Rhodiola rosea is a flowering perennial with a long history of medicinal use in Asia and Eastern Europe. Rhodiola's roots have the singular distinction of smelling like roses -- thus the plant's common names, rose root or golden root. The herb is traditionally thought to aid mental and physical performance, act as an antidepressant, and treat anxiety and insomnia. As of 2010, scientific study on the medicinal effects of Rhodiola intake is in its early stages but preliminary results seem to support the traditional claims.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Make an appointment with your general practitioner to discuss taking Rhodiola. Bring any other medications you may be taking to make sure taking Rhodiola won't inhibit their effects. Follow your doctor's recommendations when making and taking Rhodiola.
Decide what type of Rhodiola preparation you prefer. You can obtain a powdered form of Rhodiola rosea extract or the dried leaves of the plant.
Make an elixir using either the powdered or dried forms. If using dried Rhodiola, weigh an empty 1-cup measure, then fill it with 80-proof vodka. Weigh the full cup and subtract the weight of the cup itself to obtain the weight of the vodka. Add an equal weight of dried Rhodiola and steep for two weeks, or until the Rhodiola breaks down and sinks to the bottom of the container. Strain off the Rhodiola and store the elixir in a glass container. Take 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls per day.
If using powdered Rhodiola, add 30 grams of Rhodiola to 150 grams of 80-proof vodka, shake and let sit for three to five days. Filter the elixir through cheesecloth or a clean bandanna and store in a glass container. Take 1/2 teaspoon three times per day.
Make Rhodiola tea if you prefer to avoid the vodka. Pour 1 cup of hot or boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried Rhodiola. Let it steep for five to 10 minutes, then strain. Drink once per day.
Tips and warnings
- Purchase Rhodiola or grow it at home. If growing your own Rhodiola, order the seeds online and plant according to package directions. Dry the herb without affecting potency by hanging it in bunches in a dry, shady location.
- The product is also available in pill form, but don't attempt to make the pills yourself. The USDA does not regulate the potency of Rhodiola formulas, so the powder or tea may vary in strength. Putting an over-the-counter formulation into pill form could result in a dangerously concentrated dose, or such a small dose of active ingredients that it's ineffective. When making your own Rhodiola from bought products, stick to liquid formulations.
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