Historically, people have taken oral rhodiola root supplements to treat stress-induced depression, anxiety, fatigue, anemia, impotence, and insomnia. Contemporary research has confirmed its anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, and even may support its position as an anti-fatigue and anti-sexual-dysfunction therapy.
In Chinese medicine, rhodiola is categorized as an herb that tonifies yang. It is classified as cool, drying, sweet, bitter and aromatic, the latter because of the strong rose smell. In Chinese medicine it is credited with primarily affecting the Heart, Kidney, Liver, Spleen, and Lung meridians. The Heart fouses the Spirit or Shen, which influences mental health, The large number of meridians affected indicates how powerful the herb is.
There is a wealth of anecdotal and empirical evidence that rhodiola root extract has significant antidepressant properties. This effect is most notable in cases where users experience mild to moderate symptoms of depression, and has been proven in human clinical trials. What’s more, these antidepressant effects may take effect within just three days of beginning a daily rhodiola supplementation plan. Rhodiola supplementation may also diminish mental and physical fatigue — the feelings of exhaustion that accompany psychological stress and depression — though more high-quality research is needed to verify this effect in human subjects.
Additionally, taking rhodiola supplements by mouth can improve memory formation and recall, as well as overall cognitive function, making it a safe, supportive therapy for learning. Aside from its effects on mood and cognition, rhodiola root may also have notable immune-boosting and generally tonifying effects, lending credence to its long history of use as a dietary supplement to support general health. Though some people claim it also functions as a physical performance enhancer, human trials have fairly definitively disproved this theory — instead finding that rhodiola root supplements can augment the overall health and fitness of already-healthy and already-fit people.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Rhodiola supplements primarily make use of the roots of the mature rhodiola plant. These are harvested, dried, then subjected to a hot-water decoction process or crushed into a fine powder for easy ingestion.
If you’re interested in trying rhodiola, or any other supplements, you should first consult with a physician, certified herbalist, or other qualified healthcare professional. . Common concerns from researchers regarding rhodiola root supplements include decreases in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Be sure to bring up these concerns when you speak with your doctor.
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