I have closely studied the medicinal properties of plants for over 15 years. I have such respect and admiration for the healing aspects of plants that after my extensive training in botanical medicine in naturopathic medical school I decided to go through extra, more focused course work in herbal remedies and become a professional member of the prestigious American Herbalist Guild.
I’m not mentioning this to boast, but to explain why I know so much on one of my absolutely favorite herbs, Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, or just rhodiola. This unique botanical thrives in high altitudes in Arctic areas of Europe and Asia.
Scientists have long noticed Rhodiola’s adaptogenic effects. An adaptogen is a substance that offsets the biological effects of mental and physical stress. Rhodiola is the best-studied adaptogen confirmed by over 20 years of studies demonstrating its multiple physiological and psychological and anti-stress benefits.
What I know about Rhodiola as an herbal remedy:
- Improves stamina and endurance *
- Improves your ability to work longer *
- Protects against physical and mental stress *
- Improves sexual health and performance *
- No unwanted side effects have been demonstrated in studies *
And yes, I take rhodiola daily via Mr. Happy, primarily for stress support and stamina. OK, I do not mind the boost in other areas.
An "Executive Overview" of the Science on Rhodiola rosea:
An "Executive Overview" of the Science on Rhodiola rosea:
- Faulty lifestyle, long work hours and family obligations overwhelms us guys and often leads to fatigue, weight gain, poor sexual performance and numerous health conditions. A number of studies have shown that rhodiola can dramatically counteract such aging / overworked symptoms and increase the body’s energy levels, making it one of the best supplements for men.
- In one study, rhodiola was given to 56 young physicians on night call, when there is typically significant decrease in physical and mental performance. At the conclusion of the study the researchers found a statistically significant reduction of stress-induced fatigue after just two weeks of supplementation with rhodiola. No side effects of rhodiola were reported. (Darbinyan et al. 2000)
- Another well-designed study evaluated one-time use of the same rhodiola in 161 male military cadets undergoing sleep deprivation and stress. The results showed that rhodiola was more effective than placebo at fighting the effects of fatigue. (Shevtsov et al. 2003)
- Rats were able to swim for 25% longer before becoming exhausted, compared with rodents that did not receive rhodiola in one animal study. Researchers concluded that rhodiola enhances exercise capacity by activating the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), vital biological energy source. (Abidov et al 2003)
- Rhodiola seems to help produce more energy during exercise while also protecting muscle tissue during exercise. Rhodiola was given to a group of healthy volunteers after exhausting exercise and it reduced levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and creatinine kinase, a marker of muscle damage. (Abidov et al. 2004)
- In 2009 a scientific paper was publishing looking at 60 individuals who were randomized into two groups, one which received four tablets daily of rhodiola extract and the other received four placebo tablets daily. They concluded that repeated administration of rhodiola had an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate, and decreases cortisol response to awakening stress in burnout patients with fatigue syndrome. (Olsson et al. 2009)
- According to Richard P. Brown, MD, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and author of The Rhodiola Revolution, this herb has the ability to boost libido and may even help premature ejaculation. (WebMD)
- Philip R. Muskin, MD, also professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University states "Rhodiola appears to have a beneficial effect in enhancing sexual function," he tells WebMD. "It improves satisfaction, pleasure, erections, response to orgasms." (WebMD)
Abidov M, Crendal F, Grachev S, Seifulla R, Ziegenfuss T. Effect of extracts from Rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola crenulata (Crassulaceae) roots on ATP content in mitochondria of skeletal muscles. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2003 Dec;136(6):585-7.
Abidov M, Grachev S, Seifulla RD, Ziegenfuss TN. Extract of Rhodiola rosea radix reduces the level of C-reactive protein and creatinine kinase in the blood. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2004 Jul;138(1):63-4.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL (w/Graham B). The Rhodiola Revolution: Transform Your Health with the Herbal Breakthrough of the 21st Century. Emmaus, PA: Rodale; 2004.
Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000;7:365-371.
Olsson EM, von Schéele B, Panossian AG.A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med. 2009 Feb;75(2):105-12. Epub 2008 Nov 18.
Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine. 2000;7:85-89.
Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, et al. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine. 2003;10:95-105.
I hope that this gives you some insight as to why Rhodiola rosea is one of my favorite botanicals, and thus why it is one of the five ingredients in our Mr. Happy supplement for men. Men like you.
Speaking of which, be happy.