Herbs: Rhodiola verses Ginseng

Q: Wayne What do you think of the herb Rhodiola verses Ginseng? – Frank K.

A: The definition of an herb is: “a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities”. Specifically Rhodiola as well as Ginseng belong to a family of herbs called adaptogens. Adaptogens help normalize the body and increase the body’s ability to cope with stress. They can provide energy, mental clarity and at the same time relief from stress and exhaustion. Also claims of having anti-aging properties are noted.

Important point to remember about herbs is that all of them have medicinal pharmacological (potentially poisonous) therapeutic compounds! Yes all! They are non-nutritive. So continually taking herbs long term will likely over time weaken the organ it is targeted for! And it may stress and weaken your immune system! While one might feel a lessening of symptoms it is not always the cure! The herbs could be masking a deeper more serious problem. Like in the case of aspirin, great for pain, but what is the real deep down problem? Continually taking aspirin (unless one’s life depends on it in exceptional cases) is not the cure!

Another drawback of herbs is that, unless they are standardized, it is unpredictable the dosages one might receive. Herbs are not regulated which is good and bad at the same time as there are some reliable companies and some not.

Please do not be mislead that we can take herbs forever! Again herbs have chemicals that are concentrated powerful healers. Side effects are noted in studies of long term use of so called “herbs you can take for life!” Ginseng can cause constipation, high blood pressure and other side effects noted below. Again like medication, herbs can have side effects even though they are natural, and no doubt they are usually much safer than man-made synthetic medicines!

The FDA does not classify herbs as a food or drug! Sometimes they can be improperly identified possibly causing adverse reactions. (More herbal side effects below). In my opinion HERBS SHOULD BE USED FOR TEMPORARY USE! ONE DAY AND IN EXTREMES UP TO 3 MONTHS! NEVER MORE! Unless you are monitored and have a serious health condition. Then either get on another herb or see a qualified practitioner because if you need herbs more than 3 months at a time you likely have a serious condition.

One of the best ways to understand herbs is to observe that if one is truly healthy the body will reject the herb or any medicine because it is not a food! They have powerful medicinal chemical compounds! Herbs are healers! Some side effect will be apparent. Go with your instinct. If one needs the herb, then the more powerful a medicine or herb is, the faster the body responds.

So Frank I would suggest you if you feel low energy, sure try Rhodiola or Ginseng for a short period of time. Your immune system might be low and this could help. If your energy does not come back to your desired levels then you need to look at your lifestyle, diet and spiritual and emotional issues.

If it is longevity you are looking for I would say invest your money in great quality foods. Foods are nutritive! Avoid toxins from personal care products. Eat 70% of your diet fresh fruits and vegetables in their natural raw state. Avoid frequent overeating! Do some kind of stress relief activity such as yoga and meditation. Systematically undereat or fast one day a week on fruits or juices, or purified energized water. The most prominent common factor with the healthiest people I know is a very healthy diet.

They also don’t drink tap water. Sorry, but good water is not always free! Frank, Iencourage you to attend our Life Extension Lecture or purchase our Life Extension Manual. There from years of research I list all the common causes and anidotes in 4 categories of why we become ill and age prematurely! When I found that the average life span in Bombay India is only 59 and that in some cultures such as Okinawa Japan they live into their mid 80’s healthy and active, well I wanted to know why! In this lecture or manual you can learn how to prevent the most common health destroyers.

Bottom line is great food keeps us healthy! The body will heal itself provided one has a healthy mental outlook, good quality diet, occasional fasting and the occasional short term use of herbs. And my recommended 4 good hugs and kisses a day goes a long way at keeping us youthful!

Please be aware that there are good herbal companies and also many poor quality products on the market. There are many side effects of herbs especially if too large a dose is taken or long term use without professional guidance. Below are just a few of the side effects of some herbs. There are many more. Please always consult a health professional before taking any health products, especially herbs.

A few selected herbs side effects:

Pennyroyal oil can cause death and illness in women attempting abortion.
Senna, yellow dock, buckhorn bark may cause diarrhea.
Chamomile can cause severe reactions in persons sensitive to ragweeds.
St. John’s Wort skin rashes have been noted when taken as a tea and exposed to sunlight.
Ginseng may cause painful swollen breasts if serval grams taken daily, constipation and high blood pressure.
Mistletoe Berries can kill children, and in large doses can lead to shock and heart arrest.

Herb Safety Encylcopedia website link:

By Wayne Gendel August 16, 2002