Golden Root for Anxiety: Rhodiola Rosea


Rhodiola rosea is the Latin name for golden root, sometimes called rose root, or arctic root. Golden root is a medicinal plant indigenous to Siberia and likes dry, cold climates. As the common name suggests, the part of the plant that provides medicinal compounds is in the root of the plant, the golden root, and is used to treat stress, emotional or physical fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Rhodiola rosea is known to be an adaptogen, which means it can increase your resistance to emotional and physical stress.

This natural herbal remedy has been demonstrated to trigger dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin activity. It is due to these properties that the herb has gained a reputation as being helpful in maintaining healthy neurological and emotional function. The root has been in use for centuries by Eastern European and Asian cultures to increase endurance, productivity, and longevity, as well as to treat fatigue, anemia, depression, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, impotence, and nervous system disorders.  It can also help to build up resistance against altitude sickness.

The first recorded mention of the root, by its earlier name, rodia riza, was noted in 77 C.E. in De Materia Medica, by the Greek physician, Discorides. Rhodiola Rosea has been a part of the official Russian pharmacopoeia since 1969. In spite of this respectable history, it is only in recent years that the Western world sat up and took note of Rhodiola rosea’s health properties. This is due to the many studies that have concluded that the root has a beneficial effect in combating anxiety and stress.

Rhodiola rosea is known as an adaptogen which means it has a stabilizing effect on the body but doesn’t interfere with other bodily functions. The root has the ability to regulate hormones and it is this property that makes it helpful in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Rhodiola rosea stimulates neurotransmitters and improves their communication with the brain. That helps the brain to process serotonin which plays a crucial role in the body’s adaptation to stress.

Increases Mental Clarity

Studies have been conducted on the effect of rhodiola rosea on various types of stress: physical, chemical, and biological. One test concluded that the root improves both work output and work quality, since it increases mental clarity and staves off fatigue.

A report from the American Botanical Council says the root increases one’s tolerance to stress while providing protection to the brain and heart from the physical effects of stress. The report stated that, “Most users find that it improves their mood, energy level, and mental clarity.”

The recommended dose for rhodiola rosea is 200-600 mg. daily. The label should state that the contents contain a minimum of 0.8% salidroside, and 3% rosavin. Beware of preparations containing other herbs which may or may not be effective for treatment of anxiety and depression. And of course, always check with your doctor before beginning any treatment, even a natural herb treatment.

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