Rhodiola Rosea: A Superherb Among Nootropics
Rhodiola Rosea is a plant that has remarkable stress relieving and antidepressant properties and is considered equivalent to some of the most potent nootropics and brain stimulating supplements.
Rhodiola Rosea with common names such as Golden Root and Roseroot is an adaptogenic herb and a nootropic agent. It has been used in traditional medicines in Russian and Scandinavian countries from centuries. Rhodiola Rosea is widely used as a treatment for fatigue, poor concentration and memory loss. It is also believed to increase the learning skills by stimulating the brain and also productivity of workers.
Studies reveal its benefits for relieving pain, headache, scurvy, hemorrhoids and as an anti-inflammatory analgesic.
In this article, we are going to explore how Rhodiola Rosea works and benefits your brain.
Mechanism of action
There are two possible ways according to scientists in which Rhodiola Rosea works in our brain.
• According to a study, Rhodiola Rosea sustains some brain hormones or neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. All of these brain chemicals are essential for speed of cognitive processing, mind alertness, mood and memory. This plant is considered to modulate the mono-amine oxidase enzymes that would otherwise destroy these brain hormones.
• The second one is that Rhodiola has also been suggested to be helpful in maintaining the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by inhibiting ACHe. It is an enzyme that degrades acetcylcholine.
How does it affect the brain?
• Improves Brain Function
This plant contains some active ingredients such as rosin, rosavin and rosarian. These are the principal compounds available in the roots and rhizome of this plant. Studies show that extract from rhodiola rosea plant exhibits neuro-protective and nootropics effects on brain. This is the reason behind its use to increase the cognitive skills and as a brain stimulant.
• To Decrease the Mental Fatigue
According to studies, this plant also helps to boost the mood by reducing stress, lethargy and mental fatigue. Patients of chronic stress take rhodiola supplement to boost their mental performance. It is also proven to enhance the cognitive energy, stamina and level of concentration for a prolonged period. Therefore, people often take this when they are working on a detail oriented project to multiply their output with the effort.
• To Improve Mood
Rhodiola Rosea boosts up the mood by increasing norepinephrine and serotonin levels in your brain and the feel good hormones like beta-endorphins.
• Neuronal Regeneration
Rhodiola Rosea is helpful in neurogenesis which means that it helps the formation of new neurons. It also helps to repair the old neurons. Another function of this plant is that it activates the synthesis of ATP which is the main energy source of your body and brain cells. Rhodiola Rosea reduces the C-reactive protein which is inflammatory in nature. Furthermore, it protects neurons from free radicals and cell death due to oxidative stress.
• Improve Exercise Performance
Rhodiola also helps to improve exercise performance. In a study, athletes were given 200 mg of this supplement two hours before performing an exercise. The participants with rhodiola were able to perform for an average of 24-25 seconds more than the placebo group.
This study and others show that rhodiola can be used to improve exercise performance by increasing endurance of players and decreasing the exertion. However, the exact mechanism of action of this supplement to have any effect on muscle strength or power is still unknown.
How to start taking these supplements
Rhodiola supplements are widely available in the form of tablets, capsules and extract. It’s also available in the form of powder or dried form to make tea, but some people prefer the supplement in pill form because it enables accurate dosing and time saving method.
Unfortunately, there is always a chance of adulteration in the contents of this supplement. To avoid this, always choose a brand that carries the USP or NSF seal on the pack. These are the organizations with zero profit interest that make sure supplements contain what they claim, without impurities.
Another important thing is to be sure to look at the labels of these supplements and double check they contain a standardized proportions of 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides. These are the naturally occurring quantities of these components in rhodiola root.
How Much and When to Take It
The best way to take rhodiola supplement is with an empty stomach, but not before bedtime because it has a slightly stimulating effect. The recommended dose of rhodiola to improve symptoms of mental fatigue, stress and depression is from 400 to 600 mg in a single dose per day.
If you want to take rhodiola for as a brain stimulant to enhance your performance then take 200 to 300 mg an hour or two before workout.
Safety of Rhodiola
Rhodiola is a safe to use supplement and generally well tolerated. There are no potential side effects related to this supplement but you must consult your doctor if you experience any change after its use.