Rhodiola Rosea, also known as golden root or roseroot, is a wild herb widely known for its medicinal properties, including being a natural antidepressant.
Roseroot has green flowers and grows in cold regions of the world, including the Arctic and mountainous parts of Europe. It was initially introduced in prehistoric Siberia. During the Bronze Age roseroot was transferred from Georgia to Greece through the Aegean Sea and was first mentioned in ancient Greek physician Dioscorides’ medical text “De Materia Medica”.
People had been using it for over 3.000 years and benefiting from its properties. The Vikings were seeking physical strength and endurance in it, Chinese emperors used it for medicinal preparations, while the people of central Asia considered it as the most effective treatment for cold and flu. It has been commonly used in traditional European folk medicine, too.
The Siberians used to trade it for wine, fruit and honey. Today, they still think very highly of it. Newlyweds are offered roseroot in order to increase fertility and assure the birth of healthy children. In fact, there are some Siberians, who are very strict about sharing information about the location, where this wild root grows.
Today, roseroot has undoubtedly a prominent place in the everyday life of people in Eastern Europe and Asia, where it is widely accepted as highly efficacious in work performance enhancement, nervous system stimulation, high-altitude illness prevention and fatigue relief. Based on the experience of people who have been using it for decades, drinking roseroot tea helps people live longer.
The antidepressant effects of roseroot
More than 50 years have passed since the first research was conducted on the medical properties of roseroot. According to recent research, this ancient herb may also be efficacious in alleviating mild to moderate depression. Today, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have reached the conclusion that roseroot has less aggravating side effects compared to those of the modern depression control drugs, which makes this natural herb more receptive to the patients, many of whom stop using antidepressants due to their strong side effects. What’s impressive is that roseroot has half the side effects of conventional antidepressants, while it is almost as effective.
Studies have been made, which support that roseroot can reduce some depression symptoms as well as fatigue. Taking into consideration that 70% of depression patients do not properly respond to the initial therapy, the results are extremely encouraging. Of course, these results are only preliminary, and further research has to be conducted before reaching a definite conclusion. Nevertheless, what scientists are certain of, is that roseroot is a priceless natural herb with a lot of potential.
Research teams are already conducting extensive research on its efficacy on depression, the mental illness that affects millions of people around the world. This ancient remedy is gradually being recognized and appreciated from scientists worldwide, claiming the position of conventional medicine.
Image Credits: “Rhodiola Rosea a2” by Opioła Jerzy – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
By Rena P.
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