• Dr. Wilde

RHODIOLA


Rhodiola is one of the most commonly used adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are a class of herb or plant essence which boosts the body’s systems against internal and external stressors. Rhodiola especially affects high cortisol levels, helping to manage the impact of physiological stress. The herb has been used for eons, spanning from the Vikings all the way to the indigenous peoples of the Himalayas for scaling summits. In the modern era, it has been studied and tested for its profound benefits on depression, physical endurance, weight loss and fatigue - both mental and physical. Rhodiola is also known by its more idyllic terms of “roseroot” and “golden root”


Source: Grown wild in high altitude, northern climates of Asia, Europe and North America, it can also be harvested at home with specific attention to giving it a cold temperature in a fridge or outside the home during winter to induce germination



Benefits:

Treats Depression: It has been shown to potentially raise dopamine and serotonin, yielding noticeable improvements for those who suffer from mild to major depression. It increases sensitivity to the neurotransmitters in the brain, repairing cells in the hippocampus which plays a central role in memory, emotions and regulating the autonomic nervous system. Its benefits oscillate between sympathetic and parasympathetic responses – our fight or flight reactions and an ability to relax is better regulated and accessible. Rhodiola has been used with success as an alternative to anti-depressant medication


Weight Loss: Visceral fat, or the fat in and around our abdominal organs, is dangerous to our health. Visceral fat is different than the well-known belly fat. Skinny people can have visceral fat and look in shape on the outside, resulting in a better known term "skinny-fat". Rhodiola aids in decreasing visceral fat and overall weight loss. It has shown effective when taken in conjunction with regular exercise, compounding the effects of physical exertion. Rhodiola stimulates the production of a specific enzyme which helps to break down adipose tissue


Increases Energy: Rhodiola induces a multitude of effects which aid in exercise, physical efficiency, recovery and reduction of inflammation and damage. It increases red blood cells which carry oxygen to the tissues, allowing more powerful workouts, less inflammation and quicker recovery. It reduces inflammation and bolsters against oxidative stress. Ingesting Rhodiola can also decrease your heart rate, improving cardiovascular recuperation following workouts


Reduces Fatigue: Shown effective against the symptoms of sleep deprivation, it also addresses adrenal fatigue and mental or emotional overwhelm. Rhodiola further aids in brain fog, poor concentration and mental dullness



Risks: Very few adverse side of effects have been reported, dizziness and dry mouth from oral consumption are two eventualities of long term consumption. Jitteriness has been reported, as well. As with any new supplement, speak to your doctor before including Rhodiola in your health regimen



Sustainability: As it grows in the wild in multiple continents and can be cultivated in a single growing season domestically, there is no indication we will lose out on the health-giving properties of this immortal herb


Processing: It is typically consumed as a powder in capsule form but commonly ingested as a tea or tincture. The tea is steeped a hot but not boiling temperature. Per the dictums of Ayurvedic medicine, herbs, roots and medicines are potentiated in their effects and aided in assimilation by ingesting with pepper and a healthy fat such as avocado, coconut oil or ghee.


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Resources:


http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue56/article2333 - Clinical trials and efficacy of Rhodiola

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790408/ - Effects on insomnia, depression and anxiety

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428505/ - Effects on stress, inflammation and aging

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3808124/- Reduction of visceral fat


How to cultivate your own rhodiola: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/cultivate-rhodiola-rosea-21776.html

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