Dr. Kassam Herb Spotlight: Rhodiola Rosea
Herb Spotlight: Rhodiola Rosea
Stress is a condition of the mind-body interaction that can be perceived differently amongst individuals. The adrenal glands are walnut-sized glands that sit atop of the kidneys and are considered to be the powerhouse of the endocrine system. They regulate stress responses by producing adrenaline and cortisol which determines how the body responds to almost any life event or challenge. In the short term hormones associated with stress protect the body and promote adaptation. In the long term, the adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the demands of chronic activation (a feeling of being "stressed out") leading to sleep deprivation, overeating, weakened immunity and other-damaging behaviours.
The FIVE root causes that may drive the stress response into overdrive are emotional/mental stress, food triggers, a compromised gut, environmental toxins and chronic infections. Finding ways to cope with stressors is crucial to overall health and wellbeing. One of the ways to accomplish this is through the use of Adaptogens. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, making the body more resilient so it is able to bounce back more effectively. There are many Adaptogens out there but not all of them are equal in that each has its own unique set of properties. One of my favourite Adaptogens is Rhodiola!
Rhodiola is a Russian herb that works by increasing the release of serotonin and other important hormones in the body. Rhodiola is both physically and emotionally supporting. It is especially used in females to provide some extra emotional and mental support. Here are a few reasons why Rhodiola is one of my GO-TO Adaptogens:
Rhodiola regulates cortisol levels in the body by supporting the Nervous System. It is protective against the effects of hypoxia, extreme temperatures and intense physical activity. It is often used for stress-related insomnia as it promotes a sense of calmness.
Rhodiola is used in patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and mental sluggishness during stressful situations. It is the top herb for shift workers taken before a shift and 30 mins before bed! It is also best for fatigue due to loss of MOTIVATION. Since Rhodiola is fast acting it is great to take mid-day when you feel that sudden decline in energy.
Rhodiola is the top herb for endurance athletes as it is energy boosting. It increases physical fitness and helps with post-recovery due to physical exertion. The best part about Rhodiola is that it is fast acting. So taking it 30 minutes before a workout can help with energy during exercise
Rhodiola modulates the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine to provide the sensation of inner calmness and peace.
Rhodiola is best suited for individuals who need some extra stimulation, not for those of you who are over-stimulated. If you feel like you need a little extra support mentally, emotionally and physically speak to your Naturopathic Doctor to see if Rhodiola is right for you!
The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.