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Table 2 Summarized table

From: Herbal medicine for sports: a review

Plants Physical performance Overall health
Ginseng ↑Aerobic capacity ↑Cardio respiratory function ↓Lactate ↑Physical performance ↓Endurance running time Ø Cycling endurance performance ↑ Muscle strength Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant ↑brain function Immunostimulant ↑virility Treat digestive disorders ↓ mental stress ↑immune function Stabilizes blood pressure
Caffeine Coffea Arabica Guarana Green Tea Theobromine Mate ↑endurance running performance ↑muscle strength, ↑serum catecholamine levels ↑ immune responses in runner and cyclist ↑ blood catecholamine ↑anaerobic performances ↑endurance running performance ↑ endurance capacity ↓ The risk of degenerative brain diseases caused by aging (cognitive decline, dementia) ↓ the risk of parkinson’s disease ↑central nervous system (i.e., increase of mental vigilance, fatigue resistance) ↑ body composition ↑treat headaches, paralysis, urinary tract irritation, and diarrhea ↑blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, and cardiac stimulation ↑ the antioxidant defense system, and muscle lipid oxidation in healthy or diabetic individuals
Ephedrine ↑ aerobic capacity ↓fatigue ↑ alertness and reaction time ↑treat low blood pressure, urinary incontinence, narcolepsy and depression ↑for treatment of bronchial asthma, nasal inflammation, and the common cold
Ginger ↑fatigue resistance in athletes, Ø body composition, Ø oxygen consumption Ø muscle strength in athletes ↓inflammation biomarkers (creatine kinase (CK), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) anti-inflammatory Ø metabolic rate
Tribulus Terrestris ↑ testosterone production in healthy male ↑ production of luteinizing hormone (LH) ↑ Muscle growth. ↓inflammation ↓ oxidative damage in muscle, ↑cardiovascular and HSDD Ø body composition Ø maximal strength Ø muscular endurance in resistance-trained males during training ↓hypertension, and ↓hypercholesterolemia ↑ libido ↑ prostate, ↑ urinary system ↑ cardiovascular system
Rhodiola Rosea ↑ muscle fatigue resistance ↑ performance ↑ time to exhaustion by 3% on a cycle ergometer, Ø maximal strength reduce lactate levels Ø muscle damage parameters after cardio-pulmonary exhaustion test in trained male athletes Ø oxygen consumption, cycling time or muscle strength Ø oxygen uptake and muscle performance ↑digestive system, ↑cardiovascular system ↑sexual function and ↑libido. ↓stress and anxiety syndrome, ↑nervous system ↑norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine. ↑attention, memory, concentration and intellectual capacity, Ø immune system response of marathon athletes
Cordyceps Sinensis ↑aerobic capacity ↑muscle fatigue resistance ↑lactic acid production, heart rate variability and blood pressure during maximal graded test in sedentary subjects ↑cardiovascular responses in health runners Ø on steroids hormones in resistance-trained young male adults Ø on aerobic capacity or endurance exercise performance in endurance-trained male cyclists. ↑ treatment of cholesterol ↑ Immune system ↑ stimulation sexual ↓stress ↑ renal function in patients with chronic allograft nephropathy ↑regulate blood pressure by stimulating vessel dilation ↑ the nitric oxide production, ↑oxygen exchanges through capillary barrier
Ginkgo biloba ↑muscle tissue blood improved microcirculation enhances exercise performance Ø on improvement of walking economy in patients with PAD. ↑the endurance performance lending to greater VO2max and time to exhaustion in health young. ↑circulation of blood and in particular cerebral blood circulation ↓Alzheimer’s disease, ↑memory ↓migraines and headaches. Parkinson’s disease ↑cognitive performance especially in elderly with dementia syndrome
Cayenne ↑ resistance training performance ↑ treat diarrhea, cramps, and muscle inflammation ↑ stimulation of sympathetic nervous and greater lipid oxidation in long distance male runners
Arnica ↓muscle soreness and cell damage after distance running in marathon runners ↑muscle strength in patient with osteoarthritis of the knee ↓pain ↓cardiovascular risk ↑treat inflammatory, infectious diseases ↑ immune system
Astragalus ↑ aerobic performance in runner ↑immune system ↑treatment for inflammation in cancer disease
Salix alba ↑to treat musculoskeletal and joint-related conditions (injuries, inflammation) ↑treat pain, inflammation, osteoarthritis, aches ↓fevers ↓joint pain in patients with osteoarthritis ↓ back pain in patient with low back pain
Saffron ↓levels of Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and creatine kinase (CK) in sedentary women following one bout of acute resistance exercises ↑superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) activity in seminal plasma and sperm DNA damage in young healthy nonprofessional cyclists Antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, antitussive, antigenototoxic and cytotoxic effects, anxiolytic aphrodisiac, antioxidant, antidepressant, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and relaxant activity. ↑memory and learning skills ↑ blood flow in choroid and retina
Fenugreek ↑endurance capacity and fatty acids ↑free testosterone levels ↓serum creatinine Ø in kidney profile (enzymes)
Myrtus Communis ↑ anaerobic performances, serum proteins and Iron ↓triglycerides antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hair tonic, analgesic, cardiotonic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, nephroprotective, antidote, brain tonic and antidiabetic
  1. ↑improve, ↓reduce, Ø no effect