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ADAPTOGEN: RHODIOLA ROSEA
All adaptogens are natural substances with very unique qualities. However, one of the most studied adaptogens, that has also appeared the most in medical news, has been the herb called rhodiola rosea. Some years ago, an article came out in Time magazine that boasted about how it was “the natural antidepressant of the future.”
This plant grows at altitudes between 11,000 to 18,000 feet above sea level. Its yellow flowers smell similar to roses and that’s where it gets its name “rosea”. It is a type of plant that grows in inhospitable places (where living isn’t very easy), and perhaps that is why it developed natural compounds having qualities that increase cellular energy and that make it possible to survive.
Rhodiola is an extraordinary medicinal plant. It was one of the plants considered a “military secret” by the Russians during the Soviet regime. This plant’s qualities have been the object of extensive studies.
The adaptogen rhodiola has a very old story that includes Chinese emperors ordering special expeditions for what they called the “golden root” or “arctic root”. The Chinese considered rhodiola a source of well-being and enhanced sexual performance. The use of this plant is documented in the oldest Chinese medical texts, where it was used to fight all types of illnesses.
In 1947, a scientist from the Academy of Russian Sciences named Lasarev reported for the first time that this plant, from the Siberian region, had extracts that helped increase the body’s resistance to different environmental stress factors.
The Russian studies on rhodiola rosea showed that it had an increased level of therapeutic (curative) activity. Even in high doses the rhodiola didn’t have toxic or adverse secondary effects. However, it did reveal that it increases the body’s resistance to various sicknesses, stressful conditions and to emotional depression.
There are more than 200 varieties of the generic rhodiola, but the variety called rhodiola rosea is the only one that has special qualities as an adaptogen. The active agents of rhodiola rosea were identified as rosavin, rosin, rosarin and salidroside. Real rhodiola rosea contains verifiable potencies of these natural compounds that give it its qualities.
The main effects that interest us about rhodiola rosea are its proven qualities to fight obesity and depression. These are qualities that have been proven in various studies that the Russian scientists did on the population.
Various American psychiatrists have started using rhodiola rosea to treat their patients with depression. The main advantage that the psychiatrists have seen in using this adaptogen is that rhodiola rosea controls depression while also helping the person to avoid gaining weight, like many other anti-depressant medications cause. In fact, the rhodiola helped the people slim down while controlling their severe stress conditions.
For example, in a controlled study that took place at the State Hospital of the Republic of Georgia (Russia) with 130 overweight participants, those that used the rhodiola lost an average of 20 pounds, while the group that took placebos (trick pills) only lost 7 pounds in the same amount of time.
Rhodiola has the ability of activating the enzyme lipase , which is an enzyme that the body needs to break up accumulated fat. Even without exercising, taking rhodiola extracts increases the eliminating fat by up to 9%. Also, studies show that when you combine rhodiola with moderate exercise, the amount of fat that you lose increases up to an incredible 72% more. This means that for those people who don’t exercise, rhodiola can help in slimming down, but for those who do exercise, it can do wonders.
Rhodiola has been shown to increase your strength and resistance during exercise. This is due to the increased levels of a substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) . ATP is a chemical substance that provides energy for the body and that the cells produce as a result of food metabolism. ATP is a concentrated type of chemical energy. The more ATP that is produced in the cells, the more energy and metabolism your body will have.
Also, studies have been done where rhodiola has been shown to have qualities of increasing sexual potency as often in men as in women. In men it was proven that the majority of those who used rhodiola rosea significantly lowered their erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculations. These findings support the ancient Russian tradition, from hundreds of years ago, when newlyweds would receive a little jarful of rhodiola rosea as a gift to guarantee fertility.
One of the most beneficial effects of rhodiola rosea is its ability to lower the cortisol hormone levels that the body produces when under stressful conditions. The hormone cortisol has the effect of accumulating fat, especially in the areas of the abdomen and hips. This is how we know that stress makes us gain fat. Rhodiola has the effect of reducing the body’s cortisol production and helps even those people who are under severe stress to slim down.
Rhodiola rosea has various other helpful qualities. The most important effects that it has in improving the metabolism have been mentioned. However, the following list of qualities is the complete list:
Anti-arrhythmia (stabilizing heartbeats)
Helps people with Parkinson’s
Detoxification of the liver
Improves mental alertness
Improves sexual function
Improves the learning capacity
Improves the ability to concentrate
The use of rhodiola rosea also has the effect of improving the quality of your sleep. It is a fact that high levels of cortisol, produced during times of stress, prevent people from sleeping properly. People with high levels of cortisol in their blood suffer from insomnia and they wake up tired in the morning. Rhodiola rosea has the effect of controlling and reducing the production of cortisol in the body, and when you use this adaptogen it allows you to start sleeping much better.
The qualities of the adaptogen rhodiola rosea have turned it into a valuable aid in the fight against a “slow metabolism” as well as the various other causing factors of a “slow metabolism”, like stress.
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