Naturopathic Health Care
Many of my patients are familiar with my use of adaptogenic herbs.  Adaptogenic herbs help restore and maintain physical strength, memory, alertness and focus.  There are many adaptogenic herbs to help fight stress related illness, my favorite one being Rhodiola rosea or Sedum roseum. 

June 2007
Dr. Jon Dunn, Licensed Naturopathic Physician
Rhodiola to the Rescue
                     Dr. Dunn's 
    Natural Health News
E-Mail me at
Jon@DrJonDunn.com

Rhodiola grows in Artic regions like Siberia and Alaska, and is now cultivated in areas like Colorado assuring eco-protection of this valuable herb.  Its roots smell like roses, hence the name.  Rhodiola has been used for centuries and studied in Russia for decades providing a wealth of laboratory and clinical research.  The active ingredients are the phytochemicals (plant chemical) classified as phenylpropanoids including rosavin, rosin and rosarin.  You want to see this on the label to assure therapeutic value ie 3% rosavins.

Laboratory studies on Rhodiola have shown it to improve memory, physical function and heart function.  Rhodiola has also been shown to enhance the effects of anticancer chemotherapy.  Many of the benefits come from its ability to increase brain neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.  Clinical trials conducted over the past 3 decades in Russia corroborate the lab studies on rhodiola.

A study published in Phytomed cited students taking Rhodiola experienced significant improvement in physical fitness, mental fatigue and performance tests.  This was a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial.  Students taking the rhodiola also reported overall improvement in general well-being, and achieved higher academic test scores then the control group.  

Young cadets under stress who were given a single dose of rhodiola demonstrated improved mental work quantity and quality.  This randomized, double blind 2003 study contrasted the cadets taking rhodiola with a placebo group and untreated control group.  

Other studies showing the benefits of rhodiola included a variety of test subjects: healthy but sedentary men aged 20-31, students and engineers under high stress (24 hours of continuous work), and cosmonauts who experienced reduced fatigue, prolonged working time and increased endurance to the reduced atmosphere in their spaceship.  

Many other research studies validate the effectiveness of rhodiola as an adaptogenic herb improving a host of health concerns including:

Poor appetite
Irritability
Headache
Coordination
Anxiety & Depression
Insomnia
Erectile dysfunction
Irregular menses
Cancer relapse
Immune dysfunction
Altitude sickness
Liver ailments

It is easy to see why I frequently recommend this herb to my patients.  Typical dosage is 100-200 mg of a standardized extract of 3% rosavin at breakfast and again at lunch.  This can be done on an on-going basis as long as needed.  Rhodiola is a very safe herb for adults to take with no side effects as directed.  As with many things, more is not better, too much (1,000 mg plus) can cause sedation.   

In this high stress San Diego environment rhodiola is a true herbal ally.

In Health,
Jon Dunn, ND


Benefits come from Rhodiola's ability to increase brain neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Studies on Rhodiola have shown it to improve memory, physical function and heart function.
In this high stress San Diego environment rhodiola is a true herbal ally.