Post link 16 May 2015, 4:15
Posted: May 15, 2015 by Alap Naik Desai

Alaskan Farmers Are Growing A Siberian Plant That Was Used By Soviets To Gain Super-Human Strength And Endurance

Alaskan farmers have started growing a Siberian plant that was once used by the Soviets because they believed the plant had powerful medicinal properties. The farmers believe it could soon become one of the most valuable crops.

Known locally as the “Golden Root,” the Rhodiola Rosea plant is native to Siberia and is commonly found throughout the Altai mountain ranges. These mountains serve as a geographical boundary between China, Mongolia, Russia, and Kazakhstan. It is a tough little stubby plant that prefers the cold harsh climate and grows happily in permafrost, which is essentially a layer of fertile soil beneath the surface where temperatures have been below freezing for hundreds of years.

The Golden Root has taken a shine to the region and is growing quite well, reported agricultural scientist Stephen Brown from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in the U.S.

“So far, the plant seems right at home in Alaska. It’s actually an environment that the plant wants to grow in, as opposed to everything else we grow. It’ll grow in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. It wants our long days. It’s already coming up out of the ground — and the ground’s still frozen.”

What makes the Golden Root so appealing is the legend that is associated with the plant. There are many perceived health benefits to be gained from the plant’s extracts, shared the farmers.

It turns out that the Golden Root has been used for centuries in traditional medicines and teas in Siberia and China. People strongly believe the plant can treat seasonal depression or SAD, improve strength and endurance, and protect against altitude sickness. Additionally, the extracts may even have the power to make women sexually active as it is also used as an aphrodisiac.

However, it is the secrecy surrounding the plant during the Cold War era that has the farmers excited about the financial prospects of the plantations, shared Petra Illig, a pilot and medical doctor who founded the cooperative of golden root farmers in Alaska called Alaska Rhodiola Products.

“The plant was considered a Soviet military secret. Most of what was done back then was unpublished and hidden in drawers in Moscow. They used it for the physical and mental performance of their soldiers and athletes.”

Interestingly, Western medicine took notice of Golden Root only from 2007, when just 500 milligrams of the extract proved useful in treating mild to moderate depression. In 2013, researchers at the University of California-Irvine proved the Golden Root extract could also help us stay young.

Plant extracts like these have been used for centuries, but only lately have piqued the interest of modern medicine and farmers.

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