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The Power of Your Metabolism - Rhodiola Rosea


Chapter: Natural Aids


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.



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