Immunopharmacology of the Main Herbal Supplements: A Review
Angelo P. Amico, Annamaria Terlizzi, Sabino Damiani, Maurizio Ranieri, Marisa Megna and Pietro Fiore
Affiliation: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit, Neuroscience and Sense Organs Department, “Aldo Moro” University of Bari, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.
It is debated whether the use of herbal supplements in endurance sports, in order to have a better performance,
is correct or not, from the perspective of both as safety and as effectiveness. In this review we try to find out if the most
common herbal supplements (Echinacea, Rhodiola, Ginseng) are effective in the improvement of performance or in the
modulation of the immune system. According to the results of our review, the prevalent effect is adaptogenic rather than
ergogenic, with a better tolerance of the exercise induced stress, related to enhancement of the whole immune system and
decrease of the oxidative damage.
Keywords: Adaptogenic, echinacea, ginseng, herbal supplements, immune system, performance, rhodiola.
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