More and more extracts are being discovered for their medicinal properties. Rhodiola rosea extract is a prime example of one of these extracts. Due to two key chemical compounds (rosavin and salidroside), this extracts have positive effects on our nervous system. Let’s examine these compounds separately, as they do have unique effects.
What is Rhodiola Rosea?
When you cut the root of this plant, it creates the aroma of roses. This is why Rhodiola rosea is often referred to as Rose Root. Since this plant grows best at high altitudes, it is commonly found in Siberia, as well as Asia. For centuries, it has been used to improve balance regarding emotional, environmental, and physical stress.
It wasn’t until recently, that the West began to recognize the benefits associated with this plant. There were research studies conducted in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, proving significant benefits. This is in terms of both traditional and alternative medicine.
It is believed that Rhodiola rosea has been used since Viking times, when they aimed to boost their endurance levels, reduce fatigue, and enhance mood. Since the introduction of Rhodiola rosea to the United States, it has been extensively researched, finding various positive effects.
The compound known as salidroside is not just found in Rhodiola rosea, but several other species of plants as well (all which are unrelated). This component has been proven to inhibit the release of various chemicals, which tend to cause feelings of anxiety and stress.
There are many herbs that help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, however Rhodiola rosea is known to work faster than most herbs. It also helps to control on-going symptoms, while acting as an effective preventative measure.
Salidroside is thought to reduce cortisol levels, helping to increase neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Initial dosing tends to have positive effects, as a response is generally experienced from the first few doses that are taken.
Within a research study, it was found that salidroside is the possibly the most effective component of Rhodiola rosea extract. While focusing on rosavin in comparison, it was found that they were less effective. However, it is only when these compounds are combined, that unique and significant benefits are experienced.
The Role of Rosavin
The second key component in Rhodiola rosea, is rosavin. It is believed that this component is responsible for some of the mood boosting effects, experienced by those that take this supplement. When purchasing Rhodiola rosea, you will notice a percentage of rosavin displayed.
This helps users understand the potency of the extract they’re interested in. The potency of a supplement, helps to determine the dosage. Whenever you purchase a supplement, you need to identify the concentration of active ingredients. Although research is still being conducted, rosavins are said to be a key ingredient.
Like salidroside, rosavin is said to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Cell cultures have been examined in regards to rosavin, which has yielded possible anti-fatigue, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidant effects. It has also shown to be effective against auto-immune conditions.
With that being said, rosavins do not work in isolation. It’s been found that only when rosavin is combined with other components (such as salidroside), does it create these beneficial results. As mentioned, salidroside is considered to be the most potent, but it still relies on rosavin to produce significant effects. At this time, it is not known how they work in conjunction with one another.
The Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea
When something helps to reduce anxiety, it is commonly known as an anxiolytic. The benefits of an anxiolytic, help to prevent symptoms, or aid in on-going symptoms. Rhodiola rosea is said to do both, with few, if any side-effects.
Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are increasingly common in modern society. These high levels of stress and anxiety, tend to create numerous physical side-effects. This is because when you’re anxious, your body begins to prepare for a fight or flight response.
Think about times when you feel nervous of experience anxiety, your heart rate increases, as well as blood flow. In order to boost energy and alertness, your cortisol and adrenaline levels rise. Although this has benefits short-term, chronic stress and anxiety can create a number of negative health effects.
When you are exposed to chronic states of stress, this can result in chronic conditions. Initial anxiety may turn into a more chronic, serious condition. When taking Rhodiola rosea, you can effectively reduce the level of stress hormones, helping to protect your overall health.
It is worth mentioning, that not all Rhodiola rosea plants are equal. Plants will have some common components, however not every plant will contain the same compounds. This is due to where they’re grown in the world, as they take on different properties. Basically, a plant from one country, may not contain the same ratio as another country’s plant.
At this time, the Rhodiola rosea from Siberia is the highest quality. It has been shown to positively impact various ailments, including issues with libido, energy, desire, stamina, muscle strength, longevity, mood, as well as anxiety.
What Is the Recommended Dose?
When taking a new supplement, it’s important to understand what dosage you should take. This will help maximize benefits, while hindering side-effects. The most common doses are between 200 and 600 mg daily. If you suffer from depression, then you may need doses between 350 and 680 mg daily. These doses have been evaluated for a 12-week period. Numerous studies have reported this supplement to be safe in terms of toxicity.
Information is fairly limited, but research and clinical trails have found few adverse reactions, if any. Studies will continue to be conducted, however it has been well tolerated in most people. If you are concerned about trying this supplement for the first time, please feel free to speak to your healthcare provider.