Rhodiola Rosea is an herb that has been extensively studied in Russia and Scandinavian countries for over 35 years. It is categorized as an adaptogen because of its ability to increase resistance to chemical, biological, and physical stressors according to the needs of your body.
Studies have shown that rhodiola
• Helps cope with stress
• enhances mood, sleep, and mental focus
• can improve exercise performance
• supports normal levels of neurotransmitters – serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine
Rhodiola has been found to influence the levels and activity of neurotransmitters and the amino acids that mimic the effect of opiates in the brain. Because it is an adaptogen, Rhodiola has the potential to balance neurotransmitters without causing drowsiness or fatigue. In other words, it helps maintain normal levels of brain chemicals but, when they are already normal, Rhodiola will not further affect them.
Medical students given Rhodiola during exam periods reported improved concentration and performance, as well as enhanced well-being, improved sleep, and greater mood stability.
In addition to aiding sleep, Rhodiola can enhance mood and decrease occasional episodes of worry and nervousness, allowing for more efficient functioning under stressful conditions.
Rhodiola has also been used to fight fatigue, improve memory, and increase attention span, making it helpful for those suffering from the more sluggish type of ADD. In addition, scientific evidence points to an ability to fuel sexual energy, boost immunity, and ease depression. Studies on fruit flies showed that it was a factor in increased longevity.
The typical recommended dosage is 200 mg to 600 mg daily for the treatment of fatigue and depression and it is best taken on an empty stomach. Rhodiola should be taken early in the day as it may interfere with sleep rather than enhance it if taken too late in the day. It should not be used in individuals with bipolar disorder or those taking hypertensive or hypoglycemic medications. (As with any herb or drug, check with your physician before taking it.)
Impressed by these studies and improvement in our clients, we use Rhodiola as part of the Amen Clinic’s formula for energy and focus, available through the store on our website.
Some Research Studies on Rhodiola:
Iovieno, N., E.D. Dalton, M. Fava, et al. 2010. Second-tier natural antidepressants: Review and critique. Journal of Affective Disorder June 24, 2010. [Epub ahead of print].
Qu, Z.Q., Y. Zhou, Y.S. Zeng, et al. 2009. Pretreatment with Rhodiola rosea extract reduces cognitive impairment induced by intracerebroventricular streptozotocin in rats: implication of anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences: BES 22(4)318-326.
University of California – Irvine (2007, December 10). Herbal Extract Found To Increase Lifespan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2007/12/071205115232.htm