In part 1 of this post we talked about adaptogenic herbs in general, and their wide range of health benefits. In this second part, we’re learning about the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea, my new favorite adaptogenic herb!
Rhodiola Rosea: The Star of Adaptogenic Herbs
I’ve been reading an awesome book called The Rhodiola Revolution: Transform Your Health with the Herbal Breakthrough of the 21st Century. Honestly, with a title like that, I was a bit skeptical and my “internet fad” radar went way, way up. But I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about adaptogens in general, and the benefits of rhodiola rosea specifically!
The book is truly a gem, and I highly recommend it if you like reading about herbs and their history and health benefits. It’s written by two respected medical doctors and is backed by lots of high quality scientific studies. Such an easy read and flows very well from topic to topic – I seriously can’t recommend this one enough!
Psst! You can enter to win your very own copy in a sweet prize package at the end of this post!
Rhodiola Benefits and Side Effects
Rhodiola has easily become my favorite adaptogenic herb because of it’s wide ranging health benefits. It consistently outperforms other adaptogenic herbs, and it’s applications are so far reaching.
Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea
According to The Rhodiola Revolution, some of the health benefits of rhodiola rosea, and its possible applications, include:
- antistress, anti-fatigue, energy, and strength
- alertness, memory, accuracy, and mental performance
- depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- menopausal symptoms and sexual function
- fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
- Parkinson’s, stroke, and traumatic brain injury
- liver detox and protection
- side effects of chemotherapy
The book also goes into great detail (complete with dosage instructions) on exactly how to use rhodiola to:
- rejuvenate your mind
- maximize physical performance
- relieve anxiety
- reduce fatigue
- restore hormonal balance
- drop excess pounds
- ,,,and more
Side Effects of Rhodiola Rosea
Although part of the definition of an adaptogenic herb is that it has little to no side effects or toxicity, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind with regards to possible side effects, drug interactions, and other precautions:
- It can occasionally cause agitation or anxiety.
- Some have reported having intense dreams.
- Rarely, it can cause headaches.
- Rhodiola can increase the effects of other stimulants.
- Individuals with bipolar disorder should use rhodiola with caution and only when the condition is under control with mood stabilizers.
- Rhodiola (and most other adaptogens) is not recommended for use during pregnancy (consult with your doctor if you are breastfeeding).
How Does Rhodiola Actually Work?
Honestly, this was my first question after reading about all of the almost “too good to be true” health benefits of rhodiola: how the heck does it do all that stuff? And maybe you’re wondering the same thing, so let’s dig a little deeper to help us understand.
Because adaptogens, by definition, can adapt their function to our body’s specific needs, they actually work to keep our whole body in balance.
And this is very different from everything we know about modern Western medicine where we pop a different pill for every x, y, and z ailment that we encounter.
So while we may have 3 or 4 different ailments, they are all affecting ONE body. Adaptogens work to address the issues of our WHOLE body, as opposed to focusing on individual symptoms.
The benefits of Rhodiola and how it interacts with our body (with direct quotes from this article):
- A powerful antioxidant – helps quench free radicals and defend against oxidative damage in our body
- Balances stress response system by limiting the excess release of the stress hormone, Cortisol
- Stimulates the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine
- Stimulates the production of natural killer cells (cells that protect against infection)
- Increases the metabolism of fat for energy
My experiences using Rhodiola Rosea and Cordyceps
For the past couple months, I’ve been taking an herbal supplement from Perfect Supplements called Perfect Acai Revive, which contains acai berry (world’s #1 superfood), rhodiola rosea, and cordyceps sinensis.
Full disclosure: I have signed up as an affiliate for Perfect Supplements, but only after trying out their product and being sure that I love it. I only recommend products that I use and love.
Let me tell you, after reading The Rhodiola Revolution and trying out the Perfect Acai Revive, I am a true believer in the power and benefits of rhodiola and other adaptogenic herbs! But let’s be clear here – these supplements do not stimulate you the way that other substances do; I’m a coffee lover, and the effects from rhodiola rosea are nothing like those from coffee, which are immediate and with a definite “dip” later in the day.
Rhodiola and other adaptogens have a very subtle, gentle effect on the body and mind.
I’ve only used them for a couple months, so I’m sure the full effects haven’t even completely set in yet. What I have noticed is that when I regularly take it in the morning, I’m still up and at it by the time 4 o’clock rolls around – which is right around when I usually start hitting that mid-afternoon slump.
I have also noticed a very slight lift in my mood; nothing huge, really, but I’ve been a bit more patient with my kids, more in tune to their needs, and just generally more ready to tackle whatever they throw at me, which is always nice. 😉
I later learned that Perfect Supplements actually carries a separate Rhodiola Rosea supplement which contains only that herb and nothing else; so I’ve ordered a bottle of that because I want to try it on its own. It’s also cheaper and an easier dosage, which really helps, because I am just terrible at remembering to take supplements!
I really like Perfect Supplements because they truly stand by their products.
Their rhodiola rosea, for example, is of the highest quality that you can find on the market. It’s wild crafted and lab tested for purity; it’s vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free; and it contains no additives or fillers.
That’s about as “perfect” as you can get. 🙂
Perfect Supplements also carries many brands of supplements that I actually already use and love, so I’m very excited to be able to get everything all in one place. Products like:
- Hydrolyzed Collagen (from Perfect Supplements or Great Lakes, which is kosher – great for joint and gut health)
- Beef Gelatin (from Great Lakes – for healthy bones, joints, hair, and skin)
- Magnesium Bath Flakes (from Ancient Minerals – great for a stress-relieving soak in the bath)
- Magnesium Oil (from Ancient Minerals -helps to relax and get you ready for sleep)
- Magnesium Supplement (from NaturalCalm -I drink this every night, and it totally helps with sleep!)
- Elderberry Syrup (from Gaia Herbs – our first defense against colds and flu)
- Coconut Oil (Haven’t tried the PS brand yet, but we use this for pretty much everything!)
And some new products I’m thinking of trying:
- Desiccated Liver (I’ve always had low iron, and this is a great source of iron!)
- Cordyceps Sinensis (another top rated adaptogen)
- Aquatic Greens (a mix of spirulina and chlorella, which are great detoxifiers!)
- Complete Probiotics (from Dr. Mercola)
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR PERFECT SUPPLEMENTS!
Enter the code NATURE10 at checkout, and take an additional 10% off your entire order from Perfect Supplements! Their prices already rock, and you get an extra little discount just for being a loyal Nature’s Nurture reader. 🙂
Want to learn more about the benefits of Rhodiola and try it for yourself? Of course you do! That’s why I’ve teamed up with Perfect Supplements and put together a sweet giveaway package to help you do just that. 🙂 Enter using the form below for a chance to win your very own copy of The Rhodiola Revolution AND one (1) bottle of Perfect Acai Revive (a total value of $59). Giveaway open to residents of US and Canada, age 18 years or older, and will end on June 22, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Please see full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter form below. Best of luck!
Sources and Further Reading:
- Brown, R. P., & Gerbarg, P. L. (2004). The Rhodiola Revolution: Transform Your Health with the Herbal Breakthrough of the 21st Century. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.
- Rhodiola rosea: A Phytomedicinal Overview (HerbalGram)
- What is Perfect Rhodiola Rosea? (Perfect Supplements)
- Rhodiola Special Report (Power Supplements)
This post was proudly sponsored by Perfect Supplements. A sponsored post means I was compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products and services that I use personally and believe will benefit my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”