Our lifestyle, as we know all too well, is increasingly frantic and forces us to face a growing stress load from a very young age. So how do we ensure the right amount of energy and beat stress and fatigue?
Combat stress with adaptogens
There are medicinal plants that act as real natural remedies that can work positively on our adaptive response to stress. These substances, called adaptogens, help us to cope with fatigue by naturally protecting the body and mind from the negative effects of prolonged stress.
Adaptogenic substances work on several fronts:
- The body's psychophysical response to stressors improves.
- Reduce negative reactions in the "alarm" phase.
- Prevent and contrast the stage of exhaustion.
Among the most well-known and effective natural remedies to help the body during periods of particular stress, fatigue and tiredness, there is Rhodiola rosea or, simply, rhodiola; a medicinal plant present in cold climates, knowledge of which can be very useful, especially if you are a little anxious by disposition.
A bit of history
Rhodiola roots, also called "golden root".
Probably used from time immemorial as traditional medicine, the first evidence of the use of rhodiola for therapeutic purposes dates back to the Middle Ages, when the Viking populations of Northern Europe and the Siberian area used rhizome and plant roots as a natural tonic to improve physical endurance, cognitive abilities, sexual vigour and to stimulate the immune defences. In more recent times the use of rhodiola spread after the fall of the USSR, when western medicine was able to further Russian scientific studies on the properties and benefits of the adaptogen.
Russian research on Rhodiola was in some way a state secret. The plant was in fact considered a key element of the programs that aimed to increase the psychophysical performance of the Soviet elite of the time: cosmonauts, members of the special forces and members of the KGB.
Who is recommended to use it:
Today Rhodiola rosea is one of the most popular adaptogenic plants thanks to the support of much scientific literature and the excellent results confirmed by thousands of users.
The categories of people who can benefit most from using rhodiola:
- Those facing periods of particular fatigue in terms of study or work.
- Those seeking more efficient cognitive performance.
- Subjects of an anxious nature who suffer high levels of daily stress.
- Those going through phases of emotional difficulty while sustaining a hectic pace of life.
Rhodiola: effects and beneficial properties
Work stress can be kept under control by taking Rhodiola supplements.
Several studies have confirmed the ability of rhodiola to assist greater endurance and response to stressors by stimulating the activity of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. This stimulation leads to an increase in the bioavailability (up to +30%) of serotonin, the main cause of the feeling of well-being, as well as norepinephrine, dopamine and acetylcholine, entailing a significant increase in mood.
The stimulating action on mental activity helps to:
- Raise the level of concentration, lucidity and mnemonic potential from the first time it is taken.
- Treat anxiety and mild depression by counteracting the effects of cortisol (stress hormone).
- Improve sleep quality.
These properties have been scientifically confirmed and are attributable to the presence of bioactive substances called "phenylpropanoid glycosides", in particular, salidroside and rosavidin.
Rhodiola also has a cardioprotective action in the presence of tachycardias and palpitations due to anxious states and is an excellent support for men and women's sexual functions, given that it promotes libido and improves blood circulation in the genital areas.
Does rhodiola make you lose weight?
Rhodiola rosea can promote weight loss processes because it participates in the activation of tissue lipase, the main enzyme that mobilises the release of fatty acids from triglycerides to transform them into brown fat, which is more easily "burned" by the body to produce energy. Furthermore, the glycosides contained in rhodiola improve dopamine levels, promoting the feeling of satiety and reducing the compulsive emotional eating caused by sugary foods.
Benefits for sports enthusiasts
The use of rhodiola is considered highly in sports, and several studies have revealed the beneficial properties for athletes during the most intense periods of training.
Its action in support of the immune defences reduces the risk of falling into the over-training habit typical of many endurance activities, also helping to reduce the onset of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), the characteristic inflammatory pains experienced after intense physical exercise.
During endurance activities and particularly prolonged endurance, rhodiola also acts on cardiovascular, mitochondrial and ventilatory activity, exerting an ergogenic action that promotes performance improvement.