What Is Rhodiola Rosea?
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic medicinal herb made famous for its adoption by the Russian military in the 1960s and 70s.
The plant was virtually unknown to the world until one of the Russian researchers that studied the herb, leaked some of their findings to the rest of the world. The research program was kept top secret for many years as the Russian government searched for supplements that could make their soldiers faster, stronger, and more resilient on the battlefield.
They uncovered some incredible findings in their early research on Rhodiola and started testing it on their military foot soldiers operating in high altitude regions of Northern Siberia.
Since this time, public interest has exploded, and there are now thousands of independent research studies highlighting the many different applications of this incredible plant.
Most people are using Rhodiola supplements to support the stress response. This covers many different applications including athletic training, periods of high stress at work or school, and to help people recover from chronic illness.
Others are using the herb as a daily health supplement to increase their resilience and promote longevity.
The Main Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea Include:
• Improves oxygen handling in athletes and people travelling to high altitudes.
• Improves our ability to handle stress.
• Supports memory and concentration.
• Protects the brain from age-related decline.
• Supports mood and mental health.
The Science Behind Rhodiola Rosea
1. Stress Support
One of the reasons the Russian military was so interested in Rhodiola was for its effects on ameliorating the stress response.
The human body is well conditioned for manageing various forms of stress. Whenever something poses a risk to our health or livelihoods the stress response becomes active. This system is designed to give us a temporary boost to get through the stress unscathed.
The stress response starts with the hypothalamus — a small region in the centre of the brain tasked with controlling how we respond to stress triggers. The hypothalamus sends messages to the pituitary gland, which then sends new messages to the adrenal glands — the source of the stress hormone known as cortisol.
Cortisol is responsible for what we generally experience as “stress”:
• High blood pressure.
• Mental stimulaton.
• Faster breathing.
• Rapid heartbeat.
2. Athletic Enhancement
Rhodiola is a popular athletic supplement for its ability to help us resist stress (see point above) – but it doesn’t end here.
This versatile herb has also been shown to regulate AMPK – an enzyme found within our cells that controls energy homeostasis throughout the body.
As we exercise our cells use up all the available energy. AMPK then steps in to increase the uptake and oxidation of fatty acids and glucose to release their stored energy. AMPK also slows down unnecessary cellular processes like protein synthesis to conserve energy further.
The result is a greater ability to resist fatigue while exercising — especially during endurance exercise.
3. Memory & Cognitive Health
A lot of the memory and cognitive enhancement effects attributed to Rhodiola are a side-effect of its adaptogenic properties. The idea is that if we can resist stress for long periods of time, we can work harder, and longer before becoming fatigued.
There are other ways this herb can improve our cognitive performance though — including its ability to inhibit an enzyme in the brain known as monoamine oxidase.
Monoamine oxidase is an important enzyme that breaks down the monoamine class of neurotransmitters in the brain.
By preventing the activity of monoamine oxidase, these neurotransmitters can build up to higher levels in the brain. This is a common mechanism a lot of other nootropics use to increase focus, motivation and mental energy levels.
Is Rhodiola Rosea The Supplement For Me?
Rhodiola has a lot of uses — so a lot of people can stand to benefit from the herb.
Its ability to increase our resistance to stress makes it an excellent supplement for anybody experiencing high levels of stress on a regular basis. The supplement is especially popular as a daily supplement among students, entrepreneurs, business executives, and athletes.
You can also take Rhodiola for short term stints to prepare for upcoming stresses. This could mean travelling, while recovering from debilitating illnesses, before final exams, or whenever travelling to high altitudes.
Many people will also start taking Rhodiola as they get older to help them maintain energy levels, and resist age-related cognitive decline.
Ingredients & Dosage
Ingredients & Dosage
Ingredients Per Serving (2 Capsules):
Rhodiola Rosea Extract (400mg) (3% Salidrosides).
Ingredients: Rhodiola Rosea, Bulking Agents (Rice Bran, Rice Concentrate), Vegetarian Capsule (HPMC).
Take 2 capsules (400mg) daily with a meal, or as advised by your healthcare professional.