Rhodiola rosea

Botanical Name : Rhodiola rosea
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Rhodiola
Species: R. rosea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Common Names :Golden Root, Roseroot, Aaron’s Rod

Habitat : Rhodiola rosea  is a plant that grows in cold regions of the world. These include much of the Arctic, the mountains of Central Asia, the Rocky Mountains, and mountainous parts of Europe, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia, Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland.

Description:
The perennial plant grows in areas up to 2280 meters elevation. Several shoots grow from the same thick root. Shoots reaches 5 to 35 cm in height. Rhodiola rosea is dioecious – having separate

 

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Medicinal Uses:
Chinese medical practitioners describe adaptogens as “superior” plants that profoundly benefit the human body without dangerous side effects. While the most famous adaptogen is ginseng, cutting-edge research by top Russian doctors and scientists has shown that Arctic Root can ease more conditions, including stress, depression, heart disease and cancer
.           Rhodiola rosea has been shown to shorten recovery time after prolonged workouts, to increase attention span, memory, strength, and anti-toxic action. Rhodiola rosea extract increases the level of enzymes, RNA, and proteins important to muscle recovery after exhaustive exercise.  It has also been shown to increase the levels of beta-endorphin in blood plasma which helps prevent the hormonal changes indicative of stress.  This effect has also been linked to maintaining an increased cardiac output and subsequently having a cardioprotective effect.  Studies using proofreading tests have demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea enhances memorization and concentration ability over prolonged periods.  Finally, Rhodiola has been shown to increase anti-tumor activity by increasing the body’s resistance to toxins.

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In Siberia it is said that “those who drink rhodiola tea regularly will live more than 100 years.” Chinese emperors always looking for the secret to long life and immortality sent expeditions into Siberia to collect and bring back the plant. Being one of the most popular medicinal herbs of middle Asia, for many years Rhodiola was illegally trafficked across the Russian border to China  In Siberia it was taken regularly especially during the cold and wet winters to prevent sickness. In Mongolia it was used for the treatment of tuberculosis and cancer.      Formerly regarded as a scarce plant, researchers from Tomsk State University found significant stands of this valuable herb growing wild in Sibera at elevations of 5000 to 9000 feet above sea level.  Subsequent research has substantiated high live giving biological activity with no toxicity.    For the treatment of depression extracts of rhodiola, namely rosavin and salidroside, in animal studies seem to enhance the transport of serotonin precursors, tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan into the brain. Serotonin is a widely studied brain neurotransmitter chemical that is involved in many functions including, smooth muscle contraction, temperature regulation, appetite, pain perception, behavior, blood pressure and respiration.  When balanced, it imparts a a sense of contentment and mental ease. Either too much or too little serotonin on the other hand has been linked to various abnormal mental states such as clinical depression. Thus rhodiola has been used by Russian scientists alone or in combination with antidepressants to boost one’s mental state, a boon in countries and seasons where one is deprived of adequate sun over prolonged periods of months. This leads to a condition known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder common to Northern European countries.
Rhodiola has also been shown to be effective for cardiac problems caused or aggravated by stress. Its action for these conditions is in its ability to decrease the amount of catecholamines and corticosteroids released by the adrenal glands during stress. The abnormal presence of these stress hormones will subsequently raise blood pressure, cholesterol, potassium levels and increase risk factors for heart disease. Rhodiola has been found to decrease harmful blood lipids and thus decrease the risk of heart disease. It also decreases the amount of cyclic-AMP (c-AMP) released into cardiac cells. Cyclic AMP is related to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s primary energy molecule. C-AMP acts as a ‘second messenger’ or liaison between the outer and inner environments of the cell. It assists in the uptake of more intracellular calcium into the heart thus promoting a greater potential for heart muscle contraction. Rhodiola thus regulates the heart beat and counteracts heart arrhythmias    As an adaptogen, rhodiola both stimulates and protects the immune system by reinstating homeostasis (metabolic balance) in the body. It also increases natural killer cell (NK) in the stomach and spleen. This action may be due to its ability to normalize hormones by modulating the release of glucocorticoid into the body.

Rhodiola has potent antioxidant properties. By limiting the adverse effects of free radical damage, it is able to combat all the diseases associated with aging. The presence of free radicals is associated with cell mutagenicity, the immediate cause of cancer. Again, Russian researchers have found that the oral administration of rhodiola inhibited tumor growth in rats 39 percent and decreased metastasis by 50 percent. It improved urinary tissue and immunity in patients suffering with bladder cancer. In other experiments with various types of cancer, including adenocarcinoma (cancer of glandular tissue such as breast cancer) and lung carcinoma, the use of extracts of rhodiola rosea resulted in significant increased survival rate                 Like Siberian ginseng, rhodiola is routinely used by athletes to improve performance. While the mechanism is not completely understood, rhodiola seems to improve the ratio of muscle-fat and increases hemoglobin and erythrocytes levels in the blood.

Many other benefits from the use of Rhodiola has been found including its ability to improve hearing, when applied to the gums to inhibit the progression of pyorrhea, to regulate blood sugar levels for diabetics and protect the liver from environmental toxin.

You may click to see :Rhodiola Rosea root extract supplement benefit, side effects and dosage

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

Rhodiola Rosea: Hypereffective Adaptogen


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm?Voucher2=Connect+to+Internet

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