• Growing Rhodiola rosea in Unalakleet, Alaska

      Reza, Mosaddeque; Koskey, Michael; Jones, Jenny Bell; Nakazawa, Anthony (2016-05)
      Rhodiola rosea is a medicinal herbal plant that grows naturally in higher altitudes and colder regions in the world including mountainous regions of southwest China and the Himalayas, and the circumpolar North, including Siberia, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, some parts of Canada, and Alaska. People use its dry roots as tea, put its extract in capsules, and eat it as a vegetable. It helps reduce mild to moderate depression and general anxiety disorder, and it enhances work performance in adverse conditions. It is an adaptogen, that is, it works in the body without affecting any biological function. Because of this, it does not have any side effects like many industrial medicines. Since it reduces depression, it could be helpful to suicidal patients, but more research and studies are needed. Demand for Rhodiola rosea around the world has been increasing steadily. It is relatively inexpensive. It used to be collected from the wild. To meet increasing demands, some countries are growing Rhodiola rosea as an agricultural crop. Alaska has preferred weather and ecosystems to grow Rhodiola rosea commercially. Growing Rhodiola rosea in rural Alaska could bring new sources of income and economic independence. Since the rural Alaskan lands in Unalakleet under consideration have never been used for agriculture, rural Alaskan grown Rhodiola rosea could be certified as organic. This might create a special market. This paper looks at the possibility of growing Rhodiola rosea at Unalakleet, a rural Alaskan village in western Alaska.