Rhodiola Rosea, also called Russian Rhodiola or Golden root, is a perennial plant with red, pink, or yellowish flowers. It has no biological relation to the "common" rose.
Rhodiola enhances mental and physical performance and endurance. It has been widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. The Russian medical fraternity has traditionally given Rhodiola rosea to its cosmonauts, soldiers, sportsmen and ageing political leaders as an effective anti-aging medicine. Russian Rhodiola helped them to improve cognitive functions and physical performance.
Rhodiola is used in the following applications:
- The prevention of development of fatigue, asthenic states, catarrhal seasonal diseases.
- As part of a comprehensive therapy for treatment of neuroses, depression, hypotension, and other diseases.
- To restore health following communicable and somatic diseases.
- To increase bodily resistance to physical and mental overloads, and negative environmental effects.
- To improve sports performance, resistance to strain, restoration of strength with increased physical loads.
It may be successfully taken by drivers, flight personnel, traffic controllers, as well as other people occupationally engaged in work requiring increased attention.
Rhodiola is cardio-protective, normalizing the heart rate immediately after intense exercise. It improves the nervous system and mental functions such as memory, by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain. It also increases protein synthesis. Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen and anti-depressive agent. In this respect Rhodiola rosea is much more powerful than other adaptogens. In one study done by O.M. Duhan and colleagues, the anti-mutagenic activities of Panax Ginseng and of Rhodiola rosea were compared. It became clear that the extracts of Rhodiola rosea had a higher capacity to counteract gene mutations induced by various mutagens (up to about 90% inhibition in some cases).
In an experiment on rats with Pliss lymphosarcoma (PLS) it was shown that partial hepatectomy (partial removal of the liver), a course application of Rhodiola rosea extract or combined effects inhibit the growth of tumors by 37%, 39% and 59%, respectively, and that of metastases by 42%, 50% and 75%. In one human study, oral administration of Rhodiola rosea extract to 12 patents with superficial bladder carcinoma improved the characteristics of the urothelial tissue integration, parameters of leukocyte integrins and T-cell immunity. The average frequency of relapses for these patients improved significantly.
The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Golden root is higher than that of St. John's Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng. In a clinical trial, 150 individuals suffering from depression took Rhodiola rosea extracts for a month. At the end of the month two-thirds of them had full remission of clinical manifestations of depression, and had become more active and more sociable. In addition, daytime and general weakness disappeared.
Rhodiola rosea extracts significantly reduce the yield of cells with the chromosome aberrations in vivo and inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea in vitro.
Rhodiola rosea’s rejuvenative properties are due to it’s ability to raise the efficiency of the intracell DNA repair mechanisms.
Rhodiola rosea stimulates the immune system in two ways. By specific direct stimulation of immune defence (stimulates one of the most important type of immune cells - Natural Killer Cells, NK-Cells seek and destroy the infected cells on our bodies). Rhodiola rosea normalises the immune system by improving T-cell immunity. Rhodiola has been shown to increase the body’s resistance to toxins that may accumulate during infection development.
Rhodiola rosea makes a person less susceptible to stress. Stress suppresses immunity and destroys resistance to various forms of bacterial or virus attack. Due to the natural killer cell’s effect on tumours, Rhodiola rosea may prevent the suppression of B cell immunity which can occur during stress. When the body is under stress, a great portion of the body’s energy is expended for nothing. When we are chronically exposed to stress that continually robs energy from other systems, the general effect is a lowered immune response and decreased health.