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I recently learned about Rhodiola Rosea, and its impressive list of health enhancing properties.
Rhodiola, sometimes called Arctic root or golden root, is considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it acts in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress, without disturbing normal biological functions. It’s a superior herb that can benefit Olympians to couch potatoes. The fact that a single plant can have such a wide variety of balancing and healing effects on the body is quite remarkable. It’s been attributed with anti-fatigue and anti-
- Stress reducing capabilities
- A sense of calm/peacefulness
- Fights the blues & depression
- Physical & mental fatigue
- Stimulate the immune system
- Enhance memory & attention span
- Mental and physical endurance
- Increase sexual function
- Fat burning power
- May even assist in weight loss
So far, approximately 140 compounds have been isolated from Rhodiola roots. These include:
- 35 Trace Minerals
- Several volatile oils
- 18 amino acids
- Monoterpene alcohols and glycosides
- Cyanogenic glycosides
- Aryl glycosides
- Phenylpropanoids and their glycosides
- Gallic acid derivatives
Although this herb might not be that familiar to us, it’s indigenous to the mountainous regions of Siberia and Northern Europe. It’s been used in Russian and Scandinavia for centuries as a traditional medicine, and studies of its medicinal applications have appeared in the scientific literature of various European countries. Russia has been using Rhodiola extensively as a tonic and remedy for fatigue, poor attention span, decreased memory, work performance, insomnia, depression, and increasing athletic endurance. A few Nordic countries also use it to increase mental capacity and boost general strength and vitality.
Let’s sum up what Rhodiola can do for our bodies. If you’re looking for shed a few pounds, then you’ll love to learn that according to some studies, Rhodiola may help your body burn stored fat as fuel. It’s active compound rosavin, has been proven to provoke a fat burning response. It stimulates an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase which has the power to break down stored fat.
Rhodiola amps up our energy and athletic performance by increasing our red blood cell count. Hemoglobin is the protein inside red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout our body including our muscles. More oxygen will dramatically improve your energy, vitality, and stamina, plus it impedes fatigue.
Too much stress means too much cortisol which leads to premature aging and a host of other physical issues. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that’s released from the cortex of your adrenal glands. It’s responsible for a wide range of processes within the body including immune responses, the regulation of metabolism, an anti-inflammatory, and responds to stress. Our body releases cortisol in cycles and when in stressful situations. Rhodiola can calm the body from everyday stressors by balancing and reducing cortisol levels.
Is your memory getting bad? Rhodiola has been shown to improve the health of your brain, fight depression, and make you smart. Rhodiola increases the sensitivity of your neurons to the presence of two neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are involved in focus, memory, pleasure and improving your mood. Many doctors of functional medicine prescribe rhodiola as an effective alternative to anti-depressant medications. This treatment is successful because as mentioned, rhodiola increases dopamine sensitivity which improves mood and also helps fight food cravings and addictions.
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