Rhodiola: the ‘golden root’ that relieves anxiety, strengthens the immune system, increases energy and improves cognitive performance

Rhodiola is said to be a natural ‘antidepressant’ (be careful with this) that helps calm anxiety, limits cortisol and makes us feel better. But where does it come from and what are its real benefits?

“Rhodiola or ‘rhodiola rosea’ is a flowering plant found mainly in the arctic regions of Europe, Asia and North America. Also known as ‘rose root or ‘arctic root’, Its long history dates back to the times of the Vikings who used it to give energy to their warriors and, although there is evidence of its use in traditional medicine since Ancient Greece, in recent years it has gained popularity due to its high content of powerful bioactives. antioxidants and anti-inflammatory which, as has been shown, provide various health benefits associated with metabolic health,” explains Andrea Calderón, professor of Nutrition at the European University.

However, “its main effect has to do with its function as adaptogenthanks to some substances it contains such as salidroside and rosavin”.

The properties are located in its ra

The properties are found in its roots and have been known since ancient times and used in traditional Chinese medicine, Siberia and Scandinavia.Shutterstock

What are adaptogens? “Adaptogens are substances that promote resilience, that is, they contribute to the resistance to stress and maintenance of physiological function in situations where balance is challenged: they contribute to reducing fatigue and anxiety or to better rest.

In this sense, “rhodiola seems to improve physical performance under pressure, reducing fatigue and tension drops in sports“, as well as general well-being, which is why it is experiencing great popularity in the nutritional supplement industry.”

Some studies also relate its habitual use “with improvements in mental performance and concentration during exam times or more intense work, and even to reduce fatigue.

Miriam Moral, civil engineer, specialist in integrative medicine and CEO be.integrative points out that “what this adaptogen does is help the nervous system to adapt and is not always in a state of alarm (anxiety). “I like it a lot, because it also reduces the feeling of fatigue, both physically and mentally.”

What you have to be careful with is describing it as a ‘natural antidepressant’, as Andrea Caldern warns us. “Although the studies carried out to date provide promising results regarding rhodiola in cases of depression, the diversity of designs, doses, concentrations of bioactive compounds or administration time, justifies caution and the need for more research.”

Caldern clarifies that “most of the research that finds positive results has been carried out with extracts of SHR-5 from this plant that contains controlled concentrations of salidrside, rosavine, Rosine and p-tyrosol and in situations of mild to moderate depression for at least 6-10 weeks. Its effects revolve around improvements in insomnia, possible emotional stabilization or management of stress and anxiety, and progress in general symptoms. At a deeper level, it acts on the neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine systems, stimulating neurogenesis and improving the function of mitochondria, the inflammatory situation and combating oxidative stress“.

However, he emphasizes, “it must be insisted that, despite the promising results, it is not a treatment for depression and more studies are required for its regular use in conditions of this type.”

Rhodiola can “taken without prescription since it is a freely available supplement.” Normally, the recommended daily dose or one that has shown effects is “around 300-400 mg/day for several weeks, equivalent to 1-2 capsules a day “depending on the concentration of each supplement.”

Although there are no clear recommendations about the best time of day to take it, “it is Preferable in the first half of the day (breakfast or lunch) accompanied with a glass of water“.

Also, “can Take it as an infusion by adding a teaspoon of the root extract to water and let it rest.but the dose and concentration is lower and the studies are based on supplements and not infusions.”

Can it be taken always or do you have to rest? “Currently, we do not have long-term studies that provide results on this matter and, in the majority, they use it for weeks or a few months, which, As a precaution, it is preferable to rest every 2-3 months for approximately a few weeks or a monthalthough it may not be a risk to include it for longer periods of time.”

Rhodiola can be purchased “in specialized nutrition stores and, increasingly, it is an ingredient in supplements found in supermarkets or online stores.”

In this sense, Miriam Moral emphasizes “the importance of taking good quality.” Let’s take note!

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