Considered more potent than ginseng, this adaptogenic herb is revered by the Tibetan monks as being the supreme herb in traditional health modalities. Scientists have determined the majority of its power and potency comes from two compounds, salidroside and rosavin. Each compound may increase physical performance, protect cognitive function, improve response to stress, and achieve internal balance. Here are 6 reasons to supplement with Tibetan Rhodiola.
Provides Nerve Support
Salidroside, one of the two main chemical compounds in Rhodiola, have shown a variety of positive effects for nerve health. The compound acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and preventing damage to nerve cells. Research indicates that salidroside may also support nerve repair and possibly disrupt premature cell death. 
Support for Neurological Health
The same way salidroside protects against nerve damage, the compound also supports brain cell health from degenerative factors. Studies indicate it protects and possibly reverses damage done by amyloid-beta plaque buildup in brain cells.  Amyloid-beta, or A-beta, are the amino acids associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Research suggests that rhodiola may help slow brain aging and provide therapeutic benefits for cognitive function.
Improves Physical Performance
Rhodiola has a long history of use as a means to improve physical performance. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated endurance and exercise duration increases for participants taking rhodiola. Oxygen levels increased as well, positively aiding physical performance.  Additional studies have found both salidroside and rosavin provide a stimulating effect which can last up to 4-6 hours. 
Lowers Feelings of Stress and Anxiety
Traditional health practitioners have recommended Rhodiola as a natural approach to stress and anxiety. Studies report individuals experience an improvement in both overall mood and the ability to function during times of stress when supplementing with the herb.
Rhodiola supplementation increases oxygen levels which improves overall focus and concentration. This in turn contributes to a greater sense of clarity and an improvement in mood.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
When to Supplement with Rhodiola
Rhodiola has shown no adverse side effects in studies to date. Most researchers consider it safe; of course, you should always consult with your medical practitioner before beginning a new supplement. With its rejuvenating effect on the brain, overall nerve function, and its ability to enhance physical performance, it's no surprise Tibetans consider Rhodiola the supreme health-supportive herb.
Do you take Rhodiola? What effect has it had on your life? Let us know!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Xie H, Zhu DH. Advance in studies on pharmacological effect of salidroside on nervous system diseases. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2012 Sep;37(17):2505-9.
- Zhang L1, Yu H, Zhao X, Lin X, Tan C, Cao G, Wang Z. Neuroprotective effects of …read more