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May 22, 2021 4 min read

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. It keeps you alert and motivated. It also mobilises the body to respond when you’re in danger. However, too much stress, or chronic stress, can have a detrimental effect on our health, and may even lead to mental health conditions like depression.

Stress relief is very personal. For some, it might be meditation and listening to music. Others may prefer going out for a run or getting some fresh air. It’s all about finding which acts of self care work best for you.

In addition to practicing self care, you may also want to try a natural adaptogen, like Rhodiola Rosea. Here we’ll share an overview of this Siberian herb and why it’s good for stress relief.

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola is a flowering herb that grows in the cold mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. While its scientific name is ‘Rhodiola Rosea,’ it’s also known as the ‘Arctic Root’ or ‘Golden Root.’

Rhodiola Rosea has long been used in traditional medicine. Most of its health benefits are found in the root, which contains over 140 active ingredients including phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, monoterpenes, phenolic acids, essential amino acids and minerals. Its 2 most potent active constituents are Salidroside and Rosavin.

Salidroside is a phenylpropanoid glycoside that helps protect the brain and offers antidepressant effects. Rosavin is a cinnamyl alcohol glycoside that is believed to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Both of these compounds give Rhodiola its adaptogenic properties.

What is an adaptogen?

Adaptogens are natural, plant-based substances that increase the body’s resistance to different types of stress. This could be environmental stress or stress caused by a mental or physical illness. Adaptogens work by regulating the release of stress hormones from the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands.

People in Russia and Scandinavian countries have been using Rhodiola to treat stress-related conditions like anxiety, fatigue and depression for centuries. Adaptogens have also been at the centre of several scientific studies, with findings showing they may have the following effects on the human body:

  • Neuroprotective properties
  • Anti-fatigue benefits
  • Antidepressant effects
  • Stimulant effects on the central nervous system
  • Increase mental work capacity
  • Improve attention
  • Prevent stress
  • Relieve fatigue


Rhodiola Stress Relief

The fact Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen means it can potentially help increase the body’s resistance to stress. A study of 101 people with life and work-related stress found that taking Rhodiola extract significantly improved their symptoms. This included reducing fatigue and exhaustion and calming feelings of anxiety. Improvements were recorded in just 3 days of taking the Rhodiola supplement.

Rhodiola is also believed to help improve symptoms of burnout, which can occur as a result of chronic stress. A study of 118 people with stress-related burnout found that Rhodiola Rosea improved many associated measures, including feelings of stress and depression.

Rhodiola Rosea for fatigue

Arctic root or Rhodiola Rosea root may also benefit those suffering from exhaustion and fatigue - two symptoms closely associated with stress.

Taking a Rhodiola supplement, like our Rhodiola Rosea Root Powder, can help give you more energy and motivation. It’s thought to work by balancing brain chemicals such as melatonin (which makes you sleepy) and serotonin (which makes you happy and energised).

A 4-week study of 60 people with stress-related fatigue found that Rhodiola Rosea had a positive effect on their symptoms and also helped increase their attention span.

Rhodiola for depression

According to the mental health charity Mind, depression can be caused by a wide range of factors including (but not limited to):

  • Childhood experiences
  • Life events
  • Other mental health problems
  • Physical health problems
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Medication, drugs and alcohol
  • Sleep, diet and exercise

All of these factors put some form of stress on the body, which is why acute and chronic stress are often linked with major depression. If you believe you might be suffering from depression, we’d recommend talking to someone you can trust and seeking advice from mental health charities like Mind.

There are all sorts of treatments for depression as it isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ condition. While some may find antidepressants work for them, others may find more benefit in talking therapies or a combination of treatments.

Some people also like to try herbal supplements for depression. Similar to antidepressants, adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea may positively influence the chemicals in the brain that affect our mood and emotions.

Scientific studies have examined Rhodiola Rosea as a supplement for mild-to-moderate depression. One 6-week study found that Rhodiola extract significantly reduced feelings of depression and improved the emotional stability of participants with mild-to-moderate depression.

Another study compared the results of Rhodiola Rosea, the antidepressant drug Sertraline and a placebo. While Rhodiola and Sertraline both reduced symptoms of depression, the antidepressant was found to be most effective. However, participants reported fewer side effects from Rhodiola than the antidepressant drug.

Other Rhodiola benefits

While Rhodiola Rosea is known for its adaptogenic properties, it has also been used in traditional medicine and scientifically studied for:

  • Improving brain function
  • Improving exercise performance
  • Helping to control diabetes
  • Helping to treat cancer

How to take Siberian Rhodiola Rosea

When buying Rhodiola Rosea online or from your local health food store, make sure you know exactly what’s inside the supplement. Unfortunately, not all Rhodiola Rosea supplements are high quality, with many of the cheaper products containing binders and fillers.

Choose Mountainlife Rhodiola Rosea Root Powder for a 100% pure and natural high-grade supplement. We wild harvest our Rhodiola Rosea from Siberia and have it finely ground into a powder for your convenience. Mountainlife Rhodiola Rosea is 100% free of chemicals, pesticides & GMOs.

To take Mountainlife Rhodiola Rosea, add ½ tsp (roughly 2g) of powder to hot water to create a Rhodiola tea. Alternatively, stir it into a shake or smoothie. We’d recommend taking Rhodiola Rosea on an empty stomach for full effect. It’s also not advised to take Rhodiola before bedtime, as it can have a slight stimulant effect.

We also stock Siberian Rhodiola Rosea capsules. Take 1-3 daily with plenty of water.

Other supplements for stress relief

Here at Mountainlife, we stock several other adaptogenic supplements including Siberian Ginseng, Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Maitake and Turkey Tail. For more information, visit our product benefits pages or drop us a message - we’re more than happy to help!

Thomas Sharp
Thomas Sharp

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