Healthspan News

Rhodiola lifts mood

Posted 7 April 2015 12:00 AM by Dr Sarah Brewer

Rhodiola is one of my favourite herbal medicines as it both relieves stress and increases energy. As an alpine plant that grows more than 3000 metres above sea level, it is sometimes known as mountain ginseng. The Russians pioneered its use to increase resistance to emotional and physical burnout, but western researchers are now recognising its benefits, too.

Researchers randomised 57 people mild to moderate major depressive disorder to take either Rhodiola extracts, or the antidepressant drug, sertraline, or placebo. After 12 weeks, those taking Rhodiola were 40% more likely to show improvement than those on placebo. While those taking sertraline fared better (90% chance of improvement) they also experienced twice the side effects such as nausea and sexual dysfunction. This suggest that Rhodiola may offer a more favourable benefits versus risk profile for people with mild to moderate depression. And if you happen to be climbing any mountains soon, it is also an effective traditional herbal medicine to protect against altitude sickness. It certainly helped me when I followed the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Healthspan’s Rhodiola Stress Relief (200mg root extract) is a traditional herbal medicine that temporarily relieves symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue and exhaustion. It has also been shown to help with mild anxiety associated with stress, based on traditional use. £19.95 for 60 tablets.

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