Rhodiola: A powerful adaptogen
Rhodiola rosea (Russian Rhodiola) This is a perennial plant with
red, pink, or yellowish flowers. It is no biological relation to
the "common" rose, but due to its similar fragrance it has been used
as a substitute for Attar of Roses. One of the greatest things Rhodiola
does is enhance mental and physical performance. It has been widely
used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. Rhodiola
is cardio-protective, normalising the heart rate immediately after
intense exercise. It improves nervous system and mental functions
such as memory by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain,
and also increases protein synthesis, (1,2,3).
Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen and anti-depressive agent. In this respect Rhodiola rosea is much more powerful than other adaptogens.
The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Golden root is higher than that of St. John's Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng. Furthermore, Rhodiola rosea is five times less toxic than Panax ginseng. In another clinical trial 150 individuals suffering from depression took Rhodiola rosea extracts for a period of one month. At the end of that period two-thirds of them had full remission of clinical manifestations of depression, and had become more active and more sociable. Daytime weakness and general weakness disappeared.
In one study done by O.M. Duhan and colleagues (4), the anti-mutagenic activities of Panax Ginseng and of Rhodiola rosea were compared It appeared that the extracts of Rhodiola rosea had the higher capacity to counteract gene mutations induced by various mutagens (up to about 90% inhibition in some cases). Rhodiola rosea extracts reduce significantly the yield of cells with the chromosome aberrations in vivo and inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea in vitro (5). It is emphasised that Rhodiola rosea extracts have rejuvenative properties due to their ability to raise the efficiency of the intracell DNA repair mechanisms.
Type O Stress Buster
Probably the best reason to use Rhodiola (an a real Achille's heel for group O individuals) is the ability of the plant to help clear excess catecholamines, such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. From Live Right 4 Your Type, you may remember that group O blood is associated with tendencies to over accumulate adrenaline by excess conversion of their dopamine. In addition to the excess levels, group O is associated with a lowered ability to clear catecholamines once made.
- Maslova L.V. et al. (1994) "The cardioprotective and antiadrenergic activity of an extract of Rhodiola rosea in stress" Eksp
Klin Farmakol 57(6): 61-6
- Germano, C. et al. (1999) "Arctic root. The powerful new ginseng alternative" Kensington
- Petkov, V.D. et. al. (1986) "Effects of alcohol aqueous extract from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on learning and memory" Acta
Physiol Pharmacol Bulg 12(1): 3-16
- Duhan, O.M. et al. (1999) "The antimutagenic activity of biomass extracts from the cultured cells of medicinal plants in the Ames test" Tsitol
Genet Nov-Dec 33(6): 19-25
- Salikhova RA et.al. (1997) "Effect of Rhodiola rosea on the yield of mutation alteration and DNA repair in bone marrow cells".
Patol Fiziol Exsp Ter Oct-Dec (4) : 22-4