Ingredient Spotlight: Rhaponticum Carthamoides

In the world of fitness and muscle growth, the quest for that extra edge is never-ending. One recent contender that has gained attention is Rhaponticum Carthamoides, also known as Maral root or Russian Leuzea. This herb is garnering interest due to its potential anabolic properties, and at its core is a compound called ecdysterone.

What is Ecdysterone?

Ecdysterone (also known as beta-ecdysterone, beta-ecdysone, 20-hydroxybetaecdysone etc.), is a natural substance found in both insects and plants that plays an important role in the growth and maturation of these organisms. In humans and animals ecdysterone has shown benefits ranging from increased muscle growth, improved strength, enhanced power output, and improved body composition[1,2,3,6]. This promising compound has piqued interest not only for its anabolic potential but also for its unique mechanism of action.

Unlike traditional anabolic steroids, ecdysterone doesn't interfere with hormonal levels. Instead, it is thought to target the estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ). This receptor plays a pivotal role in muscle growth, immune function, and the activation of anabolic pathways [5]. The result is muscle growth without the hormonal fluctuations often associated with conventional anabolic substances.

What Does The Science Say?

Scientific studies have played a crucial role in understanding the anabolic effects of ecdysterone. Both animal and human research have demonstrated substantial gains in muscle mass and performance with ecdysterone supplementation [3]. In one animal study involving rats, researchers administered ecdysterone along with other anabolic agents in separate groups over a 21 day period, and measured the growth of test subjects' soleus muscle. At the dosages being studied, ecdysterone actually out performed those other hormonal anabolic agents when it came to muscle growth (see figure below). Furthermore, clinical studies involving humans consistently support the idea that ecdysterone can significantly contribute to muscle growth and strength [6].

Beyond ecdysterone, Rhaponticum Carthamoides offers an array of additional health benefits, thanks to its rich phytochemical profile. This plant contains flavonoids, polyphenols, and other bioactive compounds like Makisterone C and 24-dehydromakisterone A. These compounds have been linked to various health benefits, including support for kidney function, enhanced immune system response, improved central nervous system function, and bolstered antioxidant defenses.


Whole plant Rhaponticum Carthamoides extract emerges as a potent tool for individuals seeking to naturally enhance muscle growth and physical strength. The unique aspect of its non-hormonal activity, combined with empirical evidence from rigorous scientific studies, makes it a compelling consideration for those seeking anabolic benefits without the complications of hormonal modulation.

 Shop Killer Turk

If giving yourself an edge when it comes to growing lean muscle mass is something your interested in, you can find a sizeable 100mg dose of full spectrum Rhaponticum Carthemoides extract in our muscle builder Killer Turk. Killer Turk consists of both this potent extract along with a full 1 gram dose of Ajuga Turkestanica extract, containing the ever popular and equally exciting Turketerone.


  1. Lafont R, Dinan L. (2003). Practical uses for ecdysteroids in mammals, including humans: an update. Journal of Insect Science, 3(1), 7.

  2. Parr MK, Botrè F, Naß A, Hengevoss J, Diel P, Wolber G. (2015). Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents? Biology of Sport, 32(2), 169–173.

  3. Csábi, J., Rafai, T., Hunyadi, A., & Zádor, E. (2019). Poststerone increases muscle fiber size partly similar to its metabolically parent compound, 20-hydroxyecdysone. Fitoterapia, 134, 459-464.

  4. Parr MK, Zhao P, Haupt O, Ngueu ST, Hengevoss J, Fritzemeier KH, Piechotta M, Schlörer N, Muhn P, Zheng WY, Xie MY, Diel P. (2014). Estrogen receptor beta is involved in skeletal muscle hypertrophy induced by the phytoecdysteroid ecdysterone. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 58, 1861–1872.

  5. Velders, M., Schleipen, B., Fritzemeier, K. H., Zierau, O., & Diel, P. (2012). Selective estrogen receptor-beta activation stimulates skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 26(5), 1909–1920.

  6. Isenmann, E., Ambrosio, G., Joseph, J. F., Mazzarino, M., de la Torre, X., Zimmer, P., Parr, M. K. (2019). Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans. Archives of Toxicology, 93(7), 1807–1816.