The ancient Greek physicians Dioscorides and Galen knew it and advised it to treat especially affections of the gastrointestinal tract. The great Chinese emperors organized expeditions to obtain it and use it to prepare elixir of long life. And nowadays the research on its properties is so numerous that it makes the idea that we are faced with a powerful natural remedy. We are talking about rhodiola rosea, commonly called golden root. Today we are talking about the properties of this small succulent plant belonging to the Crassulaceae family.
Rhodiola against stress
Rhodiola is considered an adaptogenic plant, that is, capable of increasing the body's resistance to factors that can cause stress. Rhodiola relaxes and counteracts fatigue and exhaustion, reducing cortisol levels and improving the body's energy production processes (Stojcheva et al, Molecules, 2022 - Anghelescu et al, Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract, 2018). People with mild anxiety have found relief after two weeks of taking rhodiola extracts. Not only that, rhodiola has also made it possible to improve mood and alleviate states of mild depression, nervousness and anger (Stojcheva et al, Molecules, 2022 - Cropley et al, Phytother Res, 2015).
Rhodiola for cognitive function
Rhodiola relaxes and counteracts anxiety and stress. At the same time, however, it also stimulates cognitive function. This dual action has a beneficial effect on memory and on the ability to concentrate and learn (Stojcheva et al, Molecules, 2022). Not only that, rhodiola improves processing speed (Koop et al, Phytother Res, 2020).
Rhodiola, muscles and physical performance
Rhodiola improves the body's resistance and accelerates the recovery capacity of muscles after physical exercise. Then, rhodiola has been shown to protect muscles, counteracting the atrophy and loss of functionality that can be observed instead with advancing age or in the case of an unbalanced diet (Stojcheva et al, Molecules, 2022).
Rhodiola and heart
Rhodiola has been shown to protect the heart from oxidative stress. Not only that, this plant reduces arrhythmias, helps to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar and the progression of arteriosclerosis thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, able to support the intestinal microbiota and to regulate lipid metabolism and the functionality of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels and the heart (Stojcheva et al, Molecules, 2022 - Jafari et al, Sci Rep, 2022).
Rhodiola, intake and side effects
Rhodiola is generally safe. In some cases, taking rhodiola has led to mild side effects, such as headaches and insomnia. Studies have shown the safety and efficacy of supplements containing between 50 and 600 mg of rhodiola extract (Ishaque et al, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2012). Given the hypoglycemic and hypotensive action of rhodiola, ask your doctor for advice before starting treatment to make sure there are no interactions with any drugs already in use (Zhuang et al, Aging Dis, 2019).