How can something so tiny be so powerful? Rhodiola Rosea, also known as the golden root or the arctic root, packs a big punch when it comes to promoting physical and mental health.
It's been used as an adaptogen in Eastern medicine for over 2,000 years. Its benefits have been touted by famous athletes such as Russian swimmer Alexander Popov and Norwegian cross-country skier Therese Johaug.
But what exactly is Rhodiola Rosea, and how can you take advantage of its many benefits? Read on to learn more about what this ancient herb can do for your health.
What Is Rhodiola Rosea?
First, we need to talk about what exactly Rhodiola is. It is a flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae and a member of one of two genera in that family. Many refer to it as Arctic root—and with good reason.
Rhodiola Rosea grows in the arctic or cold, high-altitude regions of Europe and Asia. In these cold, mountainous areas, people often turn to the herb when treating headaches, fatigue, anemia, anxiety, depression, and more.
Over the past few centuries, the plant obtained many names alongside the common "arctic root" or "golden root." People may also refer to it as the king's crown or the rose root.
Why does root appear in most of these nicknames? Because the true magic lies in the roots of the plant. These roots are known adaptogens that help regulate the body's stress response. It contains over 130 ingredients, but the two most potent are salidroside and rosavin.
A Brief History
People have turned to Rhodiola Rosea for centuries. To have a constant energy level for invading and raiding, the Vikings consumed Rhodiola Rosea, believing it would increase their stamina and vigor.
Rhodiola Rosea also made its way to China back in the day. Emperors in Ancient China sought out the herb when traveling to Serbia. They would brew tea from the "golden root" to treat everyday ailments like the flu.
In Siberia, many people drank Rhodiola Rosea tea, believing it could extend their lives. Historically, the plant was traditionally gifted to newlyweds with the hope of boosting fertility levels and promoting the birth of healthy babies. Many Siberians often kept the location of their Rhodiola Rosea plants a secret from others. They would trade the herb for honey, wine, and fruit instead of giving away the secrets of successful harvests.
In 1725, a Swedish botanist named Carl Linnaeus used the herb to treat several ailments, from headaches to hernias. He receives credit for officially naming the plant "Rhodiola Rosea."
Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea
Today, many people turn to this "golden root" for its many beneficial properties. Here are a few key benefits of taking Rhodiola Rosea:
#1 Minimize Stress
Rhodiola has long been considered an adaptogen, meaning the plant's powerful properties can increase your body's resistance to stress in non-specific ways. Consuming the plant during periods of stress is thought to help you better handle tense situations.
Rhodiola can improve symptoms of burnout caused by chronic stress. In one study, 118 people with stress-related burnout took 400 mg of Rhodiola daily for 12 weeks. Various symptoms improved in those who participated in the study, including stress and depression, which are common in burnout.
#2 Combat Fatigue
Fatigue is caused by stress, anxiety, and inadequate sleep. It causes feelings of physical and mental exhaustion. It is thought that because of its adaptogenic properties, Rhodiola may help to alleviate fatigue.
One study with a sample size of 100 people with chronic fatigue symptoms received 400 mg of Rhodiola each day for eight weeks and experienced notable improvements in stress symptoms, fatigue, quality of life, mood, and concentration.
#3 Boost Brain Function
You can maintain a robust and healthy brain when you get plenty of exercise, follow a good nutrition plan, and get enough sleep. Supplements like Rhodiola can give these lifestyle habits a boost in power.
In animal studies, scientists have found that after one dose of Rhodiola, memory and mood levels were improved. These findings suggest that the plant could become an excellent cognitive-enhancing drug for humans.
#4 Enhance Physical Performance
Rhodiola may increase stamina, reduce physical and mental fatigue, and promote antioxidant activity.
One study on rats has shown that Rhodiola can boost muscle power and strength. Another study on young, healthy, and physically-active men found that consuming Rhodiola shortened their reaction time and increased overall antioxidant activity. Both essential indicators of health and athletic performance.
According to a recent extensive study, Rhodiola can also improve exercise performance by decreasing participant perception of exertion.
How To Take Rhodiola
When you take Rhodiola, take it on an empty stomach and never before bedtime, as it has a slightly stimulating effect. A typical dose of Rhodiola extract is between 100 to 200 mg, three percent rosavin and one percent salidroside.
Modern-day research concludes that Rhodiola is beneficial for improving various symptoms related to stress, fatigue, or depression when consumed in doses between 400-600 mg daily. Research suggests an amount between 200 and 300 mg per day is best for those looking for a boost in athletic performance.
Rhodiola Rosea most often comes in capsule form, but you may also find it in a tincture form. These forms are safe to consume and have little to no side effects.
Where to Buy Rhodiola Rosea
Like most foods and dietary supplements, there are many options available to purchase, but not all formulas are created equally. Ensure that the Rhodiola supplement you are considering is certified third-party, so you know it has not been mixed with cheaper or less effective ingredients.
Companies like Natreon, Inc. develop and manufacture some of the highest quality and best-researched natural extracts available to the market. We partner with them in creating our favorite adaptogen blend, Revvl Restore.
We recommend pairing your Rhodiola Rosea intake with other adaptogens so that you receive the compounding benefits of these herbs.