Rhaponticum carthamoides

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Maral root
Rhaponticum carthamoides.jpg
Scientific classification
R. carthamoides
Binomial name
Rhaponticum carthamoides
  • Cnicus carthamoides Willd. (basionym)
  • Leuzea carthamoides (Willd.) DC.
  • Stemmacantha carthamoides (Willd.) Dittrich

Rhaponticum carthamoides, also known as Maral root or Rhaponticum, is an herbaceous perennial plant from the family Asteraceae[2] that inhabits the sub-alpine zone (4,500–6,000 ft (1,400–1,800 m) above sea level) as well as alpine meadows. It can be found growing wild in Southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, the Altay region, and Western Sayan Mountains. Maral root is widely cultivated throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. This plant derives its traditional name Maral root (Maralu) from the maral deer who fed on it.

Animal studies indicate that maral root may have a beneficial effect on memory and learning in rats,[3] increasing working capacity of tired skeletal muscles,[4][unreliable source?] as well as anabolic[5][unreliable source?] and adaptogenic processes in rats.[6]

R. carthamoides is high in 20-hydroxyecdysone,[citation needed] one of the most common molting hormones in insects, crabs, and some worms and 20E can disrupt their molting and reproduction.

1985 USSR stamp, depicting Rhaponticum carthamoides


  1. ^ a b "Rhaponticum carthamoides". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  2. ^ SysTax - detailed information on Rhaponticum carthamoides (Willd.) Iljin
  3. ^ Mosharrof AH (1987). "Effects of extract from Rhapontcum carthamoides (Willd) Iljin (Leuzea) on learning and memory in rats". Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 13 (3): 37–42. PMID 3439473.
  4. ^ David Winston & Maimes, Steven. “ADAPTOGENS: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007.
  5. ^ "Rhaponticum carthamoides: Anabolic effect of whole extract is superior to individual Ecdysterones" (PDF).
  6. ^ Bespalov VG, Aleksandrov VA, Iaremenko KV, et al. (1992). "[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]". Vopr Onkol (in Russian). 38 (9): 1073–80. PMID 1300820.