Rhodiola is a small, shrubby plant which tends to grow in the cold mountainous regions of Asia, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Arctic circle. Although at least 200 hundred different varieties of rhodiola have been discovered to date, the one researchers recommend for medicinal purposes is called rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola rosea may also be called Golden Root, Siberian Root or Rose Root in different herbal catalogs. Rhodiola rosea is considered an adaptogen, which means it works primarily as an endurance booster. Many Westerners are much more familiar with another adaptogen called Siberian ginseng. Legend has it that the Vikings routinely consumed rhodiola rosea to boost their strength while on long campaigns. Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians also benefited from the fatigue-fighting properties of rhodiola rosea. In some parts of the world, a bride was presented with a bouquet of rhodiola to symbolize the arrival of new vitality and prosperity.
Green tea extract is derived from leaves of camellia sinensis, the plant from which green, black and oolong teas are made. Green tea extract is associated with several health benefits, many supported by preliminary scientific research. These benefits include potential cancer-fighting properties, and a strong antioxidant effect that protects the body from the damaging effect of free radicals. The scientific community notes, however, that continued research is necessary. Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in India and China for nearly 5,000 years. It is made by lightly steaming leaves of the plant before allowing them to dry. This process retains active properties of the plant. Oolong tea is made by allowing the leaves to ferment slightly before drying, and black tea is made by allowing the leaves to ferment longer. Fermentation breaks down the active ingredients, making green tea or green tea extract the tea of choice.
The B vitamins are a group of eight water-soluble nutrients essential to the optimal functioning of the body. The B vitamins are also known by their individual names or by denominations such as B1, B2, etc. For optimal results, it is ideal to consume the B vitamins as a group, rather than individually, although supplementation of certain B vitamins may be necessary in certain cases, as they do not accumulate in the body and cannot be stored for later use.
DMAE is a naturally occurring nutrient found in high concentrations in fish, salmon and sardines in particular. Our brains maintain a small amount of it, which plays several crucial functions. Most fundamentally, this nutrient protects the integrity of cell membranes. The deterioration of cell membranes can lead to premature aging. DMAE can elevate one’s mood, counter depression, and boost cognitive functions (such as memory and concentration), and even increase intelligence. These benefits stem from this nutrient’s role in manufacturing acetylcholine, which is a substance responsible for healthy mental functioning. Physician’s monitoring patients on DMAE have reported that such people are more congenial, upbeat, and exhibit greater mental acuity. In addition, people taking it often report sleeping better and having more energy while awake. Lastly, one of the best DMAE benefits is that it promotes healthy skin, by preventing the manufacture of arachidonic acid, which is a substance that leads to the formation of wrinkles. For these cosmetic purposes, it can be both taken as a nutritional supplement and applied topically via a cream.
Stevia is a word both for a plant and for a sweetener extracted from the leaves of that plant. Stevia has been grown and used in South America for centuries, and it spread to the rest of the world during the 18th century, when people first began taking the product with them to Europe in large volumes. In the early 1900s, stevia exploded into popularity in several markets, but the rest of the 20th century was accompanied by vicious battles over it around the world. Some people hail the extract as a healthy all natural alternative to sugar, while others have health concerns about it, on the basis of laboratory research which suggests the need for further study. The stevia plant is a perennial shrub native to Paraguay and Brazil. Native Americans in these regions realized that the leaves were sweet, and used them to season teas and other foods. The plant is also sometimes called sweetleaf or sugarleaf, in a reference to the natural sweetness held in the leaves. As Europeans began to explore the foods consumed by Native Americans, they were introduced to stevia.