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Sphaeranthus indicus

Sphaeranthus indicus (also known as East Indian Globe Thistle) is a herb with a wide range of reported benefits but minimal research on it. Some studies suggest it to be a potent immunomodulatory and anti-diabetic agent; otherwise under-researched.

Our evidence-based analysis on sphaeranthus indicus features 24 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Summary of Sphaeranthus indicus

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

East Globe Indian Thistle, the most pronounceable name given to Sphaeranthus Indicus, is a medicine from Ayurveda that appears to have a wide variety of claims attributed to it. It appears remarkably potent at a few claims, but a huge limitation of the science behind this herb is that the mechanisms of actions and the actual molecules in the plant that exert these actions are currently not well known at all. Many studies use particular extracts of the plant to concentrate a certain class of nutrients (such as petroleum ether extracts to concentrate the nonpolar compounds like sequiterpenes), and this is as far as the evidence is currently.

It has at least once demonstrated remarkable anti-allergic effects in vitro in preventing mast cell degranulation, and has once been shown to increase testosterone levels (secondary to inhibiting conversion to DHT) with a similar potency of Finasteride. Three times it has shown efficacy in controlling blood glucose, with two of these studies showing similar potency to Glibenclamide (a reference drug used in the treatment of type II diabetes). One study that was in vitro on cancer cell lines noted astonishing anti-proliferative effects in the range of 80-100% inhibition, which competed with many reference drugs used in cancer therapy.

However, all of these studies are highly preliminary. East Globe Indian Thistle is at a crossroads of being amazingly promising yet not having sufficient evidence to support its usage. The lack of side-effects attributed to it may merely be secondary to it not having a large usage in society or sufficient testing.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

There is no human evidence at this moment in time for an optimal dose of sphaeranthus indicus, but based on rat evidence using 200mg/kg then an estimated human dose is:

  • 2,200mg for a 150lb person

  • 2,900mg for a 200lb person

  • 3,600mg for a 250lb person

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

East Indian Globe Thistle, Mundi, Gorakhmundi, Kottakaranthai, Mahamundi

Do Not Confuse With

Milk Thistle

  • Many bioactives are located in petroleum ether or ethanolic extracts; while no evidence supports the notion to say it should be taken with fatty acid containing foods it may be prudent to do so.

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Click here to see all 24 references.