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rhodiola plant

This adaptogen supports the adrenals and autonomic nervous system, making it an excellent overall tonic when your stress response is in overdrive. It helps down-regulate stress hormones and can give a gentle energy boost without overstimulating your system.

Traditionally, rhodiola is used for mental focus, though research suggests that it may also ease anxiety and depression. Other studies suggest rhodiola may improve serotonin and dopamine levels and counter the effects of cortisol. This plant can be especially useful in the winter months for anyone with a tendency toward seasonal affective disorder.

Dosage and Use: The typical dose for rhodiola is 200 to 250 mg twice daily. Children need less — around 100 mg twice a day. Look for a standardized extract containing at least 3 percent of the active compound rosavin.

Rhodiola is best taken with meals, but aim for breakfast or lunch rather than dinner — it is energizing and may interfere with sleep. On that note, if you notice trouble with sleep or feel too hyper, discontinue use.

This was excerpted from “NATURAL MENTAL HEALTH: 3 Adaptogenic Plants to Help Relieve Stress” which was published in the September 2022 issue of Experience Life.

Henry Emmonds
Henry Emmons, MD

Henry Emmons, MD is an integrative psychiatrist and the author of The Chemistry of Joy, The Chemistry of Calm, and Staying Sharp. He is the cofounder of

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