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What is a Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression? Can Rhodiola Help?

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Last updated on November 29, 2019

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If you’re having side-effects from your anxiety or depression meds, or you just don’t want to be medicated, you may find yourself asking questions such as, “What is a natural treatment for anxiety?” or “Is there a natural treatment for depression?”

Although there are many natural treatments available for these conditions, this article will focus on one specific herb only.
And, it’s benefits will be sure to amaze you!

Let’s take a look at Rhodiola Rosea – an age-old alternative medicine:

Wild Rhodiola Rosea

Your Answer to What is a Natural Treatment for Anxiety! Even depression and stress too! 

What is a natural treatment for anxiety? And, what about depression or stress? Read on, and you will be surprised by the answer:

Rhodiola Rosea also goes by the names of Arctic or Golden Root and there are over 90 different species of the plant growing around the world.
It commonly grows in the high altitude, icy areas of Europe, Asia, and North America.
Their growth is dense and is suitable to use as ground cover.
When in bloom, the males usually have lovely, bright-yellow colored flowers and the females have yellow or sometimes red flowers which look beautiful when in full bloom.

The root is most commonly taken in pill or capsule form, but there are also extracts and teas available on the market.
Be sure to read the product label to identify the correct dosage you need to take and always consult with your medical practitioner before starting any treatments.

The plant has been used in natural healing medicine, especially in Russia and China, for centuries, and is well known for having tremendous effects on depression and stress.
In fact, it is known as an adaptogenic herb, which means that Rhodiola helps you to increase your resistance to stress.
Ain’t it neat?

It contains over 40 different chemical compounds including Rosavin and Salidroside.

Natural Rhodiola Rosea

What are the benefits and side effects of Rhodiola?

Mental Health Benefits

So, can Rhodiola Rosea help you?
Is it your answer to what is a natural treatment for anxiety?
Some, consider it a wonder herb while others may have a high tolerance to it and may experience little to no effects at all.

Among many other health benefits of Rhodiola (including the likes of weight loss (this, of course, can be good or bad), heart health and increased energy levels) are three other major benefits that specifically will help you to improve your mental health:

Improved Brain Health

Rhodiola is great for both your memory and concentration abilities and is a definite win for any brain challenging or brain tiring activities which could range anything from dealing with exam time and study stress to working through a company’s financial year-end or whatever it is that causes you to strain.

Although there is no real evidence in humans yet, it is thought that Rhodiola is good for dementia and Alzheimers and it is recommended that those suffering from these enjoy at least one cup of Rhodiola tea per day to help alleviate most of the other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s – like fatigue and depression.

Relieves Stress and Anxiety

The chemicals found in this herb is known to positively affect your hormone levels and help to reduce stress and induce relaxation by lowering Cortisol levels and balancing your Endocrine system.
This will ultimately result in improved memory and focus and you may even experience a rise in your energy levels.

The anti-stress benefits of this natural medicine have been calming people for many generations and can help you get rid of your chronic stress for good.

Relieves Depression

If you’re suffering from depression, this may just be the natural treatment you have been waiting for!

Depression is an awful state to be in.
Feeling hopeless, alone and sad in a very big world is really not a nice place to be.
Why not give Rhodiola a try?

Because the herb contains adaptogenic compounds, the positive effects it has on your depression will be long-lasting, and you will find that instead of just treating your depression, you may actually cure it! Chew on that for a while…

Side Effects

Although Rhodiola Rosea has side-effects, the occurrence of these is minimal.
Should you experience any of the following symptoms though, please cease the treatment immediately and consult your doctor.
Some side-effects are not good for anxiety or chronic stress sufferers.

They include:

  • Insomnia – AnxietyPanda have personally experienced this side effect, but it was easily remedied by only taking the dosages in the morning.
  • Irritability
  • Blood Pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Tight chest
  • Weightloss

Do not take during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Be sure to always buy your products from trusted herbalists, distributors and brands in order to ensure the best quality for your health.
For any natural product you buy, you always want to be on the lookout for that 100% Organic sign 😉

How long does it take to feel the effects of Rhodiola?

How long it takes to start feeling the effects of Rhodiola is really up to the individual and depends on many factors like genetics, lifestyle, body conditions and state of mind, to name but a few.

For some, it may take up to a month before they may experience the effects and for others, it might only take a couple of days.
On rare occasions, certain people may not experience any effects at all and it is then recommended that they stop treatment as it is useless to them.
Best is to consult with a professional for the quickest and best results.

Consult with a qualified and well-known herbalist to discuss the different dosages and methods of consumption that will best suit your needs.

A Personal Perspective

As mentioned,  AnxietyPanda experienced Insomnia as a side-effect, lying awake with her thoughts for hours on end…  When sleep finally came, there was but a few hours of the night left to sleep.
This was easily rectified by simply not taking a tablet at night, and rather earlier during the day.

She used to get extremely tired in the afternoons.
It used to feel like she had no sleep at all the previous night.
When feeling like this, she worked slower and had to go back and fix more mistakes she picked up when reviewing her work. 
Since taking the Rhodiola as a supplement, AnxietyPanda has not been getting tired so early in the day! It’s really been amazing for her energy levels.
She has found that she is able to concentrate on her work so much more efficiently and her mind definitely feels less foggy which helps when you need to multitask or concentrate.

Every herbalist has their favorite plant. Mine is Rhodiola rosea. ~ Chris Killham

In stressful times, AnxietyPanda’s default state is to cry whenever the pressure is on.
It is NOT a sympathy-seeking method, as many would like to accuse,  it is merely a stress-relieving effort that works for her.
She’ll let loose a river of emotions and stress, obsess, and cry for hours about a small little mistake. Calm would follow.
AnxietyPanda does not like it when the other pandas see her cry.
She feels unprofessional and weak. So she tries to hide the fact that she is crying as much as she can. It’s difficult in the open work-field, though.
She can’t hide in the bushes forever, so mostly just work on through the tears, hoping that no one notices.

Since taking the Rhodiola, AnxietyPanda has found that she feels calmer in stressful situations, and although she can sometimes feel the tears stinging her eyes, they don’t roll down her cheeks anymore. Although not completely fool-proof just yet, as AnxietyPanda has had a crying session or two or three in between, this is still certainly a big step towards getting there and not having to cry anymore!

Her anxiety has not subsided much, but her body at least feels less tense about it.
AnxietyPanda is hoping that this will get better the longer she takes the supplement, but even if it doesn’t, it is still worth taking because of the other benefits that she is experiencing.

AnxietyPanda is not taking her tablets regularly, which she will endeavor to correct soon.
She knows that she should really be taking these on a daily basis in order to experience the full benefit of this wonderful herb.

Studies & Articles

Rhodiola is truly a magical herb and comes backed with many studies.
Here are some  for you to read:

If you’re interested in reading a study on Rhodiola Rosea therapy for major depressive disorder, follow this link!

Natural Medicine Journal published this study on Rhodiola Rosea vs Sertraline for Major Depression.

If you’d like to know even more, here are some more articles, for further self-research:

Rhodiola For What Ails You?

Rhodiola Rosea to Treat Anxiety and Depression

Please leave your questions or feedback to help further answer What is a Natural Treatment for Anxiety in the comment section below. Let us know what other natural anxiety treatments you are aware of and what has worked for you!

Panda-love <3

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  1. Tommy Potter Tommy Potter

    Hello, I have had a persistent irritation around the eyes that causes a lot of itching and inflammation. I have been treated for atopic dermatitis, but I have also been told that there is a critical stress component and I would like to know your opinion regarding the possible benefits that Rhodiola could offer me at least to reduce that stress. Thank you

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Tommy, thanks for your comment and question and thanks for stopping by!

      Although AnxietyPanda suggests that you do consult with a health professional before considering any treatment, here are our 2 cents:

      AnxietyPanda LOVES this herb, and have experienced positive results relating to my stress and energy levels. I’m definitely more calm overall. 

      Rhodiola is known to include chemicals that have a positive effect on your hormone levels. It is an adaptogen, meaning it helps you to increase your body’s resistance to stress, fatigue and exhaustion. So, all in all it provides you with both psychological and physical relief of your stress symptoms. It is a natural and safe approach to stress relief.

      You may also want to read this comprehensive article with references, studies and in depth knowledge on the effects of Rhodiola Rosea Extract on stress.

  2. Henry Henry

    Hi, Thank you for producing this wonderful information for those who suffer really badly for anxiety and depression. I am not a sufferer myself but like so many, I had suffered from depression and anxiety in the past. There was a period in my life in my younger years where I went through a very long bout of depression and do realise it can be an extremely very difficult situation to be healed from.

    I too am a great proponent of natural herbal remedies. Rhodiola Rosea really does seem like the wonder plant as described in your article and I’m sure there cannot be any harm done if I was to drink it for all of the other healthy benefits it has to offer.

    Thank you for this very informative article.

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your past with depression with us.

      You will definitely find benefit from Rhodiola Rosea, whether you are suffering from depression or not 🙂 It’s a wonderful plant.

  3. Jenny Jenny

    Useful article! I’m always kind of stressed over… well everything but lately I’ve been through a stressful situation, so I started to search for medication. I didn’t want to take something heavy, so I ‘ll probably try this. I ‘ll let you know how it goes.
    I’m so glad that people start to take stress seriously. Most are like “Just relax…”. Well if I could, I would. Like I want to feel bad. Pff…
    In any case, thanks for this!

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      I really hope that the Rhodiola will work for you. It really helps to “take the edge off”.

      I cannot tell you how annoyed I feel when someone tells me to “just relax”. I mean, I UNDERSTAND that it’s easy for a person who doesn’t stress to say something like that, but they should also understand that for the anxiety or stress sufferer, this is much easier said than done. Like you said – it’s not like we WANT to feel bad all the time….

      Anyway, all the best! I look forward to hearing from you regarding if this worked for you or not 🙂

  4. Justin Justin

    Thanks for the thorough review of Rhodiola! It’s great that you included a personal perspective as well as studies on the product. Would you say this is your favourite natural treatment for anxiety or is there something else that you found works better? Also, is there a brand of Rhodiola that you would recommend?

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Rhodiola is definitely in the running for becoming one of my favorite natural treatments to ease my anxiety and stress levels, but I have also found great benefit from meditation and practicing self-love. It is the times when I forget to care for myself, and forget to let the negative thoughts go, that I become anxious and stressed and forget to be self-aware.

      Currently, the only brand of Rhodiola I have been exposed to is the Nutrilite brand, although there are MANY wonderful and affordable varieties available, like NOW foods. Although, always remember that you get what you pay for and that quality trumps quantity 😉

  5. Apoorva Apoorva

    I had never heard about Rhodiola herb before. After reading your article, now I am wondering about its usefulness.
    I have gone through depression due to the lot of work pressure in office. But I never took any medications or tried any natural remedies.
    Next time if I feel depressed I am surely gonna try this herb!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      You’re welcome, Apoorva, and thanks for stopping by!

      AnxietyPanda hopes that the herb will work for you. Please feel free to stop by again and let us know of your experiences with Rhodiola, should you decide to try it 🙂

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