extract Has Potent Anticancer Activity in Human Leukemia and Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/8198652/

      14. Effects of rhaponticum carthamoides versus glycyrrhiza glabra and punica granatum extracts on metabolic syndrome signs in rats - https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-14-33

      15. Effects of extract from Rhapontcum carthamoides (Willd) Iljin (Leuzea) on learning and memory in rats - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3439473

      16. Pharmacological investigations on Rhaponticum carthamoides - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6484028

      17. [The use of a decoction of the rhizome of Leuzea carthamoides for the treatment of alcoholics with depressive states] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8533517

      18. Triterpenoid α-amyrin stimulates proliferation of human keratinocytes but does not protect them against UVB damage - https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0402/10c7058d24eb9c3706482fbd770097c66c3c.pdf

      19. Skala E, Rijo P, Garcia C, et al. The Essential Oils of Rhaponticum carthamoides Hairy Roots and Roots of Soil-Grown Plants: Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antioxidant Activities. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016:2016:8505384. doi:10.1155/2016/8505384 - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/8505384/

      20. Effects of Leuzea carthamoides on human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells determined by gene expression profiling and functional assays - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18975255

      21. Inhibition of human glioma cell proliferation by altered Bax/Bcl-2-p53 expression and apoptosis induction by Rhaponticum carthamoides extracts from transformed and normal roots - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27696406/

      22. [The inhibiting effect of phytoadaptogenic preparations from bioginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus and Rhaponticum carthamoides on the development of nervous system tumors in rats induced by N-nitrosoethylurea] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1300820

      23. Evaluation of cytotoxic and antioxidant activity of Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd.) Iljin extract - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312189149_Evaluation_of_cytotoxic_and_antioxidant_activity_of_Rhaponticum_carthamoides_Willd_Iljin_extracts

      24. Effect of a combination of extract from several plants on cell-mediated and humoral immunity of patients with advanced ovarian cancer - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16619374

      25. Chemistry and pharmacology of Rhaponticum carthamoides: a review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19457517
      26. [Antiarrhythmic effect of Phyto adaptogens] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11022302
      27. Antiarrhythmic Activity of Phyto Adaptogens in Short-Term Ischemia-Reperfusion of the Heart and Postinfarction Cardiosclerosis - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10517-009-0502-6
      28. [Effects of leuzea tincture and leveton on humoral immunity of athletes] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9460599

      Rhaponticum, also known as 'maral root,' is an adaptogen herb with a rich history in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Eastern Europe. This article delves into its six astonishing health benefits, including immune support, stress relief, and muscle mass enhancement. Learn how Rhaponticum is a cornerstone in popular adaptogen formulas like Peak Male and EmpowHER. Discover its anabolic properties, potential for improving mental and physical endurance, and its role in modern herbalism.

      Leave a comment

      You must be logged in to post a comment.


      Rhaponticum, also known as 'maral root,' is an adaptogen herb with a rich history in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Eastern Europe. This article delves into its six astonishing health benefits, including immune support, stress relief, and muscle mass enhancement. Learn how Rhaponticum is a cornerstone in popular adaptogen formulas like Peak Male and EmpowHER. Discover its anabolic properties, potential for improving mental and physical endurance, and its role in modern herbalism.

      Related Products

      In cart
      In cart