When it comes to keeping the mind focused and active, many communities in Europe and Asia have long turned to a plant called rhodiola. The science also backs them up; it turns out this herb can do wonders for not just your brain’s physical function but your mental health, too.
What is rhodiola?
Rhodiola is an herb found in colder regions of Europe and Asia that has long been harvested in Scandinavian countries and across Russia. It’s sometimes referred to as the “golden root” or “arctic root” or by its scientific name, Rhodiola rosea.
Rhodiola is best known for its plethora of brain health benefits. One study found that people who take just 170 milligrams of this supplement per day can boost their performance and reduce fatigue by up to 20 percent. It can also help your brain regulate sleep cycles so that you feel sharper when you’re awake. Additionally, rhodiola has gotten high praise for its role as an adaptogen, which are chemicals that can reduce your body’s responses to stressful situations. This includes lowering symptoms like fatigue, exhaustion, and anxiety. Lastly, while the research is still new, there are promising studies showing that rhodiola may balance the neurotransmitters in your brain to reduce symptoms of depression.
On top of all of those cognitive bonuses, scientists have found that this herbal supplement may also lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity, which prevent diabetes, as well as inhibit the spread of certain cancer cells, including bladder, breast, and colon cancers.
What are its side effects?
Based on current research, you can safely take roughly 400 to 600 milligrams of rhodiola for six to 12 weeks at a time, though you should still be able to see results with roughly 100 to 300 milligrams per day. Side effects are relatively mild and involve dizziness, headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort, and drowsiness. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t take it, nor should people with autoimmune diseases or those taking other diabetes or blood pressure medications.
How should you take it?
As with any supplement, you should definitely have a chat with your doctor before you start a new regimen. But once you’ve got the all-clear, you can buy rhodiola supplements in oral capsule form (Buy on Amazon, $17.95). Sounds like it’s worth it to make sure your mind is sharp!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.
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