Rhodiola Benefits Backed by Science
As human beings, we often like to see evidence of how things work and when things are backed by science, we are more likely to believe it. So naturally, when it comes to supplements, we want to understand that things have been shown to do what they say they can do.
While we cannot make actual claims about supplements, we can show you through our articles the information that leads you to the science or the study and then you can make up your own mind. We always encourage people to do their own research.
So with that said, today I want to talk about one of my favourite herbs on planet earth. I love this adaptogenic herb for so many reasons and when I don't take it, boy do I feel it (and not in a good way).
That herb is none other than... Rhodiola Rosea! 🌼
This ancient herb's use goes back centuries to the Viking days, where it was used to give the Vikings more endurance and fighting power! For real. It was actually referred to as 'Viking Ginseng'.
Rhodiola was also used by Russian Olympians and Astronauts because of its ability to help their body adapt to both physical and mental stress without the nasty side effects.
The Potential Benefits of Rhodiola are many and some of them include:
- Stress management: because Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb, this means it can help your body to adapt to any type of stress (physical/mental/emotional or environmental)
- Anxiety Relief: With its ability to help you cope with stress, this may also naturally decrease your anxiety levels or feelings of nervousness. It has even been shown to help with panic attacks. This is for use with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder).
- Support for burnout/Adrenal Fatigue: In a study, patients suffering from emotional (stress-related) burnout were treated with Rhodiola Rosea and these patients showed some significant improvements.
- May help Depression and Mood: for people who don't take MAOI antidepressants, Rhodiola may be a great natural alternative for treating depression. It can be taken by people on SSRI drugs but not people who have Bipolar disorder or Bipolar spectrum. It is always best to speak to your trusted Health professional if wishing to transition from medication to natural therapies and supplements.
- Fatigue-fighter: Energy is something most of us would like more of and Rhodiola can be a wonderful, natural way to increase it. It has a naturally stimulating effect and I think that's why it's so popular amongst athletes and people who love to exercise!
- Sleep Improvement: if taken the right way (see tips below), Rhodiola can aid with a better night's sleep and this may be because of its ability to calm stress and anxiety but remember, it is a naturally stimulating herb so please take at the recommended times.
- Hormone Balance: If stress affects hormonal balance - especially in women, it makes sense that something that could help reduce stress could also have a positive effect on hormonal balance right? Rhodiola could be the missing piece to your hormonal hell puzzle?
- Balanced Blood Sugar: in research on animals, Rhodiola was shown to improve Diabetes due to its ability to help lower blood sugar levels. Now, this was conducted on rodents and not humans so more research needs to be done here so this is not conclusive.
- Brain Health & Mental Focus: Rhodiola Rosea has the ability to reduce mental fatigue, improve focus, cognition and even memory (AMEN!). But not only that, it has shown to have neuroprotective qualities and this may be useful to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Dementia and others.
- Powerful Antioxidant: supplementing with Rhodiola may help to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body and this can help with slowing down the aging process, they also play a role in disease prevention (heart disease, cancer and other diseases).
Tips on Taking Rhodiola:
The best time to take Rhodiola is either before breakfast or lunch on an empty stomach. It's not recommended to take it in the afternoon or evening as it may disrupt sleep (due to its stimulating effects)
While it's true, Rhodiola is a natural herb (and a very versatile one at that), it's important to know that not everyone should take it. If you have Bipolar disorder or are on the Bipolar spectrum, it is best to avoid it as it may be too stimulating.
The following drugs are contraindications to taking Rhodiola:
- Birth control pills
- Thyroid medication
- MAOI drugs
If you are unsure, it is always best to speak to your trusted health practitioner. They should be able to guide you to what is best.
This article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as health advice. Statements made have not been evaluated by the TGA and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent and one should always consult with their trusted health professional before adding a new supplement to their diet.