Rhodiola rosea is a perennial succulent plant . There are many common names for this versatile and globally available herb, including Golden Root, Arctic Root, King's Crown, and Roseroot, but they all describe the same plant. You can typically find this small, hardy perennial in cold regions, including Siberia, the Arctic, as well as northern parts of Asia, North America, Europe, and the UK. You can identify these plants by several stems growing from the same root, topped by small flowers of yellowish-white, and the plants commonly grow in cliffs or rocky sea regions. Rhodiola rosea has been used for thousands of years in certain traditional medicine treatments due to the high concentration of organic compounds, such as phenols, alkaloids, flavonoids, and quinones.
There has been a wide variety of research studies conducted on the roots of these plants, as they are where most of the nutrients can be found. These roots have been sought out because they can be dried, powdered, and made into a very beneficial tea, which has been used in Indian and Chinese traditional medicines for centuries. It was initially popularized for its impact on stress and anxiety, but subsequent research has identified a number of other health concerns that can be treated with this versatile herb. You can also find Rhodiola rosea supplements in many herbal shops, which is the most popular way of consuming this herb in western cultures. Now, let's take a closer look at the many health benefits of Rhodiola rosea.
1. Stress Relief
The calming effects of Rhodiola rosea tea have been known for thousands of years, and from the stress of life in rural China to the depression-inducing weather of Siberia, this particular herbal tea has been soothing and calming people for generations. The chemical constituents found in Rhodiola rosea can affect the hormonal levels of the body and induce relaxation.
One of the side effects of Rhodiola rosea is an increase in energy levels, and for those people suffering from fatigue-induced depression, this herbal approach can be life-changing. For people pursuing alternative medicine solutions to their depressive symptoms, Rhodiola rosea tea can be extremely effective. Some of the organic compounds in this widely available herb are considered adaptogenic, which means that it can actually cause long-lasting effects on our hormonal and metabolic states. In other words, rather than treating certain forms of depression and chronic stress, it can actually cure them! In fact, the proven usefulness of Rhodiola rosea extract has led it to be combined with numerous antidepressants on the market, and the results have been very encouraging.
3. Cognitive Abilities
The two health benefits listed above certainly have an effect on the brain and hormone levels that affect mood, but the actual health of the brain is another major concern in modern medicine. Research has shown that Rhodiola rosea can have an effect on numerous aspects of cognitive health, including memory and concentration. For aging populations suffering through the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's, Rhodiola rosea tea can become a daily treatment to boost cognition and memory, thereby keeping your faculties intact for longer.
4. Weight Loss Efforts
Recent research has shown that using Rhodiola rosea extracts and teas for weight loss efforts can be highly effective. The release of adipose tissue is one of the keys to losing weight, and while researchers have been looking for a natural product containing the essential enzymes to do that, Golden Root has been under their nose the whole time. Essentially, Rhodiola rosea speeds up the fat-burning cells in your body, and when combined with exercise, this can seriously speed up your slim down results.
5. Energy Boost
Some of the active compounds found in Rhodiola rosea have been directly linked with increasing metabolism and stimulating greater circulation of blood and oxygen within the body. When organ systems receive more oxygen, they function more efficiently, particularly when muscles, nerve cells, and the brain receive the benefit of that oxygen boost! This has even been relied on by professional athletes in Asia and Russia as a safe and legal energy enhancer.
6. Heart Health
One of the most dangerous substances for our body is actually already inside of us – stress hormones. By reducing the amount of corticosteroids and catecholamines released by the body, we are able to reduce the effects of those hormones on all of our organ systems, including the heart. Excess stress hormones can cause higher blood pressure, heart disease, and dangerous levels of potassium. Research has also shown that Rhodiola rosea can regulate the heartbeat and eliminate heart arrhythmia, as well as a reduction in the chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
7. Cancer Prevention
By increasing the body's natural resistance to toxins, in conjunction with the high concentration of antioxidants found in the roots of Rhodiola rosea, this herb has become closely linked to preventing and treating certain types of cancer. Anti-tumor activity is just as important as antioxidant effects, and this herb boasts both of those. While research into the range of cancers that can be impacted remains ongoing, the early results are very encouraging, primarily with bladder cancer.
8. Immune System
In addition to all of the other impressive health benefits of Rhodiola rosea, it also has a variety of effects on the immune system. This herb can stimulate the production of NK cells in the stomach and spleen, thereby improving the immune response and establishing homeostasis within the body.
9. Sexual Health
In some traditional and modern applications, Rhodiola rosea has also been prescribed for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. This can lead to increased fertility, boosted libido, and a generally healthier sex life, which comes with its own range of psychological, emotional, and physical health.
Warning: Side effects are quite rare following the use of Rhodiola rosea, but when they do occur, they are typically mild and include insomnia, irritability, chest tightness, and increased blood pressure. As always, before adding a new herbal element to your health regimen, you should consult a trained medical professional, and always get your herbal supplements from a trusted herbalist.