Leuzea’s root, known to the western world as Maral root was first studied by Soviet scientists during the Second World War. Russian scientists were looking at anything that might have the potential to provide their soldier more strength and endurance as they slogged their way into Berlin.
The ethanol extract of the dried root was found to contain tannins, phytoecdsones, flavonoids, glycosides, lignins, alkaloids, vitamins, organic acid along with some other compounds that could not be identified. They conducted numerous clinical trials (on people as while as laboratory animals) and concluded that an extract of Leuzea’s root displayed many properties capable of helping a person stay active and alert as well as the ability to restore energy and even increase muscle mass.
They found that Maral Root could:
o Help increase the rate in which the cells restore their energy (ATP)
o Help build muscle mass
o Help improve the contraction of the heart muscles and improve circulation to the muscle and brain.
o Help counteract oxygen starvation
o Help with fertilization
o Help with focus, concentration allowing people to perform while mentally fatigued
o Help with resistance to the common cold.
The Soviets also found that the extract t helped people to counteract the brain numbing effects of sodium barbital. Further tests revealed that Leuzea extract helped people keep their concentration during stressful situations allowing people to stay focused and attentive when they performed jobs that were unusually stressful (i.e. Air traffic controller). The extract was also found to be beneficial as a sleep aid, preventing sleep disorders brought on by stress without the negative side effects of sleeping pills. It was also found to help with the intitial stages of impotence and diabetes.
One of the most interesting constituents that scientists found in Leuzea extract was a polyhydrodated sterol that belongs to the ecdysone group known as ecdysterone. This sterol is usually found in insects and crustaceans and is utilized to regulate protein synthesis. Early studies of the extract dismissed ecdysterone because of this, but later scientists discovered that this sterol possessed anabolic activity meaning that it helped increase muscle mass in much the same way that steroids do but without destroying the function of androgen.
Ecdysterone also displayed the ability to activate the synthesis of certain enzymes (glutamate decarboxylase, acetylcholine esterase) in the brain as well as enzymes in the cells which are involved in the generation of energy. It was also found to help protect the liver cells from free radical oxidation and DNA and cellular membranes from H2O2.
Scientists believe that the ecdysterone has the ability to mimic the actions of the human steroid hormones, except for the fact that they have much less of a chance to get picked up by hormone receptors. This means if the human body has an ample supply of human steroid hormones, ecdysterone cannot compete with them. However, if there happen to be a deficiency in these hormones, which can occur during times of physical and mental stress, then ecdysterone can bind with the receptors and provide much needed energy and attention.