Rhodiola – whose full scientific name is “Rhodiola Rosea” – is an arctic plant that is strong, resilient, and beneficial.
It is identifiable by its colorful petals that are primarily yellow or a yellow-green combination.
Sometimes the petals have red tips, too. This versatile plant belongs to the rose family. It is a tundra species and grows naturally in parts of Asia, Europe, and North America, particularly in higher altitudes and in mountainous regions.
Rhodiola also goes by the names of “King’s crown,” “Roseroot,” Golden root,” and “Arctic Root.”
It sometimes grows in the form of clustered plants, but it can also be grown as a ground cover when cultivated and trained by humans.
Given its ability to reduce stress and boost memory, this plant is called the “wonder drug” of the northlands.
For years, Rhodiola has been used in Russia and the Scandinavian countries for a variety of benefits such as boosting work productivity, promoting relaxation, and improving mood.
And the good news is that if you’ve experienced some of these benefits already by using Rhodiola, it’s not just in your head.
Studies in humans and animals have shown that taking Rhodiola reduces and helps prevent stress, fatigue, and the negative effects associated with inadequate oxygen supplies such as wheezing, shortness of breath, frequent coughing, and skin that turns a bluish color.
Taking Rhodiola for stress on a regular basis can also produce other benefits like boosting your immune system function and increasing your sexual energy. It has also been found to increase levels of physical energy and even provide resistance against the effects of altitude sickness.
Rhodiola is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a versatile all-around substance that can reduce symptoms associated with both physical and psychological ailments.
After its effects have been studied and documented on humans and animals for many years, Rhodiola is considered to be an effective substance to naturally reduce stress levels and produce a variety of additional health benefits.
How Does Rhodiola Impact Your Stress?
Of all the benefits that it offers, Rhodiola is most widely known as a stress reliever. In fact, its ability to reduce stress levels has been known for years. While the general consensus among scientists worldwide is that more studies are necessary to fully understand its benefits, preliminary studies have shown that Rhodiola is effective in easing stress and tensions.
It is also reported to have few side effects, which makes it a great natural alternative to conventional medications.
Like other supplements, Rhodiola makes its way into the bloodstream to start producing health benefits.
As a dietary supplement, it is processed and distributed in the form of root extracts. It can be ingested through several forms.
Capsules and tablets are the most common, but it is also eaten raw in some areas of the world.
Studies involving Rhodiola have found that it is an effective stress-reliever when taken in quantities of at least 400 MG every day for a period of one month (four weeks).
This initial study showing Rhodiola benefits was performed on a test group of about 100 people.
These individuals signed up for the study based on self-reported high volumes of stress related to their work and personal lives.
The participants were carefully screened and questioned prior to the study to check for other physical and psychological conditions that could explain their stress levels.
They were then carefully studied during the trial period to check for changes in their stress levels.
At the end of the month-long (four weeks) trial, the scientists conducting the study found that Rhodiola did indeed have a positive effect on reducing the stress levels of the participants.
Like many arctic species, Rhodiola is considered to be quite hardy and adaptable. In the wild, it has the ability to withstand and adjust to a number of adverse environmental conditions.
These properties are called “adaptogens,” and they are a main contributing factor in helping Rhodiola survive, and even thrive, in even the most seemingly impossible conditions.
The adaptogens in the plant enable it to quickly develop a resistance to whatever stressor it is facing, whether it is brutally cold temperatures or disease.
Perhaps not surprisingly, these same adaptogenic properties make Rhodiola beneficial for use in humans, too.
When you take a capsule or tablet of Rhodiola, its adaptogenic capabilities are transferred through the supplement.
The benefits are cumulative, and after a while, your body will build up its own defenses to help you naturally cope with anxiety, stress, and fatigue. In clinical trials, this resilience has shown promise in potentially fighting off or destroying pathogens too.
In studies, researchers found that by taking the recommended 400 MG each day in either a tablet or capsule form, participants’ resistance to stress was increased.
And it doesn’t take long for the benefits to set in; improvements were noticed after a short trial period of just one week.
Based on this preliminary research, it appears promising that Rhodiola may very well be an effective method of reducing stress hormone levels.
In turn, this can provide a number of additional health benefits, including helping you sleep better at night.
Over time, learning to manage stress can even have a positive impact on your physical health, such as eliminating or reducing the severity of heart problems that are related to stress.
Since it is an anxiety-relieving substance, some people even take the herb to help with their physical performance and to reduce both physical and mental fatigue.
Therefore, it can be said that this versatile arctic plant is beneficial for relieving both physical and mental stress.
What are the Benefits of Rhodiola on Stress?
Research shows that taking Rhodiola on a regular basis can reduce stress levels related to daily life.
However, it should be avoided before bedtime as it can act as a stimulant. The supplement is most effective when taken on an empty stomach, but it can be combined with meals if it causes stomach upset.
One of the appeals of taking Rhodiola for stress is that it does not have safety concerns or produce unwanted side effects as many conventional medicines do. In studies, the only side effects reported in taking the supplement were some minor digestive sensitivities.
Dizziness and dry mouth were also reported, but infrequently.
Side effects were typically reported among study participants who took the highest dosages of the supplement and who used it for the longest period of time.
If stomach upset occurs while you are taking this supplement, you can simply eat it with food instead of eating it before a meal.
Although it may produce some mild side effects, the supplement is not considered dangerous to humans when used under the care of a physician.
Based on animal studies, the supplement was only found to be hazardous to health in extremely high doses.
The amount of supplement currently recommended for humans is less than five percent of the amount that has been found to be toxic to animals.
This means that unlike many supplements, Rhodiola is one of the safest types of stress and anxiety relief on the market.
Another advantage of this superstar supplement is that it does not give you side effects that other kinds of medications do for relief from stress, anxiety, and depression.
Many prescription medications for mental health conditions pose a much more serious risk of adverse reaction than Rhodiola.
This boosts the supplement’s appeal for use as an alternative to some types of prescription medications.
In some cases, it can also be used in conjunction with therapy or medication. This is beneficial because it cuts down on the amount of a standard medicine that patients have to take.
This, in turn, reduces the possibility of encountering negative side effects. Studies have demonstrated that the supplement is just as effective as prescription medicines for alleviating stress symptoms.
More research is needed, but it has also been shown in early studies to be a potentially effective replacement for certain medications that are designed to control depression and other mental health problems, too.
What is important to know about taking this supplement is that it comes in several different varieties.
While all supplements will have a positive effect on your physical and mental health, choosing the right kind of supplement is essential to get the most relief from your specific condition.
In total, there are 140 chemical compounds in the plant. The two most potent compounds are called rosavin and salidroside and rosavin.
Rosavin is classified as a cinnamyl alcohol compound. Along with salidroside, it is believed to be one of the main compounds in the plant that alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Both compounds are included in many forms and supplements.
They are also sometimes added to alcoholic beverages like vodka, where they add a bit of unique flavor and also provide consumers with health benefits.
Salidroside is even more potent than rosavin.
It is believed to have even more power to reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Because of its strength and healing properties, this compound is also used in some traditional Chinese medicines.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the compound is also recognized for its ability to calm the nervous system and reduce stress and tension.
Some plants contain more of one type of compound than others. This characteristic tends to be based on geographic location, which means that plants that grow in one specific region will have a slightly different chemical composition than an identical species of plant growing in another place.
For instance, the chemical compounds of rosarian, rosin, and rosavin are found in the largest quantities in the Rhodiola plant that grows in the mountains of Russia.
In China, the most potent chemical compounds in the plant are octanol and geraniol.
To maximize benefits to consumers, there is a considerable amount of cross-research among scientists looking to study the most powerful benefits of Rhodiola plants in various locations.
Based on the findings of scientists’ research, they can design and market the supplements in such a manner that people understand exactly what they’re getting.
For the full effect of stress and anxiety relief, be sure to look for a supplement that contains at least 1% salidrosides and 3% of rosavins.
This is the standard internationally recognized amount that the supplements should have to produce the same benefits that participants saw in initial research studies.
The supplements should also be packaged with a label that says “NSF” or “USP.”
This means that they were manufactured and sold by a third-party entity that has legally produced the supplement without any impurities or changes.
As with any supplement, there is always the possibility that you might end up with a sub-par product if you’re not careful about where you get your supplement from and who initially made it.
Along with making sure that you’re getting a standard, high-quality supplement, you should make sure that you are medically fit to start taking it.
As with any type of supplement, it’s best to talk to your doctor first before starting this supplement.
Rhodiola may interfere with certain types of medication, including medicines for diabetes, thyroid problems, and some mental health conditions.
It may also interfere with blood clotting when taken in higher doses.
Its use has not been extensively studied in pregnant women, so women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing should consult their physicians before starting to take Rhodiola for stress, anxiety, pain relief, and any other reason.
This website has a comprehensive list of medications and conditions that may interfere with your ability to take the supplement: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/rhodiola-rosea.
With over 100 useful compounds and innate physical properties that make it resilient and powerful, it’s no wonder Rhodiola is considered to be one of the most powerful and effective forms of stress and anxiety relief. Its benefits have been celebrated for years by traditional cultures across Europe and Asia.
Today, it is widely used in those areas along with the Scandinavian countries.
As evidence of its benefits continues to grow, the supplement is also making a name for itself in North America.
It is available in supplement form in many physical locations and online.