Rhaponticum is high in 20-E or 20-hydroxyecdysone, one of the most common molting hormones in insects, crabs, and some worms and 20E can disrupt their molting and reproduction. So if an infectious disease involves an invertebrate vector that molts, there is a good chance it can disrupt the life cycle of that vector. Additionally, 20E is a bioactive adaptogen in humans. So, it would help strengthen the patient as well.
Buggin' out: plants use it to keep insects at bay; bodybuilders can use it to build muscle and strength. Here's the strange-but-true science behind a potent supplement--20-beta-ecdysterone.(NUTRITION)
Feb 01, 2007; Would you believe that a substance found in plants that seemingly helps them defend themselves against being eaten by insects...