During periods of stress, we need to adapt and improve our resistance to disease. More than eighty per cent of illness is caused by stress. Nobody can escape from it entirely, though we search for ways to minimise the effects, i.e. tea and coffee keep us going but these types of drinks can increase the stress more internally.
The arctic herb Rhodiola Rosea, also known as the golden root, has been used for thousands of years by people living in extreme conditions. The Vikings took it on long journeys to promote stamina and resistance to diseases. Descendants of Genghis Khan, the ancient Siberians knew where the plant grew in the Caucasus mountains and used its extracts to prevent sickness and to treat serious diseases. This knowledge was passed down through the generations. The Soviet authorities knew of thehealth benefits of Rhodiola Root and kept it to themselves. Russian scientists developed products containing Rhodiola Root to improve the performance of the soldiers, cosmonauts and Olympic athletes.
It’s only since the Cold War ended that the huge health benefits of Rhodiola Root have come to light here in the west.
Rhodiola Root is known as an adaptogen herb, or stress buster, it helps the body to restore balance and adapt to physical changes without any toxic side effects. Rhodiola contains a variety of highly active components, such as phytochemicals, rosavin and salidroside.
Many experiments have taken place showing the extracts helping to increase stamina and accelerate the bodies ability to recover quickly after an illness.
Rhodiola protects heart tissue by decreasing the amount of corticosteroids released during the stress response and helps the body to regulate cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Dr Israel Brekham, who pioneered the work into adaptogenic herbs, believed “Nature to be the greatest laboratory on Earth.”
The most exciting area currently under research focuses on how effective Rhodiola Root is as an anti-depressant. Mood or behaviour may be affected if the neurotransmitters in the brain are unbalanced. Drugs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Rhodiola Root significantly decreased symptoms of depression by enhancing the uptake of serotonin into the brain and helping to preserve it.