These phytoecdysteroids have medicinal value and are part of herbal adaptogenic remedies like cordyceps , a fungus that grows out of the larvae of several insect species. (Although fungi are not plants, "fungalecdysteroid" does not exist as a category and phytoecdysteroid is the term used.) Medicinal plants tested to include phytoecdysteroids include Achyranthes bidentata [ 3 ] , Tinospora cordifolia [ 4 ] , Pfaffia paniculata [ 5 ] Leuzea carthamoides [ 6 ] , Rhaponticum uniflorum (Zhang et al. 2002), and Serratula coronata [ 7 ] . The ginsengs and Eleutherococcus have not been studied for these compounds but exhibit similar characteristics. [ 8 ]
Ecdysone is a steroidal prohormone of the major insect molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone , which is secreted from the prothoracic glands . Insect molting hormones (ecdysone and its homologues) are generally called ecdysteroids . Ecdysteroids act as moulting hormones of arthropods but also occur in other related phyla where they can play different roles. In Drosophila melanogaster , an increase in ecdysone concentration induces the expression of genes coding for proteins that the larva requires, and it causes chromosome puffs (sites of high expression) to form in polytene chromosomes. Recent findings in Chris Q. Doe lab have found a novel role of this hormone in regulating temporal gene transitions within neural stem cells.  Ecdysone and other ecdysteroids also appear in many plants mostly as a protection agent (toxins or antifeedants) against herbivorous insects. These phytoecdysteroids have been reputed to have medicinal value and are part of herbal adaptogenic remedies like Cordyceps , yet an ecdysteroid precursor in plants has been shown to have cytotoxic properties.  A pesticide sold with the name MIMIC has ecdysteroid activity, although its chemical structure has little resemblance to the ecdysteroids.
As for mechanisms of action, ecydsteroids seem to be able to cause a rapid Ca2+ influx in myocytes which leads to phosphorylation of Akt and thus protein synthesis.  This effect occurs after 10s of incubation, and is inhibited by PI3K inhibitors like seen in other studies, but also GPRC and PLC inhibitors; and when the cells are depleted of intra-cellular calcium Akt does not get phosphoraylized, and binding free calcium with EGTA lowered protein synthesis from 16% to 8%.  Calcium per se can be an important mediator of Akt and protein synthesis  , and ecdysteroids seem to work vicariously through Ca2+ and Akt.