Rhodiola, also known as Rhodiola rosea, is a medicinal plant that’s been used for hundreds of years to treat various ailments and promote general well-being. You can find rhodiola root tea, as well as rhodiola powder and rhodiola capsules. Modern research points to rhodiola being an effective natural remedy for depression comparable to pharmaceutical drugs. It may help counter stress, fatigue, and anxiety disorders while providing protective health benefits.
1. Helps Fight Stress and Fatigue
For occasional stress and fatigue, rhodiola may help. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which is a type of herb that helps the body maintain homeostasis in the face of stress. In fact, it can improve the body’s resilience to stress, increase physical performance and endurance, and boost mental clarity.
2. May Improve Symptoms of Anxiety
In a small study, 10 participants with generalized anxiety disorder were given 340 mg of rhodiola every day. After 10 weeks, all participants given rhodiola had lower anxiety scores than at the start of the trial. As an adaptogen, rhodiola helps the nervous system stay out of “fight or flight” mode. In animal models, rhodiola has been shown to suppress the release of the stress hormone cortisol. By helping keep cortisol levels under control, rhodiola may help anyone with mild stress to severe anxiety cope with their symptoms.
3. Enhances Brain Function
Research studies have looked at the effect of rhodiola on the stress-impaired brain. When the body is in “fight or flight” mode, physical senses are sharpened, but cognitive functions can be compromised by high cortisol levels, causing brain fog and short-term memory loss. In a 28-day study, 576 mg of rhodiola extract per day was found to increase concentration and attention span, as well as cognitive performance.
4. Lowers High Blood Pressure and Protects Heart Health
Besides lowering stress, it seems rhodiola can also help by lowering blood pressure. When blood pressure becomes too high because of arterial plaque, it can put you at risk for heart disease. While research hasn’t been conducted on human patients, rats with hypertension showed reductions in blood pressure with rhodiola intervention. Rhodiola has even been shown in animal models to protect the heart against stress-induced damage. Rhodiola also increases cardiac output, which is the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute.
While more research is needed, data from animals suggests that rhodiola has several heart-protective benefits. These benefits could potentially benefit athletic performance, as well as play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
5. Promotes Metabolic Health
Research shows that rhodiola has antidiabetic effects that promote metabolic health. According to a recent publication in Scientific Reports, rhodiola has the ability to