Maral Root

Other Name(s):

Cnicus carthamoides, Leuzea carthamoides, Lou Cao, Maralrot, Racine de Maral, Raíz de Maral, Rhaponticum, Rhaponticum carthamoides, Saflor Bergscharte, Stemmacantha carthamoides.


Maral root is a plant. The roots are used to make medicine.

People take maral root by mouth for athletic performance, depression, endurance, to improve fertility in men, parasites, and to improve sexual function in men.

How does it work?

Maral root contains naturally occurring steroids. These components might increase muscle mass, improve athletic performance, or increase endurance. Maral root might also improve sexual function in men.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Athletic performance.
  • Depression.
  • Endurance.
  • To improve fertility in men.
  • Parasites.
  • To improve sexual function in men.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of maral root for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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Side Effects

It isn't known if maral root is safe. There is concern that maral root might increase the risk of bleeding in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of maral root during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders: Maral root might slow blood clotting. In theory, maral root might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Maral root might slow blood clotting. There is concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using maral root at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Maral root might slow blood clotting. Taking maral root along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, indomethacin (Indocin), ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


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The appropriate dose of maral root depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for maral root. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021

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