Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
On today’s episode, I am going to be giving you an introduction to Rhodiola. Rhodiola is a fabulous adaptogenic herb and there is so much science behind how it helps to optimize your health.
What is Rhodiola?
An adrenal adaptogenic herb works to modulate the body’s response to stress. For many, this is something that as you get older, you may find using an adrenal adaptogen extremely beneficial. There are many, like Ashwaghanda, Cordyceps, Lemon balm but I love Rhodiola.
The reason why is that the science behind it is so incredibly validating for how it is working in your body. It plays an integral role in enhancing cellular energy production. This is an herb that grows in an inclement environment like the Siberian mountains where it is extremely cold. Yet, the herb thrives. The roots themselves are what yields all of the powerful constituents.
The Science Behind Rhodiola Extract
The research is impressive across the board. One study published in the Complimentary Medicine Research Journal where researchers were looking at the impact of Rhodiola and chronic fatigue syndrome – how it works to successfully treat patients with fatigue lasting six months or longer.
In a separate study, subjects that had chronic fatigue were given the extract every day for eight weeks. After just ten days, patients started to see a significant shift in their level of stress, sleep quality and overall mood. At the end of the eight weeks, over 80% of the participants reported benefit.
Other than for sleep and stress, use of this beneficial herb has been reported in athletes, as well. Athletes are extremely subjected to cellular fatigue, which needs to be restored. Rhodiola was shown to improve cellular energy when used pre- and post-workout.
How Adaptogens Work In The Body
Rhodiola works on a few different mechanisms in the body. It’s adaptogenic properties help with stress. We also know it is beneficial for oxidative stress, which can be damaging to your cells.
The Perelman School of Medicine in Pennsylvania studied the use of Rhodiola in patients with major depressive disorder. This disorder impacts more than 19 million Americans each year – over 70% do not respond to therapies, like prescriptions. In this study, the extract was given to participants over conventional anti-depressant. The Rhodiola group did extremely well when it came to overall sense of well being, using different markers and scales.
Researcher done by the University of California shows how Rhodiola extract was found to increase the lifespan of animal studies. When exposed to Rhodiola, fruit flies had increased longevity. This is because it works to increase ATP – cellular energy. They are now more effectively making energy.
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Questions about this important herb? Leave Amanda a comment below to discuss.