Rhodiola Rosea is one of the most clinically researched adaptogens with widespread traditional uses. With the ability to aid in regulating the production of cortisol, it manifests anti-fatigue, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant benefits. Rhodiola has been studied for the ability to reduce stress in night duty physicians and fight off the fatigue of studentscaused by stress during exams. Strong scientific evidence for Rhodiola Rosea SHR-5 extract exists in improving attention, cognitive function, and mental performance in fatigue and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Rhodiola extract helps promote a calm emotional state and supports strong mental performance, optimal immune function, and hormonal balance. If you've ever seen it in its raw form you immediately notice its light pink color and sweet rose scent. Its cooling nature helps to avoid jitteriness that can sometimes be a side effect of other adaptogens like ginseng. This is why I reach for Rhodiola when I'm trying to reduce anxiety in a patient. It also improves mental and physical stamina, improves sleep, and reduces, “burn out,” and irritability. It boosts the immune system, decreases the frequency of colds and infections, and reduces inflammation. It is used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome as well as fibromyalgia. It can be beneficial for poor appetite and as part of a treatment plan for chronic stress headaches. It's helpful in the treatment of ADHD, especially when coupled with high doses of essential fatty acids like fish oil. Personally I have used it multiple times while climbing the Pyrenees to avoid altitude sickness. It works exceptionally well for this when combined with cordyceps, reishi mushroom, and holy basil. In Tibet, it's been used for eons before ascending Everest. If you are interested in coming to the Pyrenees with me next year, check out our retreats page for more info.
This herb has been coveted and used as medicine by many over thousands of years. The ancient Chinese had such regard for this herb that they sent expeditions into Siberia to obtain it. Siberians also secretly transported it down to the Caucasian mountains where it was traded for wines, honey, and garlic. And newly married Siberian couples routinely receive bouquets of Rhodiola as a sentiment towards increasing fertility. In men it improves erectile dysfunction, low libido. In women it relieves amenorrhea and infertility caused by minor hormonal imbalances or stress. And because of its additional ability to control blood sugars, it can be useful in the treatment of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Dose: 200-400 mg in capsules or tablets daily OR 2-3 mL (40-60 drops) of tincture, in water, 2-3 times daily. As a decoration simmer 1-2 tsp with 8-10 oz water for 15 min covered for then steep for an additional 45 minutes. Strain and consume 1-3 cups per day as needed. Use products standardized to 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside and of the Rosea variety.
Cautions: Avoid if you have bipolar depression with manic behavior. Rarely it can cause insomnia in very sensitive people.