It is a sad fact that nearly half of the Australian population struggles with a mental disorder, including anxiety...
The additional stress of the uncertainty, combined with the frustration of mandated measures and other restrictions, has pushed individuals to experience into experiencing even higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Whilst anxiety and frustration are facts of life, that does not mean you should sit back and accept the devastating effects it has on your health and well-being.
There are natural – and effective – ways to help tame the anxiety beast to boost your mood and enhance your confidence.
Rhodiola extract is one of the safest and most effective ways to manage and alleviate anxiety and mood swings.
How Rhodiola Extract Helps With Hormonal Imbalances and 2020 Stress
Rhodiola’s ability to address hormonal imbalances and relieve lockdown stress is attributed to its role as an adaptogen. When you are feeling stressed, your body releases stress hormones to help you cope.
For example, adrenaline and cortisol. Both hormones are useful when you have a way of tackling that stress. But, when there is no escape from the stressor, they hold your adrenal system in a ‘fight or flight’ mode that can wreak havoc on your entire body.
If that havoc coincides with hormonal events such as menstruation, the post-natal period, or menopause, your hormones will go haywire. For example, too much stress can decrease your fertility and lower your sex drive.
As an adaptogen, rhodiola helps you remain in the resistance phase of processing stress hormones. As a result, they do not hit all at once.
This gives you the chance to strategise, find ways to handle your stress and push through it without feeling a chaotic onslaught of feelings that disrupt your day.
Rhodiola Extract: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Rhodiola is a powerful supplement that offers endless benefits. Some Scandinavian countries have used the herb to treat anxiety, depression, and fatigue for centuries.
Here are some of the scientifically proven results you can expect when using Rhodiola.
1. Increases Confidence Levels
When you are feeling stressed or going through major hormonal changes, your confidence takes a knock. A complete lack of control over certain events, such as the global pandemic, can add to those feelings of anxiety and loss of confidence.
According to research, rhodiola boosts dopamine levels. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for helping you concentrate and feel engaged with the world around you. Additionally, it is associated with reward-based sensations. When you are receiving a boost of dopamine, you naturally feel good. That feel-good factor then leads to greater confidence levels.
2. Reduces Stress and Stress Hormones (cortisol)
Cortisol plays a positive role in helping you respond to stress in small doses. Continued elevated cortisol levels can induce a state of exhaustion and ongoing fear that is unhealthy for your body long-term.
One study found that participants who took rhodiola extract to combat stress were less likely to reach burnout. Repeated administration of rhodiola decreased the likelihood of participants over-responding to cortisol.
As a result, they experienced less anxiety. If you are encountering ongoing stress and there are no signs of it disappearing, rhodiola may be the answer.
3. Reduces or Eliminates Anxiety
Anxiety has many faces. It can present as worry and confusion or anger and sadness. Depending on how severe your anxiety is, it can prevent you from enjoying life altogether.
While research is in its early stages, it shows promise that taking the extract could reduce your anxiety levels.
A scientific study focusing on post-exercise heart rate revealed that rhodiola can regulate your beats per minute. As anyone who has experienced anxiety knows, a rapidly racing heart can add to your distressing feelings during an anxiety attack.
By using the extract, you may be able to disrupt that feedback mechanism and return yourself to a state of calm.
4. Reduces Depression
Depression is astonishingly common, with more than 264 million people suffering from the condition worldwide. Although each person's experience can vary, it soon becomes debilitating when it is not controlled.
For example, your experience of depression may range from a mild lack of motivation right through to being unable to get out of bed in the morning.
In extreme circumstances, depression can lead to addiction, as well as other mental health conditions.
With rhodiola extract, you stand a chance of combatting depression naturally. One study has concluded that rhodiola is almost as effective as an antidepressant named sertraline in treating depressive disorders.
During the study, researchers found that those who took the supplement were far less likely to suffer adverse outcomes than those who took sertraline.
However, it is important to ensure you discuss any medication changes or starting a new extract with your doctor whilst treating depression.
5. Calms Mood Swings and Irritability
Mood swings and irritability are a fact of life for many women. Whether you are prone to them while menstruating or you are experiencing them during the menopause, they are far from pleasant.
Although they will not disrupt day-to-day life for most people, they can make it less enjoyable. Fortunately, that is not something you need to accept.
We have already discussed how rhodiola is an adaptogen. Rather than completely blocking the hormones that add to your mood swings, it gives you time to pace yourself before you begin handling them.
So, you will still experience a full range of emotions — you just will not go to the extremes with them. Even better still, you may find that the extract boosts your serotonin levels.
As the happy hormone that is partially responsible for those perkier moods, serotonin can bring a whole new sense of balance to those periods where you are experiencing mood swings.
6. Eases Frustration
Frustration has been heaped on most of us by the bucketload during the lockdown. While we have found ourselves completely impotent in the fight against the virus, our levels of irritability have continued to rise.
In many cases, these feelings have been compounded by not being able to see our loved ones, exercise at the gym, or shop without restrictions. Without those key outlets, sometimes it is necessary to turn to alternative ways of managing frustration.
Frustration is a complex emotion that arises from the amygdala in your brain. Lots of chemicals, experiences, and processes pour themselves into how it feels for you as an individual.
With rhodiola, you give yourself the chance to rapidly adapt to the biggest catalyst in feeling frustrated: cortisol. In doing so, you bypass that deluge of frustration-inducing processes that leave you feeling powerless against the events life is throwing at us right now.
7. Increases Energy Levels
Who would not want greater energy levels? When your energy rises, you can tick off more of those to-do tasks. More importantly, higher energy levels allow you to tackle stress without feeling engulfed by life's negative events.
Unfortunately, hormonal imbalances can knock your energy levels down a peg or two. According to one randomised controlled trial, Rhodiola can help prevent burnout.
In addition to reducing your stress response, rhodiola increases your levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a crucial part of your chemistry that helps you convert the food you eat into energy your cells and your body can use. Without it, you feel sluggish and weary, so you can probably see why getting more of it is a good thing.
8. Reduces Fatigue
Reducing fatigue may feel like the same as increasing energy levels. However, unless you have experienced true fatigue, it is easy to make that mistake.
Fatigue is a transient condition where you are physically and mentally incapable of doing anything more. It is not the same as feeling very tired, because when you feel very tired, you usually have it in you to squeeze a little more energy out. Fatigue is synonymous with burnout and physical collapse. It happens when you have taken on too much in terms of stress, and it can hit you without warning.
Thanks to rhodiola's cortisol-busting and energy-boosting properties, it can help keep fatigue at bay and make it easier to concentrate on tasks when tired. However, we do recommend reviewing your lifestyle to see if there is anything else you can do to help. Fatigue usually comes from multiple sources, so do perform a lifestyle audit from time to time to stop it from hitting you like a train.
9. Boosts Motivation and Resilience
Remember when we mentioned the way rhodiola boosts dopamine levels? In addition to making you feel good, dopamine gives you motivation and helps you concentrate on the task at hand. When you have enough of it, you can get from A to B without batting an eyelid.
During some hormonal events, motivation can dip. This is because various hormones are crashing everywhere, often in conflict with one another. During these times, having a dose of dopamine can help you push through. Once you do push through, the sense of achievement helps you generate even more dopamine still, which means you are entering into a positive cycle.
What To Look For In a High-Quality Rhodiola Extract
There are many rhodiola extra brands on the market. Quality can vary, and there is a risk of contamination and impurity. Look for brands that carry a USP or NSF seal. These services evaluate supplement products and ensure efficacy.
Additionally, it is important to ensure the brand you select contains 3 per cent rosavins and 2 per cent salidroside. Whilst the rhodiola rosea contains more than 140 active ingredients, these are the two most potent.
The Bottom Line on Rhodiola Extract
If you are going to try any supplement to help you get through the remainder of 2020 and beyond, rhodiola extract is an excellent option for consideration. In addition to helping you adapt to stress hormones in a balanced manner, it boosts happy hormones such as serotonin.
Boosted energy levels can help you face whatever challenges life throws at you. If you are already taking medications or you have an ongoing health condition, don't forget to seek medical advice before adding any extract to your regimen.