Rhodiola Root (Rhodiola rosea) or Golden Root is a perennial plant with red, pink, or yellowish flowers having a rose-like scent. It is native to the polar arctic regions of eastern Siberia and also grows in China, Tibet, and Northern Europe. Among traditional people there, it is highly valued as a strengthening tonic to increase physical and mental stamina for altitude sickness, colds and flu.
A powerful adaptogen – a substance that helps our bodies adapt to environmental, physiological and psychological stress- Rhodiola is used much like Siberian Ginseng to reduce stress. A large proportion of all aging diseases (perhaps 70-80%) is believed to occur because our stress levels are too high, and/or too long-term. High-stress modern living is one of the main factors causing chronic disease and premature aging.
There have been many Russian & German studies showing that Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen reducing tumors from 37% -50% inhibition. It is also a cardio-protective, normalizing the heart rate immediately after intense exercise and is widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. It improves the nervous system and mental functions by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain, and it also increases protein synthesis. The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Golden root is higher than that of St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng, with less side effects.
Rhodiola can be taken as a tincture, encapsulated and in tea formulations. If taking for altitude sickness, improve immunity, depression or erectile dysfunction, start with smaller doses as it can be a sedative in high amounts. Larger doses are taken for colds, flu and stress. Not recommended for pregnant women or those with bipolar disorder. The usual amounts taken are 200 to 600 mg per day.
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The following information is for educational purposes and not intended for self diagnosis. Always consult with your health care provider whenever needed.
Ginseng, or Ren Shen in Chinese, is probably the most famous herb of all, being prized for it’s therapeutic benefits for thousands of years. The Chinese traditionally used Ginseng as a restorative tonic, stimulant, male aphrodisiac, stress reliever, to enlighten the mind, increase wisdom and longevity. Ginseng has been used in Europe since the 9th century primarily as an adaptogen (helps body tolerate stress) and made it’s way to the West in the 18th century.
There are 2 main species of Ginseng- Chinese Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American Ginseng (panax quinquefolium). Both are herbaceous perennials, found in shady, woodlands, and have similar therapeutic actions. American Ginseng is milder, and not as “hot” of an herb making it more suitable for menopausal women than it’s Chinese counterpart. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a close relative and cheaper alternative with similar uses sometimes confused with “ginseng”.
Today we can reflect on the many studies and research in Asia and Europe showing the benefits of Ginseng for many health conditions:
Anxiety and Stress
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Lyme Disease
Hangover & Drug Metabolism
High Blood Pressure
Increased Cognitive Abilities
Impotence, Infertility and Diminshed Sex Drive
Ginseng root can be taken in teas, tinctures or encapsulated formulas. Care should be taken if you are on prescription medications as many can have interactions. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not use it. Avoid Ginseng for two weeks prior to undergoing elective surgery.
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The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult your health practitioner when needed.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used in India for thousands of years as a rasayana (rejuvenative), aphrodiasiac and as an adaptogenic herb (relieving long term stress in the body). It is a small shrub belonging the the Nightshade family bearing yellowish flowers that ripen into red berries. In Hindi, Ashwagandha means “like a horse” referring to its unique smell and it’s rejuvenating properties. It’s also nicknamed “Indian Ginseng” as it is used similarly as ginseng is in Chinese Medicine.
There have been many recent studies in Indian and Japan showing Ashwagandha effective for depression, anxiety, regeneration of nerve cells, inhibiting cancer cell growth and may also help protect immune function during chemotherapy treatment. Ashwagandha is thought to benefit patients suffering from Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases and other neurodegenative conditions.
Historically, Ashwagandha has been used by men and women as a reproductive tonic, working especially well for men. It is a slightly warming herb, good for Vata and Kapha excess, with calming, mild and sedative effects. The root is typically used in powder form in encapsulated formulas or mixed with warm milk and honey taken before bedtime. 1-6 capsules can be taken, with smaller doses working up to larger if needed. High doses may cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea and should not be taken by pregnant women.
Medical Disclaimer: The following information is for educational information and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult with your Medical Practitioner when ever needed.