I don't generally use this blog as a place to promote products, but as so few people I meet seem to have heard of rhodiola and it is so wonderful I am going to mention it here. When I occasionally provide refreshments for talks and events I always turn up with the usual teas and coffees that I know most people will want but also with my supplies of tulsi, ginkgo and rhodiola and I am always encouraged by the positive response when i explain about them. Personally i think that in the current state of play many of us need some kind of stimulation to keep our brains working at very best. To keep it short, our pineal and other glands are under producing important hormones and also we live in suppressing unnatural environments. Years ago I was a user of caffeine and alcohol, which I personally felt in the end to be detrimental to my freedom - they gave me something but took away more. I have also been through an abstemious strictly raw phase where I would hardly even allow myself a cup of herbal tea - I was straining at the leash...I now use herbal teas that fill the gap, helping my mind become clearer and boosting those neurotransmitters in a sustainable way.
Rhodiola rosea is a root grown in Russia that provides a healthy caffeine free alternative to coffee and tea. It is useful for mental work - it gives you that edge of clarity and bit of a buzz that a cup of coffee gives you without the side-effects and can be used to help stay awake if needing to work or wanting to play late. I drink it mixed with ginkgo (improves memory) and tulsi (adaptogen and relaxant) early in the day. It is becoming increasingly popular in the Russian party scene as an alternative to unhealthy stimulants.
Basically rhodiola is a kind of 'good for everything' folk remedy which also increases serotonin levels (caffeine reduces them - not many people know this) and gives you a healthy lift without a come down.
"Folk medicine has used rhodiola for practically every known ailment; to increase energy, endurance, longevity, stimulate sexual arousal, enhance mood and psychic abilities. In Siberian mountain villages, the roots are still given to couples prior to marriage to assure fertility and many healthy children. It's just now getting notice here in the west due to extensive pharmacological and clinical studies showing Rhodiola to enhance cognition; improving memory and learning, greatly reduce stress and fatigue, stimulate the immune system, increase metabolism, aid thyroid function, protect the cardiovascular system, boost fertility and sexual function, and alleviate depression.
Modern research has shown that it increases the body's resistance to any type of stress by regulating the body's hormonal response. Its use has been shown to have a protective effect upon the neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain. The root also enhances the transport of serotonin's precursors into the brain and studies have shown that use of this herb can increase brain serotonin by up to 30%. It has an enhancing effect upon physical endurance. Taken late in the day, the root's powerful psychostimulant effects can keep you awake, and once asleep induce vivid dreams. The root is an adaptogen. Unlike most adaptogens that need to be taken for several weeks to be effective, rhodiola begins to act with the first dose. "