|Rhodiola - Adaptogenic Herbs & Immunity Enhancers||Darrell Miller||12/06/05|
December 06, 2005 09:31 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Rhodiola - Adaptogenic Herbs & Immunity Enhancers
If someone told you they knew of an herb that was a powerful antioxidant, supported the immune system, and regulated the neurotransmitters that help you deal with stress and its physical and psychological effects1,2,3,4, thereby improving the quality of your life, would you be interested? If you answered ‘YES’, then read on. That herb is available today, and it’s called Rhodiola.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), also known as “golden root”, is one of over 200 different species of Rhodiola, 20 of which are currently used in traditional medical systems in Asia. In fact, Rhodiola has been used in the traditional medical systems in Asia for hundreds of years as a means to stimulate the nervous system, decrease depression and fatigue, and even to help prevent high altitude sickness.
For the past quarter century, Russian and Scandinavian scientists have studied Rhodiola and its constituents. However, much of this research was unavailable to Western scientists until recently. Their research indicates that Rhodiola has diverse benefits on physiological functions, including central nervous system and cardiovascular function. Most of this research was done on Russian athletes.
In fact, it’s now known that Russian athletes used Rhodiola for many decades before Western medicine became aware of it, and it’s believed to be part of the reason Russian athletes were such formidable foes in athletic events of the past half century. Their ability to quickly adapt to the unique stress of athletic competition took on legendary proportions. And this was partially due to supplementation with Rhodiola.
The results of this research led them to classify Rhodiola as an “adaptogen”. The Russian scientist Lazarev (1947) established the criteria for an adaptogen3, and his definition is still valid today:
- • An adaptogen produces a non-specific response in an organism; i.e. an increase in power of resistance against multiple stressors including physical, chemical and biological agents.
- • An adaptogen has a normalizing influence on physiology, irrespective of the direction of change from physiological norms caused by the stressor.
- • An adaptogen is incapable of influencing normal body functions more than required to gain non-specific resistance.
Rhodiola certainly fits these criteria, having shown beneficial results against stressors such as fatigue and nervous tension, as well as anxiety due to different factors such as intense study and dieting2. If these factors are limiting your effectiveness, then Rhodiola may be the answer you’re looking for.
So what does all this mean? It means that Rhodiola can offer generalized, non-specific resistance to physical, chemical and biological stressors you may experience every day, without affecting normal body functions, thereby enhancing the quality of life. Scientists believe that Rhodiola does this in part by promoting the release of certain neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of well-being, as well as regulating hormone production in response to stress1,2,3,4. It also appears to increase the permeability of the bloodbrain barrier to neurotransmitter precursors, aiding and even increasing their beneficial effects. “…the dual action of cognitive stimulation and emotional calming creates benefits for both immediate cognitive and memory performance and for the long-term preservation of brain functions.”
Rhodiola also imparts antioxidant protection by helping to protect the nervous system from oxidative damage by free radicals2. Chemical analysis of the genus Rhodiola has isolated a number of naturally occurring compounds found in the roots and above ground parts of the plant that provide Rhodiola’s adaptogenic properties. Rhodiola rosea differs from other species in the genus due to three unique phytochemicals that only occur in this particular species – rosavin, rosin, and rosarin (collectively referred to as rosavins). Researchers believe these phytochemicals are responsible for the unique characteristics found ONLY in the Rhodiola rosea species2,3. A good quality Rhodiola rosea supplement should be standardized to contain a minimum of 3% rosavins. Other species of Rhodiola don’t offer the same benefits.
In today’s world, stress is one of the most pervasive yet overlooked causes of poor health. NOW® Rhodiola helps the body deal with the adverse affects of stress with a potent, 500mg standardized extract containing 3% rosavins, the unique compounds that give Rhodiola rosea its amazing protective and antioxidant properties. Protect your body and mind with Rhodiola from NOW® Foods!
1) Ramazanov, Zakir & Appell, Brian; Rhodiola Rosea For Chronic Stress Disorder; National Bioscience Corporation, 2002
2) Brown, Richard P.; Gerbarg, Patricia L.; Ramazanov, Zakir; Rhodiola rosea: A Phytomedicinal Overview; HerbalGram: The Journal of the American Botanical Council, 56: 40-52
3) Kelley, Gregory S.; Rhodiola rosea: A Possible Plant Adaptogen (evaluation of therapeutic properties); Alternative Medicine Review, June 2001; 6(3): 293-302
4) Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root, Arctic Root)); intramedicine website, Professional Monographs, January, 2001