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Summary

Rhodiola rosea is a flowering herb that grows in parts of Europe and Asia. Also called golden root or arctic root, rhodiola has long been used as a medicinal treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression. While there are still many unknowns about how rhodiola manages to accomplish these feats, Rhodiola rosea root health benefits are numerous like:

  • Reduce mental and physical fatigue
  • Improve memory and learning abilities
  • Improve brain function
  • Reduce the severity of stress-related mental problems like anxiety and ADHD
  • Increase the physical benefits of exercise

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of rhodiola root and rhodiola rosea root uses and determine how this herb can improve your health.

Health Benefits of Rhodiola root

Rhodiola extract can reduce stress and aging

Stress is a major contributor to premature aging. The more stress we feel in our daily lives, the more pressure we put our blood and organ systems under to keep our body running [1]. We also produce stress hormones, which further strain our bodies. Rhodiola extract appears to diminish stress markers and associated immune pathways, reducing chronic stress and associated aging [2].

Another recent study looking at the effect of rhodiola on aging found that this herb can reduce the risk and severity of several age-related diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This herb has been administered since ancient times in China for its anti-aging properties [3].

Rhodiola can reduce physical and mental fatigue

Rhodiola has been used in Russia and Europe in traditional medicine to treat various conditions like fatigue and weakness [4, 5, 6]. A recent review examining the wide range of studies performed on this subject found that Rhodiola rosea reduces mental fatigue and enhances physical performance [7]. This herb has also been credited with reducing symptoms of burnout in patients [8].

While we don’t fully understand how rhodiola accomplishes this, it seems to significantly impact the brain function and mood. This means it can boost your energy levels and keep you feeling better. A recent clinical study examining the effect of Rhodiola rosea ingestion on exercise found a higher rate of arousal and pleasure after exercise in the group consuming the herb than those who did not [9]. Participants felt better about their performance and healthier after exercising when they consumed Rhodiola rosea as part of their physical regime, and that means you could benefit physically and emotionally from using this herb as part of your workout program.

Read “Fenugreek Health Benefits.”

Rhodiola rosea can improve learning capabilities and memory

The effects of this herb on the brain go beyond mood and energy. It can also increase your learning and memory [10]. A total of 36 animal studies were recently reviewed. The general conclusion was that the vast majority of these studies showed rhodiola improved the animals’ learning capabilities and memory capacities. Researchers believe this could be due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis, or other functions of this herb, but it’s unclear which is the key player here yet [11].

Rhodiola rosea can reduce symptoms of mental health disorders

Rhodiola rosea appears to also have some interactions with dopamine receptors in the brain. These interactions (seen in a mouse model) suggest that this herb could be a natural alternative to pharmaceutical antipsychotics [12].

Rhodiola rosea showed antidepressant effects in mice, acting as an anxiolytic (preventative anxiety measure) [13]. It also showed depression-reducing effects in humans, improving symptoms and severity in clinical trial subjects consuming 340-1,360mg of extract daily [14]. Rhodiola has also shown potential in reducing symptoms and severity of ADHD, but much more work remains to be done in this area [15].

Rhodiola rosea can improve physical capabilities

Because this herb acts as a powerful antioxidant and mental health stimulator, it also can boost physical performance [16]. Oxidative stress and poor mental health tend to decrease your physical abilities because your body is under strain [17]. By reducing this extra stress on your body, you can boost your physical endurance and capacities to new heights.

Read “How to Gain Muscles With a Plant-Based Diet.”

Rhodiola rosea can improve central nervous system health

Another way rhodiola might be reducing stressors in our body is by acting as a neuroprotective, protecting our central nervous system. Rhodiola has been noted in studies to mediate oxidative and immune-stimulated stress through several pathways in our central nervous system, but little about this process is fully understood yet [18].

In Conclusion, Rhodiola Rosea Root Health Benefits

Rhodiola Rosea is an undervalued product that can provide an abundance of health benefits. With benefits noted in human and animal trials looking at physical and mental health, it seems the uses of this root are endless. As natural alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical treatments for physical and mental disorders increase in demand, you may see more rhodiola extract products hitting the shelves at your local health food store or pharmacy. You might be interested in “6 Herbs for Brain Health.”

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