Do you know Rhodiola Rosea? This perennial plant, also called arctic root or golden root, grows in high mountains in cold regions of the world, including Iceland, Scandinavia and Siberia. Used for centuries by traditional Russian and Scandinavian medicines, legend has it that the Vickings consumed it to enforce their physical strength and endurance.
Numerous studies have already demonstrated the multiple benefits of rhodiola: it fights against fatigue and stress, increases physical performance, and stimulates intellectual capacities, etc …
Rhodiola is available in the form of capsules, powder or infusion, with different dosages depending on the pathology to be treated.
However, is it safe to use? Does it have any side effects?
This is what we invite you to explore in this article.
Rhodiola, an ideal ally adaptable to all situations
Rhodiola is an extraordinary plant, which due to its composition has an action on the whole body. Known for its adaptogenic effects, it stimulates the body’s responses to its various needs. It also promotes the supply of oxygen to the blood.
Its main virtues are as follows:
1. Anti-stress and anti-depressant function: its anti-anxiolytic effects increase the body’s ability to cope with stress of all kinds and helps fight against physical and nervous fatigue.
2. Stimulating properties of physical capacities and endurance: it reduces the feeling of effort and increases physical performance, without being considered doping. It also helps reduce altitude sickness by alleviating the lack of oxygen.
3. Positive effects on the nervous system and cognitive functions: it promotes attention, memory and intellectual capacities.
This plant is therefore the ideal ally to cope with phases of stress or intense effort, such as ; to boost its capacities and improve its performance during periods of examinations or sports competitions.
Vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, rhodiola is a real cocktail of powerful active ingredients, which must however be used with caution.
Misuse of Rhodiola and side effects
Theoretically, rhodiola does not present a real danger to the body, its side effects are rarely significant. However, some people are tempted to take it and increase the dose until they get the results desired. These behaviors can be risky and it is important to use the plant in a safe manner.
People who already have low blood pressure, rhodiola may maintain or exacerbate hypotention, due to its physiological anti-stress effects.
Failure to follow the prescribed doses and directions of use can indeed cause insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances and headaches.
Rhodiola can also be the cause of acute commotion, and more rarely of hypertension.
In high doses, it can even become toxic to the body, its active ingredients being capable of reactivating the circulation of toxins in the blood.
If abused, you may also experience extreme weariness and dizziness.
Interactions to avoid
o date, no study has demonstrated the harmful effects of the interactions of rhodiola with other plants or medicinal substances. However, One should be vigilant when combining it with certain treatments.
Studies on rodents have shown that the plant is hypoglycemic. We can therefore assume that it becomes dangerous if combined with anti-diabetic treatment. This could cause a severe drop in blood sugar levels leading to unwanted effects such as feeling sick. It will be necessary to await the results of more in-depth studies to be sure that rhodiola could be a useful addition in the treatment of diabetes.
Rhodiola is also not recommended if you are taking an anti-coagulant or, as it can lead to drops in blood pressure, in treatment for low blood pressure.
Finally, it can interact with certain stimulants such as coffee, tea, or tobacco.
Contraindications and other precautions for use
Rhodiola is not recommended for people with manic depression or bipolar disorder. The plant’s stimulating effect could trigger fits of psychic arousal.
It is formally contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as for children under 12 years of age, no study having been able to demonstrate that the plant is safe under these conditions.
Finally, taking rhodiola is not recommended after 2 p.m. to avoid disrupting the usual sleep cycle, unless it is used for the purpose of acting on a state of stress that affects sleep or that generates compulsive compensatory behaviors (diet , alcohol, tobacco, etc.) which are more notable in the second part of the afternoon and in the evening.
Rhodiola is a true ally of the body if it is used with care, in a proper manner. It is also important to choose a quality product, as well as to respect the prescribed doses and recommendations for use.
If in doubt, it is best to consult a doctor or pharmacist or naturopath, familiar with herbal medicine, before undertaking a rhodiola cure.