In Siberia it is said that those who drink rhodiola tea regularly will live more than 100 years. According to physician Richard P. Brown, MD and co-authors, "Traditional folk medicine used R. rosea to increase physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anaemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders. In mountain villages of Siberia, a bouquet of roots is still given to couples prior to marriage to enhance fertility and assure the birth of healthy children. In Middle Asia, R. rosea tea was the most effective treatment for cold and flu during severe Asian winters. Mongolian doctors prescribed it for tuberculosis and cancer. In 1755, R. rosea was included in the first Swedish Pharmacopoeia. Vikings used the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance… Since 1960, more than 180 pharmacological, phytochemical, and clinical studies have been published."
A premier adaptogen, Rhodiola is also an antidepressant and mood stabilizer. A clinical trial demonstrated a 64% recovery rate in 128 depressed patients treated with Rhodiola. The authors administered 150 mg of rhodiola three times a day, equivalent to just under 2 ml per day of our 1:4 tincture. A second study found that patients with major depression had a reduction of symptoms and a shorter hospital stay than matched controls. Rhodiola reduced side effects from antidepressants and, used alone, was effective for mild to moderate depression.
As an adaptogen, Rhodiola increases work capacity – both mentally and physically – under stressful conditions. It can boost brain function and memory and has significant antifatigue effects. Rhodiola in another study improved sleep in 67% of patients with chronic sleep-related problems. Panossian and Wagner relate that Rhodiola had the most pronounced effect on the ability to prolong work as compared to other adaptogens. Medical students had reduced mental fatigue, improved sleep patterns, a reduced need for sleep, greater mood stability, and a greater motivation to study when given Rhodiola.
Bulgarian researchers demonstrated that Rhodiola activates cAMP in adipose cells, which, in turn, activates hormone-sensitive lipase, a hormone that plays a key role in breaking down the fat stored in adipose tissue.