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.

Introduction

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.

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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.

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• 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.

Precautionary Measures

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.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Uncovering the myths

The term “nootropics” refers to those chemical substances or supplements that have a sound positive impact on mental skills. In general, nootropics fall into three categories namely dietary supplements, synthetic supplements and prescription only medicines. In this article, we are going to discuss one of these nootropics which is named as Lion’s mane mushroom.

You might have heard about this mushroom before. People often mix it in their coffees or supplements in capsulated form. Why do they do that? Is it really that good or just a waste of time??

As per the studies, if you want to learn and think like a superhuman then lion’s mane is worth a try. Here’s what you need to know about this supplemental mushroom, to avail its neuro-protective benefits and take it to the next level.

What is lion’s mane mushroom?

It belongs to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Lion’s mane mushroom is also known by other names such as Hericium erinaceus, yamabushitake and hedgehog mushroom. If we study the history, this humble shroom has been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, immune system stimulant and anti-oxidant. Therefore, it is super beneficial for your brain and physical health.

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Mechanism of action

It is a natural fact that our brain slows down with age. The symptoms are associated with aging such as dementia, alzheimer’s and confusion. These all are caused due to hormonal imbalance and shrinking of brain cells. It is scientifically proven that lion’s mane mushroom can be helpful for your brain health because it stimulates the production of two important brain chemicals named:


• Nerve growth factor (NGF)
• Brain derived neuro-trophic factor (BDNF).

NGF and BDNF are those factors that stimulate the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) and strengthen the damaged ones. NGF also plays an important role in formation of myelin. It is the sheath around neuron that protects the brain cells and necessary for neuro-connection. BDNF increases plasticity of neurons, which helps them to stay strong to deal with stress and aging.

Brain benefits of lion’s mane mushroom

• Nootropics effect

As we know that this supplement helps to improve production of growth hormones, it is pretty much clear that this has a great effect on proper functioning of the brain.

Another great benefit of this mushroom is that it helps your brain to be more attentive, quick and responsive by working as a brain stimulating agent or as we call it a “nootropic drug”.

People also use it in their teas and coffee in the morning to get an extra kick to start off their day with more resilience. Students often consume this to stimulate their learning ability before they start preparing for their exam to score better.

It is also used in the patients suffering with cognitive disorders to improve their memory skills and slow down the neurodegenerative effects

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• Depression and Anxiety

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety can make it much more difficult for a person to fit in everyday life. Lion’s mane has been studied for its ability to decrease these health condition symptoms and improve mood. Some studies also indicate that Lion’s Mane mushroom can improve the functioning of the hippocampus in brain because it can stimulate the growth of brain cells.

Hippocampus is the region of the brain which controls the processes associated with memory formation and emotional responses. The researchers are concluding from their studies that if the functioning of the hippocampus is improved then emotional regulation will improve as well.

Therefore, it would lead to a significant decline in symptoms related to anxiety and depression. This supplement is quite effective in people suffering with mild anxiety or depression but you would probably still have to add an antidepressant with this supplement to augment the effect in cases of more severe symptoms.


• To improve mood

Studies also suggest that this supplement works on our feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine to treat the people who experience mood swings often. The participants in a study were given lion’s mane for a period of 4 weeks and after that, the symptoms of mood swing were reduced in this group. Combining this remedy with other healthy life style changes will further improve the mental health of such patients.

Dose and Safety

If you want to use this mushroom in your diet then you must cook it first otherwise it will taste acrid. Supplements of this mushroom are also available in some retail pharmacies, stores and online in the form of capsules, tablets, liquid extract and powder.

The dosage of this supplement varies from brand to brand and you should read the label before consuming it. If instructions are not clear then you must talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

It is a natural supplement therefore the side effects are rare. There is no evidence of any side effects caused by consuming lion’s mane mushroom.

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