2003 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 175-180
The present study undertook chemical analysis of components of Pfaffia paniculata roots. In addition, an animal experiment was conducted in which mice had ad libitum access to water enriched with powdered P. paniculata root for 30 days. Changes in plasma concentrations of estradiol-17β and progesterone in female mice and of testosterone in male mice were ascertained. The results revealed that P. paniculata roots contain two types of phytosteroids, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol, in addition to other compounds such as pfaffic acid, allantoin, saponins, β-sitosteryl-β-D-glucoside, and stigmasteryl-β-D-glucoside. Regarding changes in plasma concentrations of hormones, levels of the sex hormones estradiol-17β, progesterone and testosterone were clearly higher for mice that drank P. paniculata root-enriched water than for mice that drank plain water. Powdered P. paniculata root is easily dissolved in feed or water, and as no adverse reactions were seen in mice within 30 days of oral intake, consumption of P. paniculata for long periods of time appears safe.