Rhodiola Rosea plant
Adaptogenic herbs are “medicines” that move the body towards health by adjusting to the specific needs of each person. Ashwagandha helps to strengthen the adrenals, which helps hormones affect energy and mood. As an adaptogen, the herb used by a person with low adrenals will see improved energy and stamina, but a person under stress may see a lowering of their cortisol levels and a calming effect. Pub Med lists 688 studies on Ashwagands for a wide variety of illnesses such as cancer, kidney damage from diabetes, pain, gout, anxiety, depression and neurodegenerative disease. In specific cases it can make the person more resistant to physical and psychological stressors and improve energy and endurance. Ashwagandha is probably safe for short-term use. In large doses Ashwagandha may cause stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting; side effects of long-term use are unknown. People with thyroid, auto-immune or liver issues should not use this herb.
Boswelia, also called frankincense, has 346 studies in the NIH database. It is made from gum resin from the Boswellia serrata tree. It is extremely effective to modulate inflammation in places that no drug except steroids can touch. But if no purified to remove beta boswellic acid to less than 5%, it can actually cause inflammation so you must be careful when you buy it.
Our favorite adaptogenic herb is Rhodiola Rosea. This has been used to lower the cortisol production, thereby rebalancing the cortisol and lowering the stress response. Evidence suggests that Rhodiola rosea may help those suffering from depression, to climb out of their psychological hole. Clinical studies on Rhodiola rosea have been performed at leading Soviet universities and medical academies. Rhodiola activates the enzyme lipase which is key to getting energy (ATP) released by cells which benefits athletes. In studying 112 athletes, researchers discovered that 89% of those supplementing with Rhodiola rosea showed a more rapid improvement in performance in sports such as track and field, swimming, speed skating and ski racing. Rhodiola rosea’s normalizing effect on the adrenal glands may also have the same effect on cholesterol, blood sugar, potassium levels and blood pressure thereby decreasing many risk factors for heart disease. It has many other benefits including improving memory and hearing, helping with Parkinson’s, weight management and immune support.