Rhodiola: The Health Benefits of Adaptogen

Rhodiola rosea is a flowering perennial plant in the Crassulaceae (or stonecrop) family and has been used for centuries all over the world.

Other names and classifications include R. Rosea, "arctic root," "golden root," its traditional Chinese medicine name "hóng jǐng tiān," and its clinical application SHR-5.

Native to colder regions, rhodiola grows naturally in the wild in places of high altitude like seaside cliffs and mountains; it can be found in the Arctic

Rhodiola rosea has been celebrated for its many health benefits, especially for its effect on the body's ability to adapt to stress. In his best-selling book Medical Medium

He recommends usage for those with depression as well, stating, "rhodiola strengthens the endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. [It] also stabilizes the vascular system."

Rhodiola is made up of about 140 chemical compounds, including phenols and phenolic acids, which have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Its most active plant compounds are salidroside and rosavin, the latter noted to help balance the stress hormone, cortisol, thus it can trigger a fat-burning response in the body. 

The good news is that rhodiola can be found at many health stores in tea, tincture, and capsule form, the latter providing the most accurate dosage.

When purchasing rhodiola products, it's important to make sure they are standardized to 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside (the naturally occurring proportions found in rhodiola rosea root).

Zizia Botanicals founder and Los Angeles–based herbalist, Abbe Findley warns that "rhodiola's astringent nature may agitate or have a drying effect on certain people. 

Rhodiola rosea is widely considered safe with minimal side effects. It has a vast array of documented health benefits from stabilizing moods to increasing energy levels. 

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