Rhodiola rosea Controls Cortisol
by Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Cortisol — the STRESS hormone. Although an important hormone, when consistently elevated it negatively impacts carbohydrate metabolism, causing blood insulin to rise, leading to fat storage and most critically, a possible laminitis attack. Controlling excess cortisol requires attention to what is bothering your horse.
Consider supplementing the herb, Rhodiola rosea. It has a lot of research behind it[i] and has been discussed in several horse magazines including Horse Health, Natural Horse Magazine, Holistic Horse and The Naturally Healthy Horse. As an adaptogenic herb, it has the ability to normalize body systems. During stress, a cascade of events occurs where the hypothalamus portion of the brain stimulates the pituitary gland to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which in turn, tells the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol. Rhodiola rosea calms the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cascade that is stimulated during times of tension and may even be helpful for horses suffering from equine Cushing’s disease.[ii]
[i] Kelly, G.S., 2001. Rhodiola rosea: A possible plant adaptogen. Alternative Medicine Review 6(3), 293-302; and Anghelescu, I.G., Edwards, D., Seifritz, E., and Kasper, S., 2018. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. International Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Practice, 11, 1-11.
[ii] Balance EQ (Foxden Equine) supports the horses with Cushing’s disease with a variety of herbs, including Rhodiola rosea: http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/products/balanceeq.htm
Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an independent equine nutritionist with a wide U.S. and international following. Her research-based approach optimizes equine health by aligning physiology and instincts with correct feeding and nutrition practices. Dr. Getty’s goal is to empower the horseperson with the confidence and knowledge to provide the best nutrition for his or her horse’s needs.
Dr. Getty’s fundamental resource book, Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, is available in paperback as well as in hardcover and Kindle versions. All except the Kindle version are available at www.GettyEquineNutrition.com — buy the book there and have it inscribed by the author. Print and Kindle versions are also available at Amazon (www.Amazon.com); find print versions at other online retail bookstores. The seven individual volumes in Dr. Getty’s topic-centered “Spotlight on Equine Nutrition” series are available with special package pricing at her website, and also at Amazon in print and Kindle versions. Dr. Getty’s books make ideal gifts for equestrians!
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