Rhodiola Rosea Benefits and Facts You Should Know
One of the main ingredients in our PYM Mood Chews is Rhodiola Rosea. While that name may not sound familiar to those who haven’t done a lot of research into how to manage their stress level, it’s one of the natural products that has some of the greatest potential to help those who may be struggling.*
To help you understand how great Rhodiola Rosea is, we’ve prepared all of the facts that you should know about this amazing adaptogenic plant.
What is Rhodiola Rosea?
Rhodiola Rosea, also known as arctic root or golden root, is a perennial flowering plant native to the colder areas of Europe and Asia. It’s commonly found at high altitudes, on mountains as well as sea cliffs.The plant can grow up to two feet tall and, when it blooms in the summertime, showcases yellow flowers that look similar to mums. The first mention of Rhodiola Rosea was by a greek physician named Dioscorides all the way back around AD 40, who gave it the “Rosea” moniker to document the way that the freshly cut plant smelled similar to a rose.
Carl Linnaeus, who is the father of binomial nomenclature (basically, the way that we currently name things scientifically), was also the first to mention Rhodiola Rosea’s medicinal properties. He used the plant as an astringent (meaning it “contracts” the tissues it encounters) in the 1700s, treating hernias and headaches with it, among other issues.
It has also been used in various cultures across the world, like the Vikings, ancient China, Russia, and Scandinavia.
Before we can really get into the exact benefits of Rhodiola Rosea, we first need to understand what an adaptogen is.
An adaptogen is a non-toxic herb or plant that has been said to help the body to be able to resist and deal with all different kinds of stressors, whether those come from biological, chemical, or physical triggers. Each different adaptogen has its own special, unique benefits and properties. The term was coined in 1940 by a Russian scientist Dr. Nikolai Lazarev, who was studying various compounds as a way to help soldiers better cope with stress.
In order to be officially called an adaptogen, an herb or plant must meet three different criteria:
- An adaptogen must be non-specific, meaning that it can help the body defend itself against stress of all varieties.* Good examples would be environmental toxins, mental health stressors, etc.
- An adaptogen must support the body’s ability to return to homeostasis, or its natural state of equilibrium.*
- An adaptogen must not harm or damage the body or any of its functions.
There are plenty of different adaptogens out there that you’ve probably heard of, but didn’t realize they fell into that category. Ashwagandha, ginseng, and lemon balm are all examples of adaptogens. They’re really a complex, diverse, and interesting concept that warrants a lot more research. They have the potential to really change the way that we can help our bodies do what they do best… take care of themselves.*
The Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea
While the many benefits of Rhodiola Rosea are still being studied, there are a few different potential advantages to using the plant that are commonly talked about.
Keep in mind that studies are ongoing, and many of the benefits come from anecdotal evidence.
Can Help Support Your Body’s Natural Response to Stress*
Rhodiola Rosea’s effects on stress have been among the most studied benefits of the plant. Multiple studies have shown that the plant can help people with symptoms of stress, like feeling tired and anxious, in as little as just three days.*
With more long-term use, the benefits continued to compound further. It can also help people who suffer from feelings of burnout due to the effects that chronic stress can have on the body.*
Keep in mind that stress can show itself in a number of ways, and ultimately throw the body out of balance. Because of Rhodiola Rosea’s ability to help the body get back into normal function, it is beneficial to help moderate a wide variety of different mental and physical symptoms of stress.*
Can Help Improve Feelings of Energy*
In addition to the tiredness that is caused by stress, Rhodiola Rosea may also potentially be able to help support energy levels.*
When you’re tired, your body has a harder time providing the energy needed to perform all sorts of functions. The adrenal glands are specifically tied to helping to fight off the negative effects that cortisol can have on the body, especially after long periods of chronic stress.
With so much out there trying to wear our bodies and our minds down, the potential that Rhodiola Rosea has to help is something worth looking into further.*
Can Help Support Mental Health and Mood*
Scientists have studied mental health for many years, and have narrowed the different experiences of mental health down to a mix of biology and life experiences. When it comes to the biology of mood and emotional wellness, much of it has to do with the neurotransmitters than are found in the brain.
Rhodiola Rosea is showing potential in being able to help find a better sense of balance for those neurotransmitters.* This is likely due to its ability to help the body return to homeostasis.
Can Help Support Brain Health and Focus*
Brain function, as well as mental fatigue, are two issues that tend to plague most of us at some point in our life. Another of the potentially amazing benefits of Rhodiola Rosea is the way that it may be able to support cognitive function, focus, and overall brain health.*
While helping to reduce the symptoms of mental overwhelm, the adaptogen may also be able to improve performance in anything that takes brain power.* We look forward to more studies, but we’re optimistic. That’s why we chose to include it in our PYM Mood Chews.
Can Help Support Physical Health and Exercise*
The way that Rhodiola Rosea can support exercise performance is still the subject of study, but one specific study showed that athletes who took just 200mg of the plant two hours before a cycling test performed better.* It may also affect the way that the body perceives exercise based exertion, meaning it doesn’t necessarily make you perform better but be better able to better deal with the feelings of stress and fatigue that can come with it.*
Rhodiola Rosea may also be able to support recovery after exercise.*
Can Help Maintain Healthy Blood Glucose Levels*
While studies on the way that Rhodiola Rosea affects blood glucose have so far only been done on animals, it shows a lot of potential.
What scientists have learned is that it may be able to increase the amount of glucose transporters that are present in the bloodstream.* These glucose transporters are important because they help move the glucose present in the blood into the cells, where it won't affect the body nearly as much, effectively helping to maintain healthy levels of the body’s blood sugar.*
How Rhodiola Rosea Works On A Chemical Level
With all of the potential benefits of Rhodiola Rosea, it’s interesting to take a closer look at how it functions chemically.
One of the most beneficial chemical effects that the adaptogen has is the way that it may be able to support a normal activity level of the sympathetic nervous system (or SNS).* The SNS is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response. When triggered, the SNS can cause a whole host of symptoms common to anxiety, like an increased heart rate, shaking, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Alternatively, Rhodiola Rosea may also be able to also support a healthy activity level of the parasympathetic nervous system (or PNS).* The PNS works as the antidote to the fight or flight response of the SNS, slowing down the system and decreasing the physical symptoms of anxiety.
And finally, Rhodiola Rosea may be able to support a healthy amount of serotonin in the body.* Serotonin is one of those hormones that has been directly tied to feelings of happiness and relaxation.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Just like anything, there is always the potential of an allergic interaction when you first start taking Rhodiola Rosea.
Otherwise, the plant has been proven to be fairly safe overall.* While studies on the adaptogen haven’t lasted longer than 12 weeks, the only side effects shown were very mild in nature. Symptoms like dizziness, excessive saliva production, and dry mouth were noted.
Rhodiola Rosea is one of the adaptogens that you should pay more attention to. We chose to use it in our PYM Mood Chews because we believe in its potential benefits, and we wanted everyone to know all about this amazing plant. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety or feelings of being overwhelmed, give Rhodiola Rosea (and our mood chews) a chance.
*FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.