Rhodiola - Helps Fight Obesity and Depression
Thursday, October 7th 2004
Rhodiola rosea is a highly prized herb from the polar arctic region that is now making its mark in western herbology
Between 1725 and 1960, various medicinal applications of Rhodiola rosea or Arctic Root appeared in the scientific literature of Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union and Iceland. Since 1960, more than 180 studies have been published.
Weight Control Without Stress
Not only does Rhodiola have the ability to help lift the stress that causes your body to crave foods of comfort and store more fat, it also assists in helping you to control your weight.
In a placebo controlled study involving 130 overweight patients over 90 days at the Georgian State Hospital, of those who consumed Rhodiola Rosea, 92% had remarkable weight loss. This is presumably due to Rhodiola's ability to activate adipose lipase, a key enzyme required to burn the body's fat stores.
Why is Rhodiola Called an Adaptogen?
Rhodiola rosea has been categorised as an "adaptogen" by Russian researchers since 1947 due to its observed ability to increase adaptation to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. To successfully combat stress and stressful situations, adaptation is required.
Combat Depression and Anxiety
In a study of 128 patients aged 17-55 years, Rhodiola alleviated fatigue, irritability, distractibility, headache, weakness and other symptoms in 64% of cases. Improvement was assessed by psychological testing and work productivity. (Proceedings Modern problems in psycho-pharmacology. Russia: Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences: 1970) Rhodiola has been used with a variety of prescription antidepressants with no apparent problems.
What else does Rhodiola do?
Reverse emotional stress characterised by sluggishness, low motivation, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, laboured breathing, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, excessive sleeping and brain cloud. It can help increase attention span, memory and mental performance.
Increase the Body's Ability to Handle Stress of All Kinds
This is partly by calming the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and relaxing the parasympathetic system. Subjects given Rhodiola showed increased levels of beta-endorphin (the stress relieving, feel-good, analgesic peptide) in the brain.
Protect Against Heart Attacks
Stress causes adrenalin release, which over time can cause heart muscle damage found in 86% of heart attack victims. Rhodiola decreases the amount of cortisol and adrenalin released during stress, which protects the heart. Rhodiola also lowers serum fats and cholesterol while increasing the resistance of blood vessels to cholesterol plaques. It also protects against arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats) by potentiating endorphins (natural opiates that regulate heart beat.)
Improve Endurance Levels
Rhodiola is excellent for athletes and body builders. A study of 52 individuals of all ages showed a 12% increase in the duration of physical performance. Rhodiola increases muscular ATP and creatine levels. The lipase activation provides fuel for energy in endurance athletes and it can help shorten the recovery period after prolonged muscular workouts.
Increased Protein Metabolism Adds Value for Body Builders
Muscle proteins and glutamic acid levels are enhanced by Rhodiola. It also increases haemoglobin and red blood cell levels while favourably changing the muscle to fat ratio of the body. It helps maintain energy levels and can increase strength and mobility.
For ultimate effectiveness, the active constituents in Rhodiola should be standardised to 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides as found in Radiance AdaptoStress (Rhodiola 500mg)
Caution: Rhodiola is not recommended in excited states. It should not be used in individuals with bipolar disorder who are vulnerable to becoming manic when given antidepressants.
Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2004 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Weight Loss and/or Depression:
Clinical Strength St Johns Wort
Fish Oil 1500mg - Odourless
Ginseng 5 Exhaustion Relief
Super Multi Plus
TummyTone - CLA
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If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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