Improving Mood, Energy and Focus with Rhodiola
By Sarah Axtell, ND • May 18, 2018
Unfortunately, we cannot vanish stress. It’s part of life- the endless deadlines, the tending to a sick child or parent, relationship woes, etc. But what we can do is adapt to stress more appropriately with plenty of self-care (exercise, clean diet, meditation) and adaptogenic herbs. Rhodiola is one of my favorite adaptogenic herbs. Rhodiola has the capacity to strengthen the individual against stress while also enhancing mood. Below are some of the reasons we recommend rhodiola.
Relief from Burnout
This clinical study tested a variety of burnout-related factors, including mood, energy, and sexual function. In just 12 weeks (length of study period), participants reported a positive difference, especially in categories focused on energy, joy and zest for life.
In my experience, rhodiola is both mentally stimulating and emotionally calming.
Mood Enhancement- Better than Zoloft
This study looked at 57 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The patients received treatments of either rhodiola extract, Zoloft (sertraline), or placebo.
After 12 weeks there was no statistically significant difference between the rhodiola and the Zoloft.
Researchers concluded that rhodiola may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate depression because it produced only half the side effects of Zoloft.
When stress is high, periods can go array, causing anovulatory cycles or irregular periods. Imbalances in cortisol (your main stress hormone) can wreak havoc on normal hormone cycling. This is because when cortisol is elevated during times of prolonged stress, it sends feedback that results in shutting down the functioning of the ovaries. Balancing this stress response and supporting healthy adrenal function is key and can be done with adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola.
This study revealed rhodiola can enhance cognition, including memory, associative thinking, concentration and capacity for mental work.
Talk to your naturopathic doctor regarding form and dose of this wonderful adaptogenic herb.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.