For thousands of years, certain civilizations, notably, the Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and Russians have revered herbal remedies for their healing properties. Unfortunately, many countries that used to include herbal medicines put them on the back burner as pharmaceutical drugs rose in popularity. However a renewed interest in alternatives has been revived due to the new findings from their beneficial ingredients. Today research studies published in reputable medical journals such as The Journal of the American Medical Association  & Wileyís Psychiatry Second Edition CAM Treatments  point to the complementary role that herbs play in patients treatment. Yet, of all the herbs noted, the ability of an herb to help the body adapt to stress, improve performance and increase resistance to ďthe Bad BugsĒ is most significant. That herb is Rhodiola rosea from Siberia, a true adaptogen.
Adaptogens help balance our bodily functions via the neurotransmitters of the brain. Once classified as ďA Russian SecretĒ Russian scientists are finally able to bless us with a wealth of information on this wondrous herb.  Rhodiola rosea, also known as Golden Root, has been used for centuries; in fact Siberian/Russian Rhodiola has over 45 years of clinical studies to back up its legitimacy as a safe and powerful complementary alternative. Letís discuss one of its many important roles.
Letís talk serotonin: Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter of which 80% is primarily found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and only 20% in the central nervous system (CNS) raphe nuclei of animals. Considering that just the slightest disturbance decreasing serotonin in the raphe nuclei can make a person become obsessive compulsive (OCD), manic depressive or schizophrenic, balancing that little bit of chemical becomes so important. In fact an entire community of doctors now over sees patients on a regular basis to help improve this very problem. SSRIs and other pharmaceutical drugs that alter serotonin levels are the usual treatment of these symptoms.  However many SSRIs carry unwanted side effects, especially for men.
With so much serotonin in the body you would think we would be home free. However, serotonin in the GI tract cannot cross over the blood-brain barrier, a semi permeable membrane that regulates the passage of certain substances into the brain. Since serotonin is unable to cross over the blood-brain barrier it must be produced directly in the brain. So how is serotonin produced in the brain? An essential amino acid, tryptophan comes into play as serotoninís raw material that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Tryptophan, when in the brain, is converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. The final step involves the conversion of 5-HTP to 5-hydroxytryptoptamine (5-HT), otherwise known as serotonin. 
In humans serotonin levels are affected by diet. An increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine will increase serotonin levels as well. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papaya and banana. Foods with a lower ratio inhibit the production of serotonin. These include whole wheat and rye bread. Research also suggests that eating a diet rich in whole grain carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin by secreting insulin, which helps in amino acid competition. However, increasing insulin for a long period may trigger the onset of insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and lower serotonin levels.
Throughout the body there is a system of checks and balances that work to keep us healthy. Nowhere is this more important than in the control of serotonin production in the brain. Two powerful enzymes called monoamine oxidase and aldehyde dehydrogenase help limit the production of serotonin. Without these two enzymes too much serotonin would be produced which would be just as bad as not enough serotonin. Depression is a consequence of insufficient serotonin levels, this is a fact that shouldnít be over looked. Remember brain function is dependent upon proper balance.  Enter Siberian/Russian Rhodiola rosea. Siberian/Russian Rhodiola rosea helps the brain adapt to emotional & physical stressors by balancing serotonin. Do you eat on the go? Are constantly stressed out? Why not give a natural alternative with so much history a try? Rosavinô or Rosavin Plusģ, brain food for a balanced brain.