Stress, depression and fatigue seem to be a natural part of the world today. It may be tempting to power through them with another cup of coffee, but there are other ways to cope. Nature has provided a plant that can fight these common problems and a host of other issues as well. Rhodiola is an herb that has been used in traditional Russian and European medicine for centuries. When used properly, it can help the body build up a resistance to the many stresses imposed on it by daily life.
The Benefits of Rhodiola
If you are feeling fatigued from the stress in your life, rhodiola can provide a solution. Taking rhodiola regularly can help your body fight off fatigue. This type of plant is known as an adaptogen, which means that it can help your body learn how to adapt to stress. As your body is more able to cope with stressors, you will feel less fatigued.
Because rhodiola helps to fight stress-related fatigue, it also helps prevent some of the symptoms of becoming overly stressed. Most notable is its ability to help with concentration. When you are burnt out from stress, you will likely find it difficult to pay attention to the task at hand. Your memory may also suffer. Rhodiola can help to increase your mental sharpness.
According to a study published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, rhodiola can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. During this study, patients with mild to moderate depression were given either rhodiola extract or a placebo. Those who took the rhodiola showed fewer symptoms than those who took the placebo. The researchers also found that the herb lessened the symptoms of depression-related insomnia.
Side Effects of Rhodiola
Rhodiola has a number of useful benefits, but it does have some side effects as well. The biggest downside of using this herb is that it can cause irritability and insomnia. People who take it may feel jittery or “revved up,” somewhat similar to the effects of caffeine. If you decide to use rhodiola, be cautious not to take it close to bedtime, as it can cause insomnia in some people.
How to Take Rhodiola
Rhodiola can be found in most health food stores. You should be able to find it in liquid, capsule, and tea form. If you plan on using a tablet, look for a standardized extract that is similar to the concentrations used in clinical trials. A tablet using 2-3% rosavin is a good choice. Start with taking only a small amount – 100 mg once a day is a good place to start. See how the herb affects you in terms of jitteriness and insomnia. If you are not experiencing any adverse affects, you can increase the dosage by 100 mg. Keep doing this for three weeks until you reach 400 mg a day. If at any point you notice that jitteriness, irritability, and insomnia is occurring, drop down to a lower dosage. Be sure to consult with a doctor if you are taking any other medication to avoid any potential interactions.
Many people find rhodiola tea a pleasant alternative to tablets. You can find pre-made teas at natural food stores. Simply follow the instructions on the package to make the tea. You can also make a drink out of rhodiola roots. Allow two tablespoons to steep in a quart of boiling water for 12 minutes, then strain. This tea can be flavored with honey to taste and will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
Saint John’s Wort and Depression
Rhodiola is not the only natural treatment for depression. Saint John’s Wort is another popular remedy. A 2008 study found that this herb is at least as effective in treating mild to moderate depression as standard antidepressant drugs. It can help to alleviate sleep disorders and promote relaxation.
When used on a regular basis, rhodiola can help address many stress-related symptoms. While it may cause jitteriness and insomnia in some, most people can take it without any adverse affects. Whether taken in tea or tablet form, it can help the body to adapt to the stresses around it, allowing you to stay relaxed and stress-free.