Meet Rhodiola: The Anti-Stress Root
Also known as ‘Golden Root’, rhodiola is a legal, non-toxic and health-enhancing root that can be found growing in the cold areas of Europe, the Artic and Asia. It is has been prized for centuries amongst Scandinavian cultures, and is a common herbal remedy in Russia and the Far East.
Rhodiola is what is known as an adaptogen, meaning it adapts the individual’s constitution to increase their resistance to stress – all without affecting normal biological function. This allows it to benefit the body as a whole.
The advantages of taking Rhodiola:
1. Rhodiola helps the body deal with stress
Stress is unavoidable. No matter what you do in life, you will encounter some sort of stress at least during some periods, it is natural. Stress doesn’t only come in the form of work pressure, stress can come in the form of a toxic environment, emotional difficulties or illness. Effectively managing stress and reducing its impact on the body is crucial to lead a healthy life.
As an adaptogen, rhodiola offers a great aid in managing stress, as it increases the overall resistance of the organism to deal with said stresses. The adaptogenic qualities of rhodiola help balancing the stress responses of the sympathetic nervous system with those of the parasympathetic system. When one of these systems is operating out of balance with the other, it can lead to stressful situations to making us feel tired, depressed and overwhelmed.
2. Rhodiola Boosts the mood
Rhodiola increases the sensitivity of our braincells to dopamine and serotonin. This allows rhodiola to give a mental boost, enhancing memory, focus, mood and pleasure (amongst many other things dopamine and serotonin are involved with). For this reason, it is traditionally used in places like Russia and Scandinavia to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where environmental factors like low light can make you feel glum. This ability to boost mood and enhance emotional stability has also resulted in rhodiola being seen as a natural way to help supplement the treatment of depression; however, if you suffer from bipolar disorder, mania, or are taking MAOIs, then it is highly recommended to consult a doctor first (always do so if in doubt).
3. Rhodiola enhances endurance and relieves fatigue
As an adaptogen, Rhodiola can both increase potential for physical exercise, as well as relieve tiredness and fatigue. Without caffeine, Rhodiola effectively increases energy and stamina, which is why it is often used among athletes in Russia. Rhodiola does this by increasing levels of ATP and creatine phosphate within the body. Rhodiola also contains antioxidants that protect cell membranes and DNA whilst increasing cardiovascular function, and thus oxygen efficiency. It also increases the manufacture of restoring proteins, which repair the microscopic damage that is inflicted when you exercise. All of these traits make for quite a useful combination.
4. Rhodiola can assist in losing weight
Rhodiola has the potential to aid healthy weight loss. It enhances the activity of HSL (Hormone-Sensitive Lipase) enzymes, which give the body better access to stores of fat for the creation of energy that is normally hard to use, such as those found in the cells of our belly.
5. Rhodiola May act as an aphrodisiac
Rhodiola is reported to have aphrodisiac like effects, although this is not well documented. It may just be a result of an overall boost to wellbeing and reduced stress, allowing you to feel more energized and happy - which leads to an increased libido.
The easiest way to take rhodiola is in the form a tincture or capsule. Rhodiola taste pleasant, somewhat similar to roses. Have a look at our own Zamnesia Rhodiola tincture, which has been carefully produced by macerating the root over extended period of time.
Rhodiola is a powerful herb. It is a highly effective overall tonic that increases resistance to stresses and energizes without the jitters of caffeine. If you need a boost, give this root a try.