Are you in need of a little pick-me-up? Consider Rhodiola – or more specifically, Rhodiola rosea –one of my favorite herbs used to improve energy and reduce fatigue.
Also known as Artic or Golden Root, Rhodiola is part of a class of plants and herbs known as adaptogens. Adaptogens work with our adrenal system to manage the body’s hormonal response to stress – and, as the name implies, they adapt to whatever our bodies need at the time. Rhodiola, as well as other adaptogenic herbs, balances cortisol throughout the day, raising or lowering it as needed.
Rhodiola is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Siberia and Northern Europe, and its uses can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient times, the herb was secretly trafficked across the Russian border to China, where it was used by Chinese emperors who saw it as a means to immortality. More recently, Russian Olympians in the pre-Cold War era kept hidden their use of Rhodiola to increase athletic performance.
It may have taken thousands of years, but the secret is now out about the numerous benefits of this wondrous herb. While Rhodiola is best known for its ability to boost energy levels, researchers have identified additional benefits that make it a great natural supplement of choice for anyone feeling the effects of stress and fatigue.
Here are just a few of them:
Improves Mental Clarity
Rhodiola can improve concentration and sharpen mental skills, partly by fighting fatigue. And unlike caffeine, Rhodiola’s adaptogenic properties allow it to work gently with your body – so you won’t crash a few hours after taking it. Best taken in the morning, Rhodiola has been shown to improve mental performance throughout the day.
Fights Depression and Anxiety
Considered a natural mood booster, Rhodiola also can work well in treating mild to moderate depression, while also reducing nervousness, agitation and irritability.
Its balancing effects enhance the transport of serotonin precursors tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan – helping to alleviate depressed mood. Plus, many patients report seeing improvement in mood within 1-2 weeks – much more quickly than with typical antidepressants. Meanwhile, Rhodiola also has shown promise in treating generalized anxiety and bipolar disorder – with much fewer side effects than traditional anti-anxiety and antidepressant prescription medications.
Aids in Weight Loss
Before popping a dangerous diet pill, consider Rhodiola as an added supplement in your weight-loss efforts. It’s shown promise as a dietary aid that burns body fat as fuel – especially belly fat.
Enhances Physical Performance
The Russians knew their “secret” herb helped athletes perform at their very best … but what they may not have known are the additional physical benefits of Rhodiola. As a mood and energy booster, Rhodiola can also increase stamina off the field – and in the bedroom. More and more men and women are turning to the herb for its ability to improve libido and sexual functioning, without the side effects of Viagra and other prescription medicines that treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual conditions.
Recommended dosage for Rhodiola rosea is 200-600 mg daily, taken in the morning and early afternoon. Because Rhodiola has a generally stimulating effect, very sensitive people may want to be cautious at first. In rare cases it can make anxiety slightly worse or interfere with sleep. Also, those with high blood pressure should monitor their pressure regularly when first starting Rhodiola to check for any increases.
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