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Are you one of the 242 million Americans that now take prescription medications for mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression?
That’s right — one in six US adults is now on some type of psychiatric drug.
That number is absolutely staggering when you consider the side effects these prescriptions are known for including weight gain and insomnia at the mild end of the scale and impotence, memory loss and thoughts of suicide that top the severe list.
And when you add in the fact that many of these drugs perform little better than a placebo if at all, you have to wonder why anyone takes them.
In fact, the company responsible for the popular anti-depressant drug, Zoloft, even faced a class action suit for allegedly covering up the drugs ineffectiveness and attempting to skew studies to make it look like Zoloft performed better than a sugar pill.
So, where can you turn for help overcoming chronic stress, anxiety and depression if you can’t count on these prescription medications?
The answer may lie in a little known plant.
Improved brain function fights depression
Rhodiola rosea is known as the “arctic root” or “golden root.”
It grows at high altitudes in both Europe and Asia and has been used to improve physical strength, insomnia, depression, fatigue and even athletic performance.
Rhodiola works by making the cells in your brain and nervous system more sensitive to serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for making you feel good, improving your focus and boosting your mood.
In fact, multiple studies have demonstrated the power of this little known herb.
In one, for people suffering from mild to moderate depression, taking between 340 and 680 mg of rhodiola extract per day gave significant improvements in just six weeks.
And according to results of another study, rhodiola greatly reduced anxiety scores in patients taking the herb.
A pilot study even showed the power of rhodiola to reduce fatigue due to stress.
Nature over chemicals
There’s no doubt that rhodiola could be the next powerhouse when it comes to overcoming mild to moderate depression, decreasing your stress levels and beating anxiety.
But, what should you look for in a supplement?
I recommend trying to stick to the same type of rhodiola used in the studies that was so successful.
In other words, look for a standardized extract containing 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside. These are the active components in rhodiola that make it so beneficial.
It’s generally best to start with a low dosage and then work your way up, and a safe bet to follow the dosage instructions on the brand you use.
But a good beginning dose is 100 mg one time per day for a week. On week two, you can take 100 mg twice per day.
For week 3, increase to 200 mg in the morning and 100 mg in the afternoon.
You can continue to increase your dosage until you are at a target dose of 400 mg a day.
You don’t have to live with your depression, stress and anxiety. And, you don’t have to choose those prescription drugs with questionable effectiveness, chemicals and dangerous side effects. Rhodiola is a safe and effective alternative to boost your mood, lower your stress and even fight fatigue.
Medications and Drugs — eMedicineHealth
Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression — Nordic Journal of Psychiatry
A Pilot Study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax®) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) — The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine