The Benefits of Maral Root

Uses, Benefits, and Alternatives

muscle mass
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Maral root is a natural remedy long used in certain systems of alternative medicine. Sold in dietary supplement form, it's said to act as an adaptogen (a class of herbs thought to increase your resistance to the harmful effects of stress). Often used to enhance athletic performance and build muscle mass, it's also used to treat a variety of health conditions.

Maral root contains a number of compounds thought to influence health, including several antioxidants and ecdysteroids (a type of steroid found to increase muscle mass in preliminary studies).

Uses for Maral Root

In alternative medicine, maral root is said to help with the following health problems:

In addition, maral root is purported to improve mental performance and concentration, increase strength, stimulate the immune system, protect against heart disease, and lift mood.

Benefits of Maral Root

Although there's currently a lack of clinical trials testing the health effects of maral root, a number of preliminary studies suggest that it may offer certain health benefits. For example, a report published in the journal Phytochemistry in 2009 determined that maral root may help improve immune function. Analyzing the available research on maral root, the report's authors also found that the herb may help boost work capacity and enhance sexual function.

Here's a look at several other study findings on the potential benefits of maral root:

1)  Heart Health

In a preliminary study published in Drug and Chemical Toxicology in 2008, scientists observed that maral root may help fight the formation of blood clots.

Additionally, a rat-based study published in the Russian journal Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology in 2011 found that maral root may help promote recovery from myocardial infarction (a condition more commonly known as heart attack).

2)  Brain Health

Several preliminary studies indicate that maral root may help treat cerebral ischemia (a stroke-associated condition marked by insufficient blood flow to the brain). In a study published in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology in 2005, for instance, tests on rats with cerebral ischemia demonstrated that maral root helped restore brain activity and reduce signs of ischemia-related damage.

3)  Metabolic Syndrome

Maral root shows promise in the treatment of metabolic syndrome, according to an animal study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2014. In tests on rats, the study's authors found that treatment with maral root may help manage metabolic syndrome by improving blood sugar and blood fat levels.

Caveats

Due to a lack of research, the safety of long-term or regular use of dietary supplements containing maral root is unknown.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated.

In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.

Alternatives to Maral Root

Several other herbs may be helpful in protecting against the harmful effects of chronic stress. These herbs include rhodiolaashwaghandha, and ginseng. Many mind-body techniques (such as yogameditation, and tai chi) may also help you deal with the negative impact of daily stress.

For help in improving muscle mass, there's some evidence that such dietary supplements as creatine and branched-chain amino acids may be beneficial. 

Where to Find It

Maral root is sold in many natural-foods stores and other stores specializing in natural products. You can also purchase maral root online.

Using Maral Root for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend maral root as a treatment for any condition. If you're considering the use of maral root for any health purpose, make sure to consult your physician before you start taking the supplements. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.

Sources

Dushkin M1, Khrapova M, Kovshik G, Chasovskikh M, Menshchikova E, Trufakin V, Shurlygina A, Vereschagin E. "Effects of rhaponticum carthamoides versus glycyrrhiza glabra and punica granatum extracts on metabolic syndrome signs in rats." BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 20;14:33.

Kokoska L1, Janovska D. "Chemistry and pharmacology of Rhaponticum carthamoides: a review." Phytochemistry. 2009 May;70(7):842-55.

Koleckar V1, Brojerova E, Rehakova Z, Kubikova K, Cervenka F, Kuca K, Jun D, Hronek M, Opletalova V, Opletal L. "In vitro antiplatelet activity of flavonoids from Leuzea carthamoides." Drug Chem Toxicol. 2008;31(1):27-35.

Plotnikov MB1, Aliev OI, Vasil'ev AS, Andreeva VY, Krasnov EA, Kalinkina GI. "Effect of Rhaponticum carthamoides extract on structural and metabolic parameters of erythrocytes in rats with cerebral ischemia." Bull Exp Biol Med. 2008 Jul;146(1):45-8.

Plotnikov MB, Logvinov SV, Pugachenko NV, Maslov MIu, Aliev OI, Vasil'ev AS, Suslov NI, Potapov AV. "Cerebroprotector activity of Rhaponticum carthamoides extract in rats with brain ischemia." Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2005 Jul-Aug;68(4):19-23.

Plotnikov MB, Vasil'ev AS, Aliev OI, Anishchenko AM, Krasnov EA. "Effect of Rhaponticum carthamoides extract in combination with dosed physical load on hemorheological parameters of rats with myocardial infarction." Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2011;74(9):7-10.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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