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From Russia with Rhodiola

Whether it’s the Olympics, the Space Race, or the quest for military superiority, the postwar rivalry between the United States and Russia has spawned many technological advancements. From a health perspective, rhodiola, Siberian ginseng, and schisandra berries were among the adaptogens the Soviets explored to improve the mental and physical stamina of their Olympians, cosmonauts, and military personnel. Research with the unassuming yellow-flowered perennial plant native to arctic climes, Rhodiola rosea, ranks among the more interesting bodies of work.

Rhodiola emerged as the most beneficial in several trials. It proved effective for soldiers in sleep-deprivation trials and kept cosmonauts in good spirits despite living in cramped quarters.

For elite athletes, it was effective for endurance and accelerated recovery. Among the functions of rhodiola is its ability to modulate cortisol (“fight-or-flight” hormone) production; this function was most evident for biathletes. This grueling discipline combines cross-country skiing and sharpshooting. The athlete’s ability to relax, focus, and lower their heart rate for shooting accuracy is a testament to how an adaptogen such as rhodiola can help the performance of body and mind. These findings were published in a collaborative effort with Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, a professor in psychiatry at New York Medical College, and the late Russian researcher and pioneer in plant based nutraceuticals, Dr. Zakir Ramazanov.

Rhodiola research has also shown promising results for those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Rhodiola rosea boasts a complex mosaic of active constituents, with rosavins and salidrosides, recognized for the bulk of its neuroprotective benefits. This tandem of compounds exerts beneficial effects on neurotransmitter function, with additional antioxidant action to shield cognitive performance from stress and anxiety.

Our innate ability to cope with stress, coupled with the unique circumstances in life we face, can leave many of us “tired and wired,” even if we’re without a mental-health diagnosis.

Rhodiola rosea extract can definitely make a measurable impact on your life without the often-delayed onset of benefits and risk of side effects inherent with pharmaceutical interventions. Most rhodiola extracts contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides; New Roots Herbal’s Rhodiola Extract is potency-validated to 5% rosavin and 1.9% salidrosides by means of high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in our ISO 17025–accredited analytical laboratory. Here’s to your health!