The Happy Herb
Posted on October 30 2017
Living a happy life, not surprisingly, adds to health and longevity. A supplement that I particularly like is Rhodiola (often part of an adrenal support formula) which helps us smile more easily and does much more…But, first I want to write about the nature of emotional health to be sure you and I are on the same page (so to speak).
The Importance of Emotional Health
Emotional health may be the prime influence on physical health. Most distress and illnesses are caused by holding back and squashing natural action. This is the basis for many emotional imbalances as well as many physical ailments such as headaches, backaches, gastric problems, sleep disturbances and many more common conditions.
When the squashing (holding back) becomes a habit and repeated time and again, chronic physical ailments begin showing up. We even may make ourselves more susceptible to having colds, flu and accidents.
Just as our behavior influences our personal health, community health is also influenced. In general, holding back and controlling takes a person out of the flow of life setting up distress both emotional and physical, as well as depriving community around them of their influence.
When a person is enjoying good emotional health, the immune system usually responds in kind, helping the person to get past the ailment. Getting past the ailment doesn’t necessarily mean cure; it could mean adjusting so that life becomes full and rich even though there is an ailment, serious or simple.
Healing includes letting go of whatever was being held in place and an open attitude to the excitement and awe of life in a new way. Illness often wakes us up and says, “Come on – get with it, life isn’t guaranteed, find a way to enjoy the awe of life as it is, now!”
Trying to control life or the lives of others removes you from the receipt of the wonderful gifts of excitement and awe. Enjoying life in all aspects is the great gift.
Life is complex. The promise of the plant kingdom is one of healing, which brings me to Rhodiola.
The Benefits of Rhodiola
Rhodiola is now available through conventional wholesalers, which means the price has dropped and market forces are at work. A good thing about the delay of the herb coming onto the general market is that there has been time for science to affirm usefulness. And, there is good science behind this herb.
Science shows Rhodiola to benefit weight loss, relieves mental and physical stress, improves thinking, enhances athletic performance, in a 3 month clinical trial demonstrated improved male performance and helped lift depressive symptoms. Small amounts of Rhodiola are useful with the suggested amount taken each day generally to be between 100-300mg (1-3 capsules). This is classified as a bidirectional and adaptogenic herb which means, if necessary it will lower that which is elevated and raise that which is too low. Science, supports this in the reduction of stress which then causes a drop in cortisol also known as the sickness hormone.
Rhodiola extract is thought to be quite safe, as there are no known contraindications with other drugs/herbs. Of course as is true for all food and medicines some people may be sensitive or even allergic.
My experience using Rhodiola
In my own experience with the herb I noticed a gentle increase in alertness after taking it, if you are not familiar with this feeling the “jazz” of it may be disquieting. Also, I noticed a more “even” feeling, sort of a “live and let live” sense. A happiness and health herb… quite a concept.
***Rhodiola is available in store only at Fain’s Herbacy
– Dr. Fain