Dating back centuries ago, the name Rhodiola Rosea has already been resounding. Also known as the “golden root” or “roseroot,” it grows in high altitudes and cold regions such as Asia, Europe and Siberia. Traditionally, it has been used to treat a variety of conditions but what it is noted for is its anxiolytic properties. It is used to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, and among many others. But how does Rhodiola Rosea do such an effective work? Well then, this may be attributed to its active components- the salidrosides and the rosavins. Also known as rhodioloside, salidroside is regarded to be the most potent and active compound found in Rhodiola. In addition to that, Rhodiola Rosea is also regarded to be a mild stimulant supplement. Let us now know what Rhodiola Rosea has to offer and how it works inside our body.
One of the most notable uses of Rhodiola Rosea is attributed to its anxiolytic properties. As mentioned earlier, Rhodiola Rosea’s most active ingredients are Salidrosides and Rosavin. Salidroside, more specifically, is a glucoside of tyrosol most responsible to Rhodiola Rosea’s anxiolytic and antidepressant actions (6). It works by inhibiting the release of chemicals associated with anxiety and stress.
Aside from that, Rhodiola Rosea also serves to influence a number of neurotransmitters including Dopamine and Serotonin. The levels of Dopamine are increased within the brain and as we all know, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behaviour and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (7). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one’s mood and cognitive abilities. It may also be of great help to deal efficiently with stress, anxiety, depression, and even signs of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Another neurotransmitter being influenced positively by Rhodiola Rosea is Serotonin. It is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s attention, mood, perception of hunger and satiety, gastrointestinal function, and among others (8). With Rhodiola Rosea, it would help us focus in doing our tasks as well as giving us an overall enhanced mood thus, influencing the way we think and act positively.
On the other hand, Rosavin, another main component of Rhodiola Rosea also plays a role in combating anxiety. Although its potency is much lesser than that of the Salidrosides, Rosavins serve to have mood-boosting effects as well as reducing anxiety and combating fatigue. In this way both the Salidrosides and the Rosavins act together to produce Rhodiola Rosea’s anxiolytic and mood-boosting properties.2. Rhodiola Rosea as an antioxidant
Another noted benefit of Rhodiola Rosea to the human health is its anti-oxidant properties. It serves to protect the nervous system from toxins and oxidative damage brought about by free radicals. And as we all know, free radicals refer to molecules that are unstable and highly reactive causing damage to cells. Because of this damage, it may lead to a number of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease and age-related diseases (3). Antioxidants, like Rhodiola Rosea, work by neutralizing these free radicals and oxidative stress thus, preventing the destructive processes that the latter may bring. (2)3. Rhodiola Rosea for cognition
In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, Rhodiola Rosea’s anxiolytic and antioxidant properties may also benefit one’s cognitive functions. This is through improving one’s resistance to physical and emotional stress. Stress greatly affects an individual’s cognitive functioning by causing disturbances on how a person thinks, recalls, and processes information presented. With an improved resistance and ability to respond to stress, Rhodiola Rosea may aid in enhancing learning and memory performances. (2)4. Rhodiola Rosea as an adaptogen
An adaptogen- that is what Rhodiola Rosea is also known for. By definition, adaptogen means any substance or compound that causes stabilization of physiological processes and the regulation of the body’s homeostasis (4). Homeostasis refers to a property of a system to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of the different parts to respond to any situation that may disturb the normal rhythm or cycle (5). As an adaptogen, this in turn causes Rhodiola Rosea to minimize the harmful effects of stress and fatigue while restoring cellular health and proper function of our body’s immune system. In this way, there would be proper regulation of our body’s processes along with the promotion of good health.5. Rhodiola Rosea for weight loss
Studies have also shown that Rhodiola Rosea may benefit weight loss. This is then attributed by helping the body burn fat by using it as the primary energy source. Rhodiola Rosea contains certain chemicals that could actually initiate the fat-burning process as well as stimulating enzymes to break down fat. When coupled with the right exercise routine, you will surely see results in promoting weight loss.