Trichopus zeylanicus (of the family Trichopodaceae) is a herb from the areas of India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. It has been used historically by the Kani tribe in India (whom call it Arogyappacha), which uses this plant for its purported anti-fatigue effects. It appears to possess adaptogenic properties, and may be considered an adaptogen. Trichopus Zeylanicus also has been referred to as a Ginseng compound before (although not belonging to the Panax Ginseng family) and is referred to as the Ginseng of Kerala (or Kerala Ginseng).
Claims from the Kani tribe in regards to this herb state that the berries (bioactive portion) can gain enough energy to go days without food, and 1-2 berries can preserve youth, vitality, and prevent decline of the body.
Trichopus Zelanicus, as a herb, contains:
An unnamed glycopeptide, possibly causative to the adaptogenic effects and found in the ethanolic fragment
Sulfhydryl compounds at 2.09 ± 0.31 µg /mg
NADH at 13.06 ± 3.16 ng/mg
Unnamed polyphenols at 43.33 ± 6.21 µg/mg
In mouse tests (young and old), 250-500mg/kg Trichopus zeylanicus added to the feed was able to improve physical performance. Similar effects have been seen in mice with doses ranging from 12.5-100mg/kg bodyweight of the ethanolic extract of the plant, where Trichopus at 12.5mg/kg bodyweight was roughly as effective as 125mg/kg bodyweight Ashwagandha, and doses ranging from 25-100mg/kg bodyweight were significantly more effective than Ashwagandha in preventing the decline in motor control and attenuating a rise in fatigue after exhaustive swimming (with subsequent physical testing immediately after). When assessing physical performance in the aforementioned swim task (swimming until fatigue), Trichopus Zeylanicus was able to increase swim time by 40.33% (12.5%) to 103.47% (100mg/kg) whereas Ashwagandha at 125mg/kg was only able to increase time to fatigue by 38.85%.
The mechanism of action by which it increases performance seems to be independent of adrenaline-mediated mechanisms. The effects seen may be secondary to anxiolysis (reducing anxiety) and the adaptogenic effects.
Preliminary evidence suggests it is a potent performance enhancer, although whether this is inherent increases in performance or just secondary to a reduction in anxiety in the test animals is not known. It appears to be more potent than Ashwagandha, which is relatively impressive
One study in mice using charcoal as a fecal marker noted that Trichopus Zeylanicus may reduce gastrointestinal motility (the speed of bowel evacuation).
Trichopus Zeylanicus has been implicated in being able to exert anti-oxidant, anti-lipid peroxidation, and anti-lipoxygenase effects and protect DNA from oxidation by reactive oxygen species. The anti-oxidant effects are outperformed by an equal dose of Ganoderma Lucidum while Trichopus Zeylanicus possesses more anti-lipid peroxidative effects.
Trichopus Zeylanicus is touted as an adaptogenic compound able to reduce stress.
One study conducted in mice measuring both inflammation (as a response to exercise) and gastric ulceration (as a response to stress) noted significant attenuation when Trichopus Zeylanicus was fed at 12.5-100mg/kg bodyweight ethanolic extract; reducing 100% ulceration rates in the control group to 82.04% (12.5mg/kg) to 41.95% (100mg/kg) with dose-dependent effects. These effects were slightly more potent on a per weight basis relative 125mg/kg bodyweight Ashwagandha used as an active control, which suppressed levels to 59.26% of control. Trichopus was also able to dose-dependently reduce rectal hypothermia, a biomarker of stress, and all doses were slightly more effective than Ashwagandha.
Trichopus Zeylanicus appears to have aphrodisiac properties in male mice through a fat soluble component at 200mg/kg bodyweight.
Two tests (performed by the same researchers) and one by another research group note that the LD50 value was greater than 3g/kg bodyweight and that consumption of up to 3g of this herb (and 100mg of the ethanolic extract) for up to 15 days showed no observable abnormalities.