Sometimes called rose root, golden root, king's crown or arctic rod, Rhodiola rosea is an herb that grows throughout areas with cold climates in the northern hemisphere. The herb is used in numerous folk remedies in Russia and Scandinavia, and based on its place in traditional herbal medicine, natural practitioners often recommend it for specific conditions. There have thus far been only a few studies into the science behind these therapies.
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Rhodiola rosea is believed by some scientists to be an adaptogen. The word, adaptogen, is a term invented by Russian physicians in the twentieth century and refers to a hypothetical treatment. Specifically, an adaptogen is described as a substance that helps the body remain healthy despite stressors in a person's lifestyle or the environment. Based on this classification, researchers have begun to study how Rhodiola rosea may help people recover from physical and emotional stress. Specifically, scientists are curious as to whether or not the herb can help those who are suffering from fatigue improve mental performance and clarity.
What Is Rhodiola Rosea Used For?
A handful of small studies have been done on the effects of Rhodiola rosea on exhausted and stressed individuals. In 2000, a small study at the Department of Neurology of Armenian State Medical University in Yerevan, Armenia, examined how the herb might benefit doctors who worked night shifts. After taking supplements, doctors who had taken the herb reported improved concentration, short-term memory and cognitive abilities.
Another small study at the Centre of Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspection of the R.F. Ministry of Health in Moscow, Russia, showed that fatigued study participants had an easier time recalling facts when given Rhodiola rosea supplements.
Is Rhodiola Rosea Good For Anxiety?
Because external stressors worsen symptoms of some mental disorders, scientists have also begun to examine how Rhodiola rosea might benefit individuals with certain mental health concerns. In a 2008 study at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of California, Los Angeles, 10 individuals with general anxiety disorder were enrolled in a study and experienced fewer symptoms when given the herbal supplement daily for a year. Another small investigation at the Department of Neurology at the Armenian State Medical University showed a reduction in symptoms of mild to moderate depression in patients after 6 weeks of Rhodiola rosea supplementation.
Is Rhodiola Rosea Good For Athletes?
Athletes put their bodies through tremendous stress during training and competition, and some scientists postulate that using Rhodiola rosea supplements may minimize some of the effects of this strain. A very small study at the Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy in the Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium found that taking the herb 1 hour before exercise improved endurance and performance. The results of a small long-term study at the Department of Health Sciences Laboratory of Sports Medicine and Sport Related Nutrition University of Rome Foro Italico in Rome, Italy, indicate that the herb may help the muscles and bones recover from exercise more quickly.
Does Rhodiola Rosea Work?
It's important to keep in mind that while there have been some studies on Rhodiola rosea thus far, the studies have been very small and therefore cannot necessarily be applied to the general population. More research is needed to confirm the benefits and safety of the use of Rhodiola Rosea. It is important to note that Rhodiola Rosea may interact with medications or other herbal supplements; therefore, you should consult your pharmacist or physician about potential interactions. Before taking any herbal supplement, you should discuss your concerns with your doctor. No herb can take the place of professional medical care, but your physician can help you determine if one of the Rhodiola rosea supplements here at drugstore.com could help you meet your health and wellness goals.