141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Rhodiola rosea, a medicinal herb for stress, mild to moderate depression and neuro-protection

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Patricia Gerbarg, M.D. , Department of Psychiatry, New York Medical College, Kingston, NY
Rhodiola rosea is an ancient medicinal herb used to combat stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment, including brain injury. It can also promote strength, endurance, and physical and mental performance. When combined with tricyclic antidepressants, rhodiola use has been associated with reduction in antidepressant side effects, particularly fatigue and sexual dysfunction, as well as an improvement in depressive symptoms. Gerbarg and Brown find that in their clinical experience rhodiola can be beneficial in attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and recovery from Lyme Disease, since it activates cognition and tends to improve accuracy, alertness and attention. Iovieno et al. note that rhodiola is effective in treating physical exhaustion, decreased motivation, daytime sleepiness, decreased libido, sleep disturbances, and cognitive complaints such as concentration deficiencies, forgetfulness, decreased memory, susceptibility to stress, and irritability. Rhodiola has an excellent safety profile. Side effects are uncommon and mild, and drug interactions are few and easily managed. Dr. Gerbarg will discuss the history, research, and clinical applications of Rhodiola rosea.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health

Learning Objectives:
compare the efficacy, drug interactions and side effects of the six promising CAM treatments described in these abstracts. discuss with the panel and with colleagues the work needed to refine the outline and to make it accessible to consumers and practitioners. describe at least two examples of misunderstandings about CAM treatments for mental health conditions and how the outline can be used to correct these misunderstandings.

Keywords: Mental Health, Herbal Medicine

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During 33 years of clinical practice and teaching, I have co-authored 35 scientific articles, books and chapters including: first Rhodiola review in English (Herbalgram 2002), first Rhodiola book in English, 'The Rhodiola Revolution' (2004), 'How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care' (2009), 'Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD' (2012), and textbook chapters “Complementary and Alternative Treatments in Psychiatry,” Psychiatry 3rd Edition, and “Alternative Treatments in Brain Injury,” Neuropsychiatry of Traumatic Brain Injury (2011).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.