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New study on Rhodiola may bring hope for sufferers of depression


New study on Rhodiola may bring hope for sufferers of depression


A new study has shown the herb Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root or roseroot, may be an effective treatment for people experiencing depression. The herb has been used in countries like Russia and China for centuries to help increase endurance, and as a preventive measure against altitude sickness, fatigue and depression.

Now, a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, published in the medical journal Phytomedicine, shows that Rhodiola rosea can help treat mild to moderate depression.


According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, one in five people experience depression during their lifetime, lasting from a few days to months. Symptoms include persistent sadness or low mood, fatigue, lost of interest in life, and loss of appetite or sex drive.


In animal studies, extracts of rhodiola, seem to enhance the transport of serotonin precursors, tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan into the brain. Serotonin is a widely studied brain neurotransmitter chemical that is involved in many functions including, smooth muscle contraction, temperature regulation, appetite, pain perception, behavior, blood pressure and respiration. When balanced, it imparts a sense of contentment and mental ease. Either too much or too little serotonin on the other hand has been linked to various abnormal mental states such as clinical depression. 


Thus rhodiola has been used by Russian scientists alone or in combination with antidepressants to boost one's mental state.


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