Herb Spotlight: Rhodiola, the adaptogen that packs a big punch!
Adaptogens: All About Rhodiola!
After my post last week on adrenal fatigue and the mention of herbal adaptogens, I decided to do some more reading on a few of the herbs. Rhodiola stuck out to me, especially after reading Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Buhner (best known for his research on healing Lyme disease naturally with herbs- check out his site for more info!)
So why did Rhodiola stick out to me? In Buhner’s book, he writes that rhodiola is an:
- adaptogen, and adrenal protector
- Antiviral and antibacterial
- Helps prevent cancer
- Helps with chronic fatigue
- Mental stimulant (for those with mental fatigue)
- Mitochondrial tonic!
- Nervous system tonic
So what does all of that really mean? It means that Rhodiola helps with:
- Brain Fog (also helps with focus and memory)
- Adrenal Exhaustion (even long term exhaustion)
- All forms of chronic fatigue
- Immune system health (helps prevent recurrent infections)
- Increases stamina, especially for exercise
- Increases fat burning and weight loss!
- Helps adrenal related symptoms like insomnia, blood sugar swings, low libido, and a sluggish liver
- Can heal the thyroid and thymus gland as well!
Where to Find Rhodiola:
Rhodiola is one of the most common adaptogens out there. You can find it in many adrenal blends, or even on its own. Most health food stores will carry rhodiola in a variety of forms. There are capsules, tinctures (my preference!), or even blends like this one.
Since there are so many adaptogens out there, it can take some time to find the one that works best for you. Rhodiola has a pretty good track record at being effective for most people. The only major side effect noted is that it can be too over stimulating for some if taken close to bed time. Stick with using it in the morning and early afternoon. Some notice an immediate benefit with some of their worst symptoms!
Interesting Tidbits about Rhodiola:
- The Vikings used to use it for increased stamina!
- Rhodiola has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time
- Rhodiola has also been used in traditional Russian folk medicine, and was one of their favorite herbs because of its effects on fatigue, stamina, infections, depression, and impotence
- One of the first mentions of rhodiola usage was in 77AD!!