Rhodiola Rosea Extracts: Lesser-known Facts

Much like physical ailments, mental conditions also get affected, thanks to undue stress levels. The need for medicines to curb such problems is increasing daily and it is not surprising. But how about choosing supplements for the same? Not many are aware of the immense capacities of the herb called Rhodiola Rosea. Popular as a potent adaptogen (a substance that enhances the overall resistance of the body and its functions), the herb has a very interesting history.

Going back in time

Once commonly used for fatigue reasons, the hern that falls in the ‘Crassulaceae family and belongs to the ‘Rhodiola’ genera is still in use to deal with depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental issues.

The history of this plant dates back several thousand years. In 77 AD, Dioscorides, a Greek physician documented the medical importance of the plant, which was then known as ‘The Rodia prize. The medical text where he kept the records of his writings was ‘De Materia Medica’. With several expeditions happening all over the world, a large number of communities depended on the plant to build up their mental stamina and get rid of tension. One particular example would be the Vikings who chose the herb to build their physical strength. Then there were the emperors of China who sent the expeditions to Siberia to bring ‘the golden root’ for medical uses. If not Rhodiola Rosea extracts, Central Asia people relied on a certain tea that was brewed from this herb to treat colds and flu. Besides, Mongolian doctors and physicians had high faith on in tackling tuberculosis and cancer.

Going by research studies on Rhodiola Rosea extracts and the medicinal herb itself, the Soviet Union had made a great push to fight it out with the West in a plethora of departments like an arms race, sports, science, history and culture, medicine, space exploration, military work and so on.

The present state

Characteristic of the cold regions, the name of Rhodiola Rosea differs across the places where it originates. While arctic root is commonly known in one place, golden root, roseroot, and king’s crown are a few other names used to identify the plant. Keeping in mind its miniature size, the names are chosen such that they refer to plants with yellow-colored flowering stalks.

Right from the traditional days, the plant has been collected and consumed all across the mountainous zones of Russia, China, and Scandinavia. The extreme cold climes pose sufficient problems for the people there and to cope with the stress of living in such places or deal with fatigue and increase happiness, the plant and its extracts prove worthwhile.

Studies galore

Talking about the benefits, a 2002 review that came in one of the most reputed journals of the American Botanical Council called ‘HerbalGram’ clearly stated its role in the prevention of stress and exhaustion and most importantly the detrimental effect of oxygen depletion. Further studies have also revealed how it acts as an antioxidant, helping in regulating the immune system functions and provision of sexual energy.

The ‘Nordic Journal of Psychiatry’ in 2007 proved how patients suffering from depression (mild to moderate) started benefitting from the use of Rhodiola Rosea extracts after the symptoms started dissipating shortly. Trial studies conducted on humans in 2008 reported much better results in 10 people who were down with anxiety in just a minimum period of 10 weeks. The results were better than many such over-the-counter antidepressants.

Quite recently in 2011, 11 placebo-controlled human studies have suggested how Rhodiola Rosea extracts can boost both the physical and mental performance of humans, besides treating a host of health conditions.

Verdict from experts

Even the present-day experts who are well-recognized in their areas of study have clearly emphasized how Rhodiola Rosea extracts derived from the herb work wonders to cure ‘21st-century stress. The dosage and frequency of consumption, however, varies with age, sex, bodily condition, and individual needs, so better to leave the same to a specialist. However, one thing that most people have understood by now is that it must be taken early so that no interference is caused in the sleep patterns.Rhodiola Rosea Extracts