The world is finally catching on to the power of adaptogenic herbs. I was listening in to an episode of ‘Awakening from Alzheimer’s’ where Patricia Gerbarg MD was being interviewed. She was relating to her own experience of extreme brain fog and how she had used herbal therapy to overcome it. What was this magical herb? RHODIOLA! Dr Gerbarg was so inspired by her own results, she researched and published a book on rhodiola called “The Rhodiola Revolution.”
Dr. Gerbarg was like a lot of middle-aged people who experience brain fog and low energy. Her thoughts immediately went to the fear of developing Alzheimer’s, the dreaded memory robbing disease that seems to be taking over America. She’s one of the lucky ones; someone turned her on to rhodiola and she began to heal. This happens with a lot of diseases. If you start to experience brain fog and some mild memory issues, you’ll get lumped into the category of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Once the fear of that diagnosis sets in your symptoms will often get worse immediately. Why? Because the fear and extra cortisol generated by it further changes your brain energy and adds to the real issues you’re probably experiencing – brain inflammation.
This is why rhodiola had such a dramatic affect on her. Rhodiola can stop inflammation in the brain, especially in the frontal lobe that’s most affected by Alzheimer’s. Being an adaptogen, it regulates pituitary function and the HPA axis that runs your stress response. The pituitary has a very important function besides the regulation of stress and hormones. It powers up the frontal lobe of your brain and has a stabilizing effect on all the activities related to it. This stabilizing effect is similar to how a good adrenal formula helps with back pain. The power of your adrenals stabilizes your lower back. People with weak adrenals often complain of lower back-ache and think they must have injured themselves.
Rhodiola is one of the primary adaptogens in our formulas Inner Peace and TianChi. Along with schizandra, eluethero, reishi and ashwagandha, it forms the adaptogenic mix that makes our products so powerful. Dr. Gerbarg mentions in her book how the original adaptogenic formula studied in Russia for decades was a mix of rhodiola, shizandra, and eluethero. This is the mix given for decades to all of Russia’s cosmonauts and Olympic athletes. Herbworks has enhanced the effect by adding reishi mushroom and ashwagandha to the mix.
Through my own personal experience of putting tens of thousands of people on herbal programs, I realized the toll stress was having on their lives and decided to dedicate my life to doing something about it. I’d like to thank Dr. Gerbarg for her contribution to the ‘Awakening from Alzheimer’s’ series and her commitment to using herbs for healing. It’s great to hear another expert explain her passion for healing and to know another compatriot who won’t go a day without rhodiola.