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Maral root (Leuzea carthamoides, Rhaponticum carthamoides, Stemmacantha carthamoides)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 1-Beta-hydroxymakisterone, 3',4',5,7-pentahydroxy-6-methoxyflavonol (patuletin), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (protocatechuic acid), 4',5,7-trihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone (hispidulin), 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, 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, Leuzea carthamoides, linalool, makisterone C, N-feruloylserotonins, norsesquiterpene-13-norcypera-1(5),11(12)-diene, parkeyl acetate, 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 fruit of Schisandra chinensis).
  • Note: The maral plant is called by at least three scientific names: Leuzea carthamoides, Rhaponticum carthamoides, and Stemmacantha carthamoides. Leuzea carthamoides will be used in this summary, in most cases.


  • The maral plant (Leuzea carthamoides, also known as Rhaponticum carthamoides and Stemmacantha carthamoides) is a perennial herb native to Siberia. Its name was derived from the maral deer that commonly ate its roots to gain strength during mating season.
  • Although more than 100 active compounds have been found in different parts of the maral plant, its most common extract, ecdysteroids, such as ecdysten, are taken from the root.
  • Traditionally, maral root has been used to provide relief from overstrained muscles, fatigue from overwork, and weakness from illness. In particular, Russian, Eastern European, and Chinese athletes have used maral root extracts to improve recovery time following intense training, rapidly build muscle mass, and increase strength.
  • Currently, there is little clinical evidence on the use of maral root for the treatment of any medical condition in humans. Additional studies are needed to confirm any of its proposed health benefits.


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The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. 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. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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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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Author Information

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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 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.