People often look to me and ask for advice regarding natural products, so when I find ones that are especially effective I like to pass the info on. Yet, there are regulatory restraints regarding what you can and cannot say about any given Natural Health Product, and what they do. Luckily, it is perfectly fine to say what a product has done for ME...i.e. my own personal experience. Something that I discovered somewhat by accident is the profound synergistic effects on both mind and body of the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola, and how to increase its effects by combining it with Neptune Krill Oil optimized with extra astaxanthin.
The effectiveness & diversity of adaptogens
At Optimum Health we have always been big proponents of adaptogens...botanical substances that correct imbalances, regardless of the direction. If you are too high they bring you down, and if you are low they bring you up. Generally speaking, adaptogens help you deal with a plethora of different kinds of stressors, both mental and physical.
Ginseng has long been considered the "King of the adaptogens"...but I would say "Move over Ginseng... Rhodiola is here"!
Rhodiola rosea's broad range of benefits
A very intriguing herb with extremely broad benefits, Rhodiola rosea is somewhat of a savior for many of the stresses of 21st century life. In today's world our bodies are being exposed to a multitude of sources of stress and pollution that our genes simply have never seen before, and have had no time to adjust to. Technological advances such as cell phones offering the capability of 24-hour communication, means we are always in "go-mode". This is not to mention the multitude of electromagnetic frequencies and non-ionizing radiation, (including the cell towers), we are bombarded with constantly. Rhodiola can not only help our body deal with radiation, it can help keep all of our systems in balance...especially our levels of anxiety, stress, mood and energy by balancing out our brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. [1,2,3]
Darker winter months negatively effect mood
As we move into the winter months with less sunshine, maintaining a positive and balanced mood becomes more challenging. Along with it our motivation, drive, and physical energy can definitely suffer as well.
One of the big reasons for this is that with less light and sunshine our brain's neurotransmitter balance is affected. Many may be familiar with the relaxing and calming properties of serotonin, but just as important in the dark winter can be our brain and nervous system's production of uplifting, energizing and feel-good chemicals called dopamine, and/or norepinephrine. These substances are collectively known as catecholamines. Maintaining a balance between them, along with relaxing serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine...(involved in learning and memory)...is essential if we are to remain well.
Also, given the highly anti-inflammatory properties of catecholamines, if our production gets too low tendencies for pain and dysphoria increase. (Hence, the effects are not just "all in your head"...they can be in the rest of your body as well.) On the other hand, if stimulating neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine get too high, while serotonin is low, agitation, worry and anxiety can heighten. Here is one of the many areas where Rhodiola rosea can help keep us in balance!
Alberta-grown Rhodiola is world class
When it comes to having a positive impact on neurotransmitters, I had been informed from a number of sources that Rhodiola rosea grown in Alberta has a particularly powerful effect. So upon getting a sample, I proceeded to fill up a large capsule with the powder, and consume it on an empty stomach.
Within about 20 minutes I was highly impressed with how energetic, yet calm it made me. It was really quite pronounced, and being in the late afternoon, I proceeded to the gym to workout, and was surprised at how strong I felt.
Adding Krill Oil helps potentiate the effect
My next step was to enhance the absorption and intensify the effects of the Rhodiola by combining it with our Krill oil with added Astaxanthin, which has its own impressive list of benefits.
Related article - Krill And Astaxanthin: Nature's Whole-Body Super Antioxidant Duo
Also discussed in a past article, for a more pronounced calming effect, when I am under pressure, or feeling overwhelmed. I often combine our Krill oil with Opti-Calm, which contains Rhodiola as one of its three ingredients.
Related article - How To Manage Stress Better By Incorporating This Protocol
But if it is a more uplifting energetic effect I am seeking I take 2 or 3 Krill and 2 or 3 Alberta-grown Rhodiola on an empty stomach to keep me alert and moving through my day with balance. My experience has been that Rhodiola and Krill are also an excellent synergistic duo for many inflammatory issues such as pain, headaches, hormonal imbalance, or chemical insult...(more on this in a future article.)
So if you are dealing with the winter "blahs", or feeling somewhat under the weather, either emotionally or physically, you may be surprised at the far reaching effects of Rhodiola.
There are so many areas of well-being that are affected positively by this powerful adaptogen, that it will be the topic of a fully referenced future article, documenting them. (Note: for an excellent summary of Rhodiola's vast list of benefits see the introduction in reference #1.)
Until next time,