Stimulating effect of adaptogens: An overview with particular reference to their efficacy following single dose administration

Swedish Herbal Institute, Viktor Rydbergsgatan 10, SE-411 32 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Phytotherapy Research (Impact Factor: 2.4). 10/2005; 19(10):819-38. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1751
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Plant adaptogens are compounds that increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors and to avoid damage from such factors. The beneficial effects of multi-dose administration of adaptogens are mainly associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a part of the stress-system that is believed to play a primary role in the reactions of the body to repeated stress and adaptation. In contrast, the single dose application of adaptogens is important in situations that require a rapid response to tension or to a stressful situation. In this case, the effects of the adaptogens are associated with another part of the stress-system, namely, the sympatho-adrenal-system (SAS), that provides a rapid response mechanism mainly to control the acute reaction of the organism to a stressor. This review focuses primarily on the SAS-mediated stimulating effects of single doses of adaptogens derived from Rhodiola rosea, Schizandra chinensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus. The use of these drugs typically generates no side effects, unlike traditional stimulants that possess addiction, tolerance and abuse potential, produce a negative effect on sleep structure, and cause rebound hypersomnolence or 'come down' effects. Furthermore, single administration of these adaptogens effectively increases mental performance and physical working capacity in humans. R. rosea is the most active of the three plant adaptogens producing, within 30 min of administration, a stimulating effect that continues for at least 4-6 h. The active principles of the three plants that exhibit single dose stimulating effects are glycosides of phenylpropane- and phenylethane-based phenolic compounds such as salidroside, rosavin, syringin and triandrin, the latter being the most active.


Available from: Alexander George Panossian, Jun 13, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Extracts of plant adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus senticosus (or Acanthopanax senticosus) and Rhodiola rosea can increase stress resistance in several model systems. We now show that both extracts also increase the mean lifespan of the nematode C. elegans in a dose-dependent way. In at least four independent experiments, 250 microg/ml Eleutherococcus (SHE-3) and 10-25 microg/ml Rhodiola (SHR-5) significantly increased life span between 10 and 20% (P < 0.001), increased the maximum lifespan with 2-3 days and postponed the moment when the first individuals in a population die, suggesting a modulation of the ageing process. With higher concentrations, less effect was observed, whereas at the highest concentrations tested (2500 microg/ml Eleutherococcus and 250 microg/ml Rhodiola) a lifespan shortening effect was observed of 15-25% (P < 0.001). Both adaptogen extracts were also able to increase stress resistance in C. elegans: against a relatively short heat shock (35 degrees C during 3 h) as well as chronic heat treatment at 26 degrees C. An increase against chronic oxidative stress conditions was observed in mev-1 mutants, and during exposure of the wild type nematode to paraquat (10 mM) or UV stress, be it less efficiently. Concerning the mode of action: both adaptogens induce translocation of the DAF-16 transcription factor from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, suggesting a reprogramming of transcriptional activities favoring the synthesis of proteins involved in stress resistance (such as the chaperone HSP-16) and longevity. Based on these observations, it is suggested that adaptogens are experienced as mild stressors at the lifespan-enhancing concentrations and thereby induce increased stress resistance and a longer lifespan.
    Biogerontology 07/2008; 10(1):27-42. DOI:10.1007/s10522-008-9151-9 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    Ajit K. Thakur, Amitabha Dey, Shyam S. Chatterjee, Vikas Kumar
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