Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rhodiola Rosea and Alzheimer’s

Rhodiola Rosea and its main uses

Rhodiola rosea, also known as Arctic Root or Golden Root, is a plant that is native to the mountainous regions of Europe, Asia and the Arctic region. It grows in dry, cold areas and has been a staple in the diets of many Eastern European and Scandinavian countries for centuries. Traditionally, the plant was given to betrothed Siberian couples to ensure the birth of many healthy children.

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Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb. Siberian Rhodiola rosea extract has also shown to reduce and/or prevent stress-induced cardiac damage, decrease myocardial catecholamines and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. It also reduces adrenal catecholamine release, and can prevent heart arrhythmia. Siberian Rhodiola rosea is also capable of improving thyroid function without the side effects of hyperthyroidism.

During periods of exercise or intense athletic training, Siberian Rhodiola rosea has been shown to improve glycogen (the muscle fuel) production and therefore increase muscle power and energy. This also helps to stave off fatigue during intense activity.

It boosts the breakdown of fat cells and so can actually help the body burn fat better and help with weight reduction and improved metabolism.

Over 300 human studies on Rhodiola rosea show that the plant has anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties, and that taking the extract of the root produces no significant negative effects. This is in sharp contrast to drugs for the same purposes, which typically cause sleep disorders, digestive upset, sexual dysfunction and a variety of mood disorders.

Real Siberian Rhodiola rosea root extract must contain rosiridin, rosavins and salidroside in ratios approximately 3:1:1 that reflect the phytochemistry of the natural plant. For example, the extract of Siberian Rhodiola rosea root should contain minimum 3% rosavins, 1% rosiridins and 1% salidroside.

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Positive effect on memory
Several clinical studies have demonstrated the Rhodiola Rosea’s ability to substantially enhance memorization and concentration. In one of the proofreading tests in the control groups, performance of the patients who were given Rhodiola Rosea on the prolonged experiment was about 88% better than for the patients who have been give placebo.

The process of memory formation is supported by interactions between special neurotransmitters residing in the brain. Learning and memorization processes are associated with increased activities of some neurotransmitters (as dopamine and serotonin) and with decreased activities of other neurotransmitters (such as nor-epinephrine). Rhodiola Rosea extract – salidroside – has been found as being effective in the process of moderate decrease of nor-epinephrine amount in the brain, allowing improving the cognition and memorization. Acetylcholine is another neurotransmitter that is both stimulated by Rhodiola rosea and is one of the key components to improving and retaining memory.

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Dealing with Alzheimer’s symptoms

One of the recent Chinese studies confirmed that Rhodiola herb can remarkably improve the signs of memory impairment in rats, affected by Alzheimer’s, which suggests that Rhodiola herb may be able to prevent and treat AD. While the existing data on AD prevention and treatment abilities is still inconclusive, there is no doubt that Rhodiola Rosea may improve the general well being of the Alzheimer’s patients and slow down the devastating effects of the memory loss.

Thus, Rhodiola rosea helps many of the precursors and symptoms of Alzheimer's, including stress, depression, lethargy, and memory loss.


Currently, there are no known drugs or herbal interactions associated with Rhodiola; however, research is still being done on the product, especially here in the West. One should not take Rhodiola while pregnant or breast-feeding as the risks to pregnant women and nursing mothers have not been studied enough to know for certain if there is a potential hazardous interaction. Because Rhodiola is a stimulant, individuals with manic-depression (bipolar disorder) should not take this product. Irritability and insomnia are two of the more common side effects of Rhodiola. They are usually seen when more than 1,500 mg of the herbal is taken a day.

If you're considering using Rhodiola in treatment of a medical condition, make sure to consult a physician before you begin taking the herb.

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