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The Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea

December 13, 2013

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If you need a stress reliever and mood booster, rhodiola may be just what the holistic doctor ordered.

Also called Arctic root, golden root, and roseroot, the rhodiola rosea plant thrives in regions with cold climates. It bears bright yellow flowers and roots that smell like roses when dried. The most effective and popular species is native to the frozen tundra of Siberia, so it’s also commonly known as Russian rhodiola.

How does it work?

For centuries, rhodiola has been used in Scandinavia and Russia. The ancient Romans were the first to document its health benefits, initially as a remedy for headaches and then as a general tonic for whatever ailed them.

Today, we’re equally hip to the benefits of this miraculous herb. As a medicinal treatment, it’s commonly used to increase energy, stamina, strength and mental capacity.

Studies show that rhodiola’s most promising function, however, may be to remedy anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The herb is thought to alleviate these conditions by boosting the brain’s levels of serotonin.

Research also shows that rhodiola can enhance the immune system and ease the symptoms of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and diabetes. Some evidence even suggests that its high concentration of antioxidants may help prevent the development of cancer cells.

How do you take it?

Rhodiola rosea extract can be taken in pill form as a dietary supplement, as well as in teas, tinctures, and tonics.

Rhodiola is non-addictive and non-toxic.  As an adaptogen, it acts in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress without throwing the body off-balance.

When taken in moderate doses, there are no side effects. But if taken in high doses, side effects may include insomnia, nausea, allergic reactions and irritability.

To avoid complications, follow the dosage recommendations exactly, usually a minimum of 100 mg daily, up to 400 mg per day.

Check trusted retailers and health food stores for reputable brands like Gaia Herbs, Nature’s Way and Now Foods.

Would you try rhodiola to relieve your symptoms of stress, fatigue and depression?