Rhodiola Rosea doesn’t look like much at first glance because it resembles an unimpressive succulent-like plant that produces yellow flowers when the conditions are just right. But it is one of the hardiest flowers that an unsuspecting person can find.
That is because Rhodiola Rosea does best only in the coldest places of the world, like Russia and northern Asia.
There, it can flourish in infertile soil, which is often covered in gravel and snow.
Those who inhabit the arctic-like regions where it is commonly found in the wild view it as one of the most important homeopathic plants available though, especially for treating anxiety.
How Does Rhodiola Help Your Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental health condition wherein a person feels tense, overwhelmed, full of fear, and in a state of panic and worry.
There are several types of anxiety that a person can be diagnosed with, but two of the most common of them that doctors give are social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder.
A person who has social anxiety has their symptoms triggered whenever they have to be around people that they don’t know at a meeting or a class, speak in public, or have to spend time in a crowd or an embarrassing situation.
Most often, folks with this condition try their best to adapt by avoiding any places where there might be people.
They are sometimes able to make it to the grocery store and do day-to-day tasks though.
Life is much harder for someone with a generalized anxiety disorder because their symptoms are constant, no matter what environment they are in or what they try to do differently.
The main problem that people who have anxiety deal with when they try to get treatment for their mental health condition is that most doctors recommend some type of prescription medication to help reduce their symptoms.
While there are some cases of anxiety that are so severe that a person has no choice but to take prescription medications, many people don’t want to choose this option because of the potential side effects that they have to endure from them.
Also, except for cases of generalized anxiety disorder, medication is usually only needed before someone has to go into a situation where their anxiety could be triggered.
So it just makes sense to take a homeopathic product, like Rhodiola rosea, which causes no withdrawal symptoms and few side effects when it is used occasionally.
Rhodiola Rosea helps anxiety because of its effectiveness as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a type of herbal medicine that helps a person’s body adapt to stress from their environment.
It works so well for this purpose that it has been studied for years by Russia as a supplement to give to soldiers to help them adapt to the stress on their bodies and minds caused by war and training.
But Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has included it in the plants listed in ancient Chinese texts for much longer than this.
The way that adaptogens seem to work isn’t completely understood yet. But researchers think that it seems to be because of the way that they improve a person’s mental alertness, strength, and endurance while they calm the central nervous system. This reduces the natural fight or flight response that a person has when they are put into a situation that causes either real or perceived danger to them.
So since anxiety is mainly caused by a person perceiving the possibility of embarrassment or injury, any homeopathic supplements that help limit their physical and mental response to their perception will, in turn, help them not to have their symptoms.
One of the best things about taking a homeopathic product like Rhodiola for anxiety is that it can help retrain the mind to not react in its usual manner to the perceived threats. It should be taken about an hour beforehand for this purpose though.
That way, it is fully absorbed into the bloodstream. Psychologists, therapists, and counselors in the United States who work with people who have anxiety frequently suggest that they take a calming agent before they begin any kind of cognitive behavioral therapy, but it is usually prescription-based and addicting.
Doctors and mental health workers in European and Asian countries are much more open to the use of homeopathic medicine.
Besides using it as the first line of defense for anxiety, they also suggest it as a supplement to use to relieve the symptoms that prescription-based anxiety medications cause.
What Are the Other Benefits of Rhodiola?
Besides treating anxiety, Rhodiola rosea has been shown to be highly effective for treating the following other health conditions:
Unfortunately, depression often goes hand in hand with anxiety. And it causes a whole host of other symptoms, such as fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, trouble sleeping, mood changes, and trouble concentrating.
Since Rhodiola improves a person’s mood and energy levels, it can often help alleviate some of these symptoms as well.
This plant isn’t meant for use as a long-term treatment for this condition though, especially if it is caused by a person having low levels of serotonin in their body because of a chemical imbalance in their brain.
It is also important to mention that Rhodiola only works on mild to moderate cases of depression.
It isn’t effective for severe depression or manic depression. In fact, it is best that anyone who has been diagnosed with bipolar or manic depression avoids this herbal remedy because some research has shown that it might induce mania symptoms.
This is usually only a mild case of mania where a person will have more energy and racing thoughts though. But since each person has a unique type of body chemistry, caution should be used to ensure it doesn’t cause a more severe reaction.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The main symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is exhaustion that doesn’t get better no matter how much rest a person gets.
Since the condition lasts for years and usually begins after a person has suffered some kind of an infection, treating it isn’t easy.
Rhodiola can help alleviate the exhaustion some by helping to give a person a boost of energy.
Many doctors debate the treatment and legitimacy of fibromyalgia, but for those who have it, the pain is real.
It is thought to occur because of overactive nerves that lie directly under the skin all over the body.
So, whenever a person is touched or moves differently, an instant sensation of pain occurs, which makes sleeping, working, or accomplishing day-to-day tasks very difficult. The central nervous system can be calmed by Rhodiola though, which helps reduce the pain that a person experiences.
The main symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the inability to concentrate. Usually, doctors treat this condition with amphetamines, which are dangerous since they can cause chest pain, high blood pressure, and an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke.
They are also very expensive and highly regulated because they are frequently abused by those who develop addictions to them.
Rhodiola is a much more affordable option though. And it can be found in just about any health food store.
Some research has shown that this homeopathic remedy might also be effective for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is similar to ADD, but also has the added symptom of hyperactivity.
That means, those who have it don’t just struggle with keeping their mind focused, they also can’t control their physical movements either.
Decreased Sex Drive
Rhodiola doesn’t have a direct effect on hormone levels in the body. However, research has shown that it can help improve low sex drives in both men and women.
It seems to be especially effective in helping people who have a low sex drive because of the antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications that they are taking.
Poor Physical Endurance and Performance
People who have to work long hours at a job or train in a marathon often find that Rhodiola will help them to keep going for longer than they normally could without getting tired.
It seems to work well for this purpose because of the way it gently boosts alertness, motivation, and energy levels.
Some bodybuilders find that it improves their ability to work out at the gym for longer periods of time without experiencing muscle exhaustion and pain.
Poor Immune System Response
Some stress is good for a person to endure because it helps increase their motivation to change a bad situation that they might be in or improve themselves mentally and physically.
But if someone has to endure stress for too long, it ends up having the opposite effect. And one of the worst ways that it does this is by damaging the immune system, so a person can’t fight off infections and viruses as well as they normally could.
Besides improving the way that a person responds to long-term stress, adaptogens also help a person heal faster.
For Rhodiola to be the most effective for this purpose, it has to be taken for at least several weeks at a time though.
One of the main struggles that people have, when they go mountain climbing or travel to a region that is at a much higher elevation than they are used to, is altitude sickness.
It is caused by the decreased amount of oxygen that is present in the air at high elevations.
Since its symptoms are fainting, confusion, and lethargy, it helps to start taking Rhodiola one or two days prior to the trip to help combat the effects that the low oxygen level will have on the body.
A good quality iron supplement should be used along with it though because iron is important to the body’s ability to carry oxygen through the bloodstream.
As mentioned previously, there are few side effects of taking Rhodiola for anxiety or any of the other medical conditions that are listed above when it is used on a short-term basis.
However, people who have serious health problems should be sure to check with their doctor first before they take it to make sure that it is right for them.
That is because it can sometimes increase a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. And it can occasionally increase anxiety in people who have certain mental illnesses instead of decreasing it.
Also, if Rhodiola is taken too late in the day, it could make it harder for a person to fall asleep at night because one of its benefits is that it boosts energy.
One of the best things about Rhodiola is that it can be used with several different medications without any drug interactions occurring.
There are a few that it shouldn’t be mixed with though. The first of which is steroids that are being taken to suppress an overactive immune system.
People who have to take this type of medication often suffer from a health condition that involves severe inflammation in the body.
Normally, inflammation is helpful for a short time because it is part of the body’s natural immune system response whenever an illness or injury occurs.
Some people have an overactive immune system that causes their immune system to begin attacking healthy tissue because of the inflammation though.
So it is important that they don’t take any adaptogens, which could trigger this reaction. Rhodiola can also sometimes interfere with birth control pills, MAOI’s, and thyroid medications.
As you can see, Rhodiola is an effective adaptogen that works wonders for people who suffer from anxiety and other physical and mental health conditions.
It causes very few side effects and drug interactions too.
But it isn’t right for everyone, so it is important that anyone who is interested in taking this supplement always checks with their doctor first.