Rhodiola rosea is an herb that traditionally grows in cold or dry parts of the world such as Russia and Scandinavia. The plant also grows well in high elevation such as in the Arctic regions as well as in areas of Great Britain and Ireland.
It is one of the best new natural herbal supplements for mood enhancement and can offer real relief from stress and depression for many people.
An old world herb, it has only recently has made its entrance into the U.S.
Discovered by the Russians
Its modern effectiveness was discovered by Russians in the mid 1900’s and was used by the government’s KGB as a natural remedy to help handle the extreme stress that was common for agents who worked in the covert, tightly controlled agency.
In the late 1990’s, Rhodiola was offered globally by American entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to market natural herbal supplements derived from the herb, because of its proven ability to positively affect consumer’s overall health.
There are many beneficial uses for herbal supplements made from Rhodiola extract, but these are the most important and well researched health benefits to date.
• Depression – Clinical trials have shown that the herb can alleviate depression in humans and is effective for those between the ages of 18 to 70 years of age. It seems to be especially effective in helping mild to moderate depression.
• Mental performance and decreases fatigue – Studies have also shown that there is a marked increase in positive mental performance among test subjects and that their fatigue significantly diminishes when taking a Rhodiola herbal supplement for at least 4 weeks.
• Stress and anxiety – Studies as well as proven historical efficacy of the administration of the herb for stress and anxiety is a fact as shown by now known Russian use of it for former KGB agents and government workers over a period of 40-50 years.
Rhodiola rosea is available in a wide variety of forms, but capsules or tablets are the most popular. Tinctures are available as well but not as often used. Common dosages are generally listed on each manufacturer’s labeling, but here are some easy guidelines to follow when using this herb.
Since most capsules or tablets are standardized with 100 mg. each, a typical dosage is one to 2 capsules a day. It’s best to take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Some people find that taking it later in the day can make them jittery or it may interrupt sleep patterns for some if taken too late.
For more effectiveness, the dose can be increased to 200 mg. three times a day if needed. A dose of 1000 mg. daily is considered to be a high dose. One study cites an effective dose for mild to moderate depression ranges from 340-680 mg. for those 18-70 years of age.
Those who suffer from Hashimoto’s disease may benefit from better mental performance and increased energy when taking Rhodiola rosea as well.
Side Effects or Cautions
According to current studies, there are no known side effects to the herb when taken for depression or other conditions. Some people may experience mild jitters if taken early in the day and may benefit more by taking Rhodiola rosea herbal supplements earlier in the day, as well as starting at a lower dosage and increasing the amount until beneficial levels are reached.