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QWhich one is the best adaptogenic herb? Rhodiola rosea, Ashwagandha, Ginseng?

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#1AnonymousAnswered at 2014-03-15 17:20:41
Your specific need and body response is important to consider when working with any healing herb and course of action. Read more below.

Comparing Rhodiola rosea, Ginseng and Ashwagandha

Both Rhodiola and ginseng function as antioxidants. They're both associated with improved physical endurance, increased mental alertness and reduced fatigue. Rhodiola and ginseng are also used for cardiovascular benefits. Ginseng may decrease cholesterol, while rhodiola improves levels of substances called monoamines that keep blood pressure under control.
Ashwagandha has similar properties as ginseng and is also known as Indian Ginseng. However, Ashwagandha is heat neutral which means it has no warming or cooling properties unlike ginseng which is a warming herb. Both ginseng and Ashwagandha stimulate the immune system, stop inflammation, increase memory, and help maintain general healthy and wellness. Ashwagandha is known to increase the production of bone marrow, semen, and inhibits the aging process.

1) Specifics of Rhodiola
Rhodiola has been used throughout Eastern Europe and parts of Asia for thousands of years. It's known for stimulating the nervous system and decreasing depression and anxiety. Like ginseng, it's also shown an ability to improve cognitive function, reduce fatigue and increase resistance to a variety of stress factors. It's been used to regulate sleep cycles, balance appetite, relieve headaches and reduce irritability.
Rhodiola exhibits strong antidepressant effects and may help reduce anxiety, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering. It assists the movement of neurotransmitters in the brain and functions as a central nervous stimulant. Rhodiola may cause irritability or insomnia, and may interfere with a variety of different medications, so if you take any prescription medications, talk to your doctor before using rhodiola.

2) Specifics of Ginseng
Ginseng is known for it ability for boosting mood and cognitive function, balancing blood sugars, aiding in detox, boosting immunity and maintaining healthy body weight, as well as increasing ability to tolerate stress.
The active ingredients in ginseng, called ginsenosides, stimulate the immune system and may help control blood glucose. They also help reduce inflammation following physical activity. Ginseng may reduce the risk of some cancers, but since it has an estrogenic effect, it should not be used if you have hormone-sensitive cancer. It may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, nervousness, dry mouth and an increased heart rate. If you take insulin, anticoagulants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, do not use ginseng before consulting your physician.
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3) Specifics of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has many applications, and has been used by Native Americans and Africans to treat inflammation, fevers, and to protect against infection or illness. It has also been used to boost the immune system, improve memory, and to promote overall wellness. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that extracts of the shrub had activity that was similar to GABA, which helps you feel calm and decreases beta brainwaves that spike during stressful times which could explain why the plant is effective in reducing anxiety.
American therapists have also found the herb useful in treating depression. Alcohol dependency, and schizophrenia.
Ashwagandha acts as an anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory agent. It's naturally occurring steroidal content is much higher than that of hydrocortisone which is a common treatment in cancer cases.
When taking Ashawagandha, like any medicine to be carefuIl: If congested, do not take. Do not use if pregnant, breast feeding, complications are unknown. Talk to a doctor before using as adjunct treatment for AIDS, and cancer.
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