Antioxidant evaluation of three adaptogen extracts

Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(6):1209-17. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X08006533.


Adaptogens are harmless herbs which have pharmaceutical benefits due to their balancing, regulative and tonic functions. However, despite these medicinal effects, the antioxidant potential of adaptogens is rarely mentioned. This study investigated the antioxidant potential of 3 adaptogen extracts, Rhodiola rosea (golden root), Eleutherococcus senticosis (Siberian ginseng) and Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry, Amla). The results of this study showed that R. rosea had the highest potential for singlet oxygen scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging, ferric reducing, ferrous chelating and protein thiol protection than either of the other 2 extracts. E. senticosis, on the other hand, showed the best potential for hypochlorite scavenging. In addition, the polyphenol content in the 3 adaptogen extracts followed the order: R. rosea, E. officinalis and E. senticosis. Our data suggest that the antioxidant potential of the 3 adaptogen extracts was proportional to their respective polyphenol content. The supplementation of adaptogen extracts containing high levels of polyphenols may not only have adaptogen properties, but may decrease the risk of complications induced by oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry*
  • Eleutherococcus / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phyllanthus emblica / chemistry*
  • Polyphenols
  • Rhodiola / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols