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The Rhodiola Revolution    by Richard P. Brown, Patricia L. Gerbarg & Barbara Graham order for
Rhodiola Revolution
by Richard P. Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The authors tell us that there has been 'an explosion in the scientific study of herbal formulations' in the last twenty years, including substantive Russian research (which is described in the book and includes spaceflight studies) into the health benefits of 'Rhodiola rosea', also known as 'Arctic root' or 'golden root'. We are told that this 'herbal superstar' has been used for centuries, and was a classic Greek remedy. The root was traditionally prepared as a tea. It grows wild in northern Asia, Europe and Scandinavia, as well as in Mongolia, Siberia, and Alaska.

Doctors Brown and Gerbarg report its benefits in their own clinical experience, in treating 'depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue' and other disorders - without side effects. They discuss the role of energy in health, and tell us that 'Rhodiola rosea boosts energy production and defends against oxidative damage'. An overview of the body's stress response is given, and quizzes are provided to assess individual stress levels. 'Three Laws of Energy Balancing' are presented, with recommendations for proper sleep, a high-energy diet (guidelines for this are supplied in a later chapter), continual reassessment of stressors, as well as different sources (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) of energy renewal.

The authors recommend that anyone who decides to try this herb, should buy 'a high-quality brand of pure root extract that contains a minimum of 3 percent rosavins and 0.8 to 1.0 percent salidrosides'. They suggest dosages to correspond to specific health concerns, including age-associated memory impairment; ADD; high blood pressure; mood disorders; chronic fatigue; restoring hormonal balance; boosting the immune system; and achieving a healthy weight. I recommend The Rhodiola Revolution to anyone interested in the possibilities of the herb, and in a commonsense approach to stress reduction in everyday life.

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