Study Hints at New Herbal Longevity Champ
Panax ginseng and resveratrol are among the best-known nutritional supplements. Ginseng is famous as an adaptogen – an herb that supports your body against stress and promotes endurance. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that studies suggest possesses powerful anti-aging properties.
But what if there were an herb that did both? According to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, we may now have it.
The herb is golden root – Rhodiola rosea.
Golden root is a hardy flowering plant that grows in some of the world’s toughest climates. It grows best in the far north and at harsh high altitudes.
Perhaps that’s why Scandinavians and Russians began using it to help fight stress and fatigue. But they kept using it because golden root works.
In 2008, scientists at UCLA put golden root to the test. They gave golden root to a group of adults suffering with anxiety problems. After 10 weeks, the volunteers were far less anxious.1
More recently, a team at Armenia’s National Institute of Health tested golden root’s effect on mental sharpness.
They split a group of volunteers in half. One half took a single dose of golden root, while the others received a placebo. Then all the volunteers were given stressful mental tasks to complete.
The golden root group was better able to pay attention to the task. They also showed greater speed and accuracy then the placebo group.2
Swedish doctors looked at a different aspect. They gave golden root to a group of 30 adults suffering with stress-related fatigue. A second group took a placebo.
After 28 days, the golden root group showed improvements the placebo group didn’t. They had fewer signs of burnout, were better able to concentrate, and showed greater speed and accuracy on demanding mental tasks.3
Recently, university researchers in Pennsylvania tested golden root for endurance. In this study, cyclists taking golden root completed a 6-mile time trial faster – and with less effort – than others taking a placebo.4
Taken together these studies seem to confirm golden root is a powerful adaptogen. And now University of California scientists may have uncovered the icing on the cake.
They found that golden root extract promotes a longer lifespan in fruit flies. That’s a far cry from human studies… but it’s the number that’s so remarkable. In this study, fruit flies given golden root extract lived 24% longer than those that didn’t get the extract!5
They also discovered that golden root doesn’t work the way resveratrol does. Resveratrol mimics the effects of caloric restriction, which we know extends life in at least some lower animals.
Golden root uses an entirely different pathway. And the researchers think these different effects may prove to be cumulative.
This is cutting edge anti-aging science. And it still has to be confirmed. But if you’re looking for an herbal remedy for stress, golden root is backed by solid science.
For an anti-aging boost, here are three other options animal studies suggest may be helpful…
- Black tea
In a series of Chinese studies, fruit flies lived about 10% longer when given black tea, apple or blueberry extracts. And they all have other proven health benefits.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Bystritsky, A., et al, “A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),” J Altern Complement Med. Mar 2008; 14(2): 175-180
2 Aslanyan, G., et al, “Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study of single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions,” Phytomedicine. Jun 2010; 17(7): 494-499.
3 Olsson, E.M., et al, “A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue,” Planta Med. Feb 2009; 75(2): 105-112.
4 Noreen, E.E., et al, “The effects of an acute dose of Rhodiola rosea on endurance exercise performance,” J Strength Cond Res. Mar 2013; 27(3): 839-847.
5 Schriner, S.E., et al, “Extension of Drosophila Lifespan by Rhodiola rosea through a Mechanism Independent from Dietary Restriction,” PLoS ONE. 2013; 8(5): e63886.
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