Coop's Corner #5: Verbascoside/Lemon Verbena Extract


Coop’s Corner #5: Verbascoside

Let’s keep this as layman’s as possible so everyone can understand how awesome this compound is.

Verbascoside is the chief component of lemon verbena extract found in Amino IV.

Antioxidants have been shown to be excellent for muscle recovery following exercise. Unfortunately, it’s a double-edged sword: many antioxidants reduce the adaptations to weight training, resulting in poorer performance in the long-run. Examples: resveratrol, vitamin C, NAC, the list goes on. They inhibit a process called “hormesis,” which is quite complex and poorly understood. Google it for further information.

Enter Lemon Verbena, a true all-in-one antioxidant that enhances, not diminishes, the adaptations to physical exercise.

Weight training takes a toll on more than just your muscles. If you look at serum following a weight training bout, you can expect things like high creatinine levels (reflected in bloodwork all too often), elevated inflammatory markers, and transient immunosuppression. Translation: Your blood cells get hit along with your muscles. Thankfully, in healthy humans, lemon verbena is proven to reduce both muscle damage and white-blood-cell damage without blocking the adaptations to exercise [1].

Lemon verbena does this by a complex mechanism (activation of GSH-reductase for those of you who are scientifically-inclined), but what’s important to note is that this antioxidant, cell-protective effect is so profound that it has been noted in repeated trials [2][3][4][5][6], many of which are conducted in actual human athletes. And not only will verbascoside protect your muscles and your immune system, but it preserves your joints as well [7], as demonstrated by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trial: the gold standard in the scientific community.

Lemon verbena may even protect against overtraining, allowing you to push yourself to new limits in the gym
. For instance, anemia is a major side effect of overtraining syndrome, but lemon verbena supplementation has been found to protect red blood cells and even reverse exercise-induced anemia [5][8][9].

But it doesn’t stop there: lemon verbena and its active constituent verbascoside may enhance exercise performance. This is accomplished via four mechanisms:

1. Acetylcholinesterase inhibition [10] – Same mechanism as Alpha-GPC and other cholinergics, which enhance power output in healthy athletes.
2. Blocking the muscular pain signal that makes you quit your set early [11][12] – Same mechanism as rhodiola rosea, again proven in healthy athletes.
3. Directly blocking muscular fatigue by eliminating free radicals [13] – Same mechanism as NAC, again proven in healthy athletes. Unlike NAC, it does not block adaptations to exercise as discussed previously.
4. Improving the efficiency with which your heart pumps [14][15] – This is accomplished via an increase in something known as “prostacyclin,” which as an added bonus, is an effective vasodilator to give you top-notch pumps and nutrient delivery to your exercising muscles. This mechanism is similar to inotropes (ephedrine) in the heart and arachidonic acid (X-gels/X-factor) in the vasculature. This is the primary reason I expected X-gels-esque pumps with Amino IV, and many people are already reporting the unusual pumps for an intraworkout product. The elevation in prostacyclin was huge as per studies: nearly 150%.

Not only are your muscles and heart more resistant to fatigue, but your mind is too. This will allow you to train harder and longer without the concern of overtraining, because verbascoside has you covered on the recovery end as well.

Hopefully that was layman’s enough for everyone here to understand. Even though I tried to simplify the previous Coop’s corners, there were still a lot of lingering questions. Let me know how I did this time!


1. Funes, Lorena, Lucrecia Carrera-Quintanar, Manuela Cerdán-Calero, Miguel D. Ferrer, Franchek Drobnic, Antoni Pons, Enrique Roche, and Vicente Micol. "Effect of Lemon Verbena Supplementation on Muscular Damage Markers, Proinflammatory Cytokines Release and Neutrophils’ Oxidative Stress in Chronic Exercise." European Journal of Applied Physiology 111.4 (2011): 695-705. Print.
2. Funes, L., S. Fernández-Arroyo, O. Laporta, A. Pons, E. Roche, A. Segura-Carretero, A. Fernández-Gutiérrez, and V. Micol. "Correlation between Plasma Antioxidant Capacity and Verbascoside Levels in Rats after Oral Administration of Lemon Verbena Extract." Food Chemistry 117.4 (2009): 589-98. Web.
3. Li, Jingxian, et al. "Effect of Verbascoside on Reducing the Concentration of Oxygen Free Radicals of Skeletal Muscle during and after Exercise." Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 5 (1998): n. pag. Web.
4. Carrera-Quintanar, L., L. Funes, E. Viudes, J. Tur, V. Micol, E. Roche, and A. Pons. "Antioxidant Effect of Lemon Verbena Extracts in Lymphocytes of University Students Performing Aerobic Training Program." Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (2010): No. Web.
5. Liu, Ming-Ju, Jing-Xian Li, Hong-Zhu Guo, Kwong-Man Lee, Ling Qin, and Kai-Ming Chan. "The Effects of Verbascoside on Plasma Lipid Peroxidation Level and Erythrocyte Membrane Fluidity during Immobilization in Rabbits: A Time Course Study." Life Sciences 73.7 (2003): 883-92. Web.
6. Mestre-Alfaro, Antonia, Miguel D. Ferrer, Antoni Sureda, Pedro Tauler, Elisa Martínez, Maria M. Bibiloni, Vicente Micol, Josep A. Tur, and Antoni Pons. "Phytoestrogens Enhance Antioxidant Enzymes after Swimming Exercise and Modulate Sex Hormone Plasma Levels in Female Swimmers." European Journal of Applied Physiology111.9 (2011): 2281-294. Web.
7. Caturla, Nuria, Lorena Funes, Laura Pérez-Fons, and Vicente Micol. "A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effect of a Combination of Lemon Verbena Extract and Fish Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acid on Joint Management." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17.11 (2011): 1051-063. Web.
8. Zhu, M., N. Tan, H. Zhu, G. Zeng, W. He, B. Yu, and X. Chen. "Anti-Sports Anaemia Effects of Verbascoside and Martynoside in Mice." International Journal of Sports Medicine 31.08 (2010): 537-41. Web.
9. Quirantes-Piné, R., et al. "Phenylpropanoids and Their Metabolites Are the Major Compounds Responsible for Blood-cell Protection against Oxidative Stress after Administration of Lippia Citriodora in Rats." Phytomedicine 20.12 (2013): 1112-118. Web.
10. Kahraman, C., I. I. Tatli, I. E. Orhan, and Z. S. Akdemir. "Cholinesterase Inhibitory and Antioxidant Properties of Verbascum Mucronatum Lam. and Its Secondary Metabolites." Z Naturforsch C 65.11-12 (2010): 667-74. Web.
11. Isacchi, Benedetta, Romina Iacopi, Maria Camilla Bergonzi, Carla Ghelardini, Nicoletta Galeotti, Monica Norcini, Elisa Vivoli, Franco Francesco Vincieri, and Anna Rita Bilia. "Antihyperalgesic Activity of Verbascoside in Two Models of Neuropathic Pain." Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (2011): No. Web.
12. Genovese, Tiziana, Irene Paterniti, Emanuela Mazzon, Emanuela Esposito, Rosanna Paola, Maria Galuppo, Placido Bramanti, and Salvatore Cuzzocrea. "Efficacy of Treatment with Verbascoside, Biotechnologically Produced by Syringa Vulgaris Plant Cell Cultures in an Experimental Mice Model of Spinal Cord Trauma." Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology 382.4 (2010): 331-45. Web.
13. Liao, F., R. L. Zheng, J. J. Gao, and Z. J. Jia. "Retardation of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue by the Two Phenylpropanoid Glycosides: Verbascoside and Martynoside from Pedicularis Plicata Maxim." Phytotherapy Research 13.7 (1999): 621-23. Web.
14. Pennacchio, Marcello, Elizabeth Alexander, Yana M. Syah, and Emilio L. Ghisalberti. "The Effect of Verbascoside on Cyclic 3′,5′-adenosine Monophosphate Levels in Isolated Rat Heart." European Journal of Pharmacology 305.1-3 (1996): 169-71. Web.
15. Pennacchio, M., Y. M. Syah, E. Alexander, and E. L. Ghisalberti. "Mechanism of Action of Verbascoside on the Isolated Rat Heart: Increases in Level of Prostacyclin."Phytotherapy Research 13.3 (1999): 254-55. Web.


AnabolicMinds Site Rep
Definitely understandable Coop, and appreciated once again. I have been loving AminoIV, recovery and intra-workout endurance have improved. Now I can better explain/understand why.

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