chapter  8
16 Pages

Pharmacological Activities of Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea is classied as an adaptogen, placing it in the same category as Panax ginseng C.A. Mey. (Araliaceae), Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae), Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill. (Schisandraceae), and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae). The term adaptogen, initially introduced by Russian pharmacologist N.V. Lazarev in 1947, is used to describe plants, herbal mixtures, and (or) compounds that offer nonspecic resistance against a wide variety of physical, chemical, and biological stressors (Panossian and Wikman 2010). Adaptogens are hypothesized to act as metabolic regulators, restoring the homeostasis of physiological systems altered in disease or under stressful conditions and thus allowing the organism to adapt (Panossian et al. 1999; Panossian 2013). In addition, they are also proposed to have a stimulatory effect on physical and mental capabilities, particularly under stressful situations (Panossian and Wagner 2005). Apart from their good safety and tolerability proles, adaptogens are characterized

8.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 189 8.2 Effects of R. rosea on the Central Nervous System ..................................... 192

8.2.1 Antidepressant Activity of R. rosea ................................................. 192 8.2.2 Effects of R. rosea on Cognitive Function and

Mental Performance ......................................................................... 193 8.2.3 Antistress (Adaptogenic) Effects of R. rosea.................................... 194 8.2.4 Anxiolytic Activity of R. rosea ........................................................ 194

8.3 Antioxidant Effects of R. rosea .................................................................... 195 8.4 Effects of R. rosea on Physical Endurance ................................................... 195 8.5 Antidiabetic Effects of R. rosea ................................................................... 196 8.6 Other Biological Activities of R. rosea ......................................................... 197 8.7 Pharmacokinetics, Bioavailability, and Herb-Drug Interactions ................. 197 8.8 Concluding Remarks .................................................................................... 198 References .............................................................................................................. 199

by their pleiotropic modes of action and therapeutic effects upon single (Panossian and Wagner 2005) as well as repeated administration (Panossian et al. 2009a).