Leuzea: An Adaptogen

Leuzea carthamoides DC. (Asteraceae) is a perennial medicinal plant of Siberian origin. Its roots, which have a novel type of pharmacological action classified as adaptogenic, are commonly used for medicinal purposes in Russia.

The Exhaustion Phase

When the body fails to fight stress any more and simply gives up, we call this the exhaustion phase. In this “exhaustion phase”, disease symptoms rapidly appear and get worse. Diseases associated with stress may appear in the first “alarm phase”, but they mainly appear in the third “exhaustion phase” when the body cannot fight stress any more.

This third phase usually develops after a period of months or years. Everything depends on the duration of the “adaptation phase”. Sometimes the body may be lucky and escape this third phase altogether, provided that it can keep the stress under control.

We can help achieve control by taking adaptogens; they can help us to stay in the “adaptation phase” for as long as possible. Taking adaptogens, you will be able to cope with stress better. The initial “alarm phase” will smoothly progress to the “adaptation phase”.

Leuzea: An Adaptogenic Herb

Leuzea as an adaptogenic herb increases stamina, reflexes and concentration. What’s more, leuzea contains a unique compound called beta-ecdysone, which may promote muscle tissue growth.

Leuzea considerably increases the capacity of tired skeletal muscles, and contributes to a more sparing use of carbohydrates.

When given to athletes, the leuzea extract is claimed to increase endurance, reflexes and concentration.

The rhizomes and roots of Leuzea carthamoides are officially listed in the Russian Pharmacopoeia. The fluid extract and the crude ecdysteroid fraction obtained from the roots are used in the production of Ecdysten tablets, which are used as official medicine in Russia.

Low Toxicity. In doses up to 40 mg/kg the extract was non-toxic. In certain doses in mice and rats Leuzea carthamoides exerted a moderate central stimulation action, increased ambulating and rearing, increased central nervous excitability and improved learning and memory without any pronounced side-effects (Petkov 1984).

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