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Do you ever wake up feeling completely worn out? Did you then decide you just couldn’t face going into work or on with your plans? You are not alone. The statistics in America on work days lost to the effects of fatigue are staggering. People of all ages, from young children to the elderly, are finding that normal daily living these days is simply exhausting. Some find that they feel weary soon after awakening, while others need a nap after lunch or mid-afternoon. Whether or not we fall asleep easily and rest deeply, we are a nation of severely fatigued citizens.

Stimulants are more popular than ever. Coffee, soda, black tea, energy drinks and OTC or prescription medications are relied upon by millions just to make it through the day. Sugary sweets are devoured excessively, hoping to provide a much needed boost. But these are not real solutions, and we frequently find ourselves burning the candle at both ends, which can lead to physical or emotional burnout.

Memory loss and brain fog often accompany fatigue. The feelings of ‘fuzziness’ associated with brain fog are a daily part of life for many folks in today’s frantic society. Short term and sometimes long term memory loss are a nagging reality for most of us as we age and is now even considered normal.

Fortunately, the herbal world is rich with solutions. One of the world’s most revered herbs used to combat the effects of stress, fatigue and memory loss is virtually unknown in the United States. This herb is Rhodiola rosea, and if you haven’t heard of it yet, you will! There is a wealth of research showing the effectiveness of Rhodiola for literally dozens of symptoms and conditions.

Rhodiola is an herb that is definitely dose dependant. But regardless of the amount of Rhodiola taken, it appears to reduce fatigue and strengthen the immune system, helping to prevent cold and flu during times of stress. Rhodiola also improves resistance to the harmful effects of both physical and emotional stress and exertion throughout our bodies. And Rhodiola is shown to improve work productivity, regardless of what other benefits were desired.

At lower doses, Rhodiola is shown to stimulate the brain’s cognitive function and memory. Lower doses are considered 100 mgs. or less. Studies have shown that these low doses can be taken over time, usually twice a day for days, weeks or for months, to help prevent memory loss, poor thought processing or difficulty in learning. Researchers believe Rhodiola may even prevent or help improve some of the age-related memory loss in elders. Rhodiola, often taken at this low mg amount every hour or two, is a favorite for studying for exams, and for increased memory retention during exam week. School-aged children, nurses, lawyers or new drivers may benefit as the pressures of doing well on exams takes hold.

The action within the body seems to be caused in part by an increased permeability of the blood brain barrier to the building blocks of dopamine and serotonin, two important neurotransmitters within the brain and nervous system.

Physicians working the night shift were part of a double-blind crossover study using low doses of Rhodiola. A statistically significant improvement was shown within two weeks in all categories: concentration, calculation, short-term memory and associative thinking, leading to fewer mistakes and better care of their patients.

Lower doses, taken only short-term for the stress of taking exams, were shown to significantly raise test scores and reduce errors. This should be good news for students with mid-terms or final exams coming up.

Taken in medium doses, 200-300 mgs. once or twice daily, Rhodiola has been used in numerous studies and shown to significantly improve stamina, endurance and sexual vitality. Safe and legal for athletes, Rhodiola could improve anyone’s game without the side effects of stimulants or steroid-like preparations.

Rhodiola taken in larger doses has a sedative effect. Research has shown that the “Parkinsonian” symptoms of several serious health conditions, including tremors, stiffness and slowed movements, were appreciably reduced.

In conclusion, Rhodiola has been clinically shown to lift the spirits and increase memory and cognitive function while calming the adrenals and improving motor coordination. Be sure that you read the label of any Rhodiola products you consider trying, as only the Rhodiola rosea species has the research that shows such promising results. Other species are marketed, but don’t appear to offer the same physical, mental and emotional benefits.

And, as I always warn folks of, be sure to purchase only very high quality herbal products, as many brands of Rhodiola are extracted with chemical solvents, such as hexane, acetone and PERC (dry-cleaning fluid). Organically grown, naturally extracted herbs may be your best bet!

For additional information about the amazing virtues of Rhodiola rosea, please read The The Rhodiola Revolution: Transform Your Health with the Herbal Breakthrough of the 21st Century by Richard P. Brown, Patricia L. Gerbarg, and Barbara Graham.

Stay tuned; we will look at the benefits of other helpful herbs for focus, concentration, memory retention and reducing fatigue in the near future.

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2 Responses to “Relieve Fatigue and Think More Clearly”

  1. on 31 Dec 2009 at 7:03 am Chris Kavanagh

    I use Rhodiola as an antidepressant, and it is without a doubt the most effective product I’ve ever used. And that includes drugs. I could not recommend it any higher, it is truly AWESOME!!!

    Do yourself a favor and try it!

  2. on 03 Feb 2010 at 2:19 pm Cindy Hebbard

    Thanks for your testimonial, Chris. Rhodiola, like all herbal remedies, will only work if we choose a very high quality product. It sounds like you chose wisely! I’m glad you’ve experienced such powerful results! Take good care!

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