Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola is a plant that you can use as medicine. It is beneficial for many conditions, but so far, there isn't adequate scientific research to determine whether or not it is efficient for any of them. Besides Rhodiola, you can also call it with the names, such as the king's crown, arctic root, golden root, and roseroot. You can use it for boosting energy, stamina, and mental capacity. That is why it is called "adaptogen" to aid your body to adapt to and relive from physical, chemical, and environmental stress.

It is also beneficial for maintaining athletic performance, reducing recovery time after intense exercise, promoting sexual function, anxiety, and heart issues like abnormal heartbeat and increased cholesterol levels.

Some individuals utilize it for treating certain cancers, tuberculosis, and diabetes. It is also beneficial for preventing cold and flu, aging, and liver destruction, improving hearing, strengthening your nervous system, and boosting immunity.

In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea and all other vital details.

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola rosea is originally from the northern areas of Europe, or Alaska. It has a traditional history of use as a medicinal plant in Iceland, Russia, and Greece. 

Some individuals utilize the term "arctic root" as the common name for this product; but, the arctic root is a trademarked name for a particular commercial extract.

It is beneficial for;

  • The treatment of depression
  • Fatigue
  • Maintained exercise performance

Certain limited studies have highlighted that Rhodiola may offer advantages in the treatment or management of each of these problems. However, more scientific research is required before we know for sure if the supplement can offer these benefits.

Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea has been considered by certain experts as an adaptogen, meaning that it aids to make you less vulnerable to physical or emotional stress. It regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands and motivates a healthy response to physical, emotional, and mental stress by supporting cortisol levels and other stress-related hormones. If utilized daily, it functions to support your body's natural resistance and adaptation to stressful effects. 

Plenty of clinical studies have explained the positive influence of Rhodiola root extract on a healthy mood.

Limited studies have discovered that this natural medicine may promote serotonin and dopamine activity. However, more studies are required to confirm the efficiency of Rhodiola supplements. The adequate balance of these neurotransmitters is thought to be included in healthy emotional and neurological functioning.

Following are the renowned health benefits of Rhodiola rosea;

  1. Physical and Mental Health

You can use Rhodiola rosea to better physical performance just before exercise or as a source to expand concentration and thinking. It has also been observed that it can decrease physical and mental fatigue. A lot of studies support this fact;

  • A review says that Rhodiola rosea ultimately helps to enhance physical and mental performance.
  • A study in 2009 suggested that women who used a high level of Rhodiola rosea had more power to run faster than those who got a placebo. The study inspected 15 young women.
  • Another study showed using a calculated amount of Rhodiola rosea can enhance concentration and minimize tiredness. This research involved 60 men and women who used the extract known as SHR-5. The dose of Rhodiola rosea suggested to get these effects was 575 mg per day.
  1. Physical and mental performance

Specific individuals consumed it to boost physical performance before a workout or as a way to promote concentration or thinking. There are also evidences that it aids in minimizing physical or mental fatigue. A lot of research is backed this claim. They involve the following;

  • A review that explains Rhodiola rosea may be a beneficial aid for improved physical and mental performance. The researchers state that more research on this plant is required to examine and prove its impacts.
  • A study in 2008 indicated that females who took a high dose of it were able to run faster than those who received a placebo. The study was done on 20 college-age women.
  • Recent research recommends that consuming a standardized extract of Rhodiola rosea may maintain concentration and minimize fatigue. The research looked at 50 males and females who consumed an extract known as SHR-5. The dosage provided for these effects was 570 milligrams (mg) daily.
  • Despite these outcomes, according to a 2012 review in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, searched 200 studies on Rhodiola rosea and fatigue, but only 12 were suitable.
  • They highlighted that study on Rhodiola rosea is "contradictory." Scientists suggest a non-biased, valid test for the plant before it is put forward as a treatment for muscle stiffness or fatigue.
  1. Stress Management

Rhodiola rosea has the strength to make the body adapt to stress; sometimes, it is called an adaptogen. Its unique abilities and characteristics, however, have not been scientifically proven with great and well-designed studies.

A report that was circulated in Alternative Medicine Review showed that Rhodiola rosea is a great adaptogen. Based on many studies, it has been observed that extract from Rhodiola rosea is best for mental health and heart function.

Another study showed that Rhodiola rosea is a versatile adaptogen. It has the ability to enhance resistance to stress. It can be said that this herb is a possible treatment to lower the amount of stress hormone and risk of stress-related heart diseases.

  1. Stress-induced eating disorders

Rhodiola rosea has a potent ingredient called salidroside, which was examined for its impact on binge eating-habits. This study, published in Physiology and Behavior, was carried out through rats. It was observed that a dry extract of Rhodiola rosea that had 3.12% salidroside aided in ending binge eating in the animals.

The rats that ate Rhodiola rosea also had a minimal amount of a stress hormone in their blood that may trigger binge eating. Another study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology also performed on rats found out that Rhodiola rosea may decrease the chances of stress-induced anorexia. This herb has potent anti-stress characteristics.

This herb is also very useful in relieving the symptoms of stress-induced eating problems. An active ingredient in it called salidroside was tested for its influences on binge eating. This particular study published in Physiology & Behavior and was conducted on rats.

It discovered that a dry extract of Rhodiola rosea that involved 3.1 % of salidroside did help in reducing or removing binge eating in the animals. The rats that consumed Rhodiola rosea also had minimized blood levels of a stress hormone that may play a terrific role in binge eating.

According to one research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology; done using rats, explained that Rhodiola rosea might decrease stress-induced anorexia. The researcher claims that their findings offer evidence to support claims that the herb has anti-stress features.

  1. Anti-aging Effect of Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea can enhance lifespan in so many model organisms like fruit flies, yeast, and worms without changing its daily food intake or causing any other effect. Rhodiola rosea extracts also protect you from the age-related weakening of physical performance and immunity. It has a role in enhancing stress resistance. Rhodiola rosea extract SHR-5 has been observed to enhance the average and maximum lifetime of fruit fly by 24% and 30% each. Rhodiola rosea extracts can increase lifetime at different caloric levels.

The effect of Rhodiola rosea extracts on life is not dependent on caloric restriction related signaling pathways, like SIR2 proteins, insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling and the TOR in fruit flies but it is dependent on diet composition (especially protein-to-carbohydrate ratios or sucrose level) and expression of Msn2/Msn4 and Yap1 proteins which are regulatory in nature.

The physiological condition of an organism has an impact on the role of Rhodiola rosea extracts to enhance life duration. Rhodiola rosea obtained from water also shows concentration based impact on prolonged-lasting survival and stress resistance of budding yeast.

Low amounts enhance yeast lifetime; however, large amounts minimized lifetime. However, the mechanism of Rhodiola Rosea to increase lifespan is still much unknown, and the anti-aging characteristics of Rhodiola Rosea extracts are essential to be checked in animals before its translation into human studies.

  1. Depression

One study showed that Rhodiola rosea could minimize symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. This study involved ten people, and they ate 340 mg of Rhodiola extract for about 10 weeks. Another study in Phytomedicine said that Rhodiola Rosea minimized symptoms of depression, but its impact was minor. This herb couldn't lower symptoms as considerably as sertraline, a well-known antidepressant; however, it had some side effects.

The authors of the 2015 study took a result that it may be used effectively by some people and proved beneficial. It may be used to treat milder forms of depression. This study was done on 57 people who used the herb for almost 12 weeks.

Stress and anxiety both affect mood significantly, and in a large number of cases, they cause depression. Rhodiola rosea is very much efficient in treating depression in its natural way. It has been observed that Rhodiola rosea can enhance brain chemicals such as BNDF, serotonin, oxytocin, and GABA. Serotonin is a fundamental chemical. It causes feelings of happiness and pleasure. In this way, it can reverse symptoms of depression.

  1. Anxiety

Hectic life and competitive environment have caused so much anxiety among people from day to day. Small anxiety is somehow useful to make you alert. However, too much anxiety can result in anxiety disorders and other health-related problems.

One study in people with generalized anxiety issue demonstrated that after 10 weeks of Rhodiola extract dosage, symptoms of anxiety decreased significantly. In a similar way, people who took two doses of Rhodiola per day showed an extreme reduction in self-reported anxiety with decreased levels of stress, confusion, and anger. It also caused an improvement in mood.

When anxiolytic (anxiety decreasing) impact was studied in rats, similar results were observed. A few days of taking Rhodiola Rosea decreased anxiety scores when the rats were gone through the stressful physical test.


There are a lot of studies that show that Rhodiola rosea extracts perform an anticancer role. Udintsev SN et al told that Rhodiola Rosea extracts stopped the growth of transplanted solid Ehrlich adenocarcinoma and Pliss lymphosarcoma, minimized their metastasis (spread) to the liver, and increased survival time of rats with tumors.

In a model in which angiogenesis was made to produce in the skin of Balb/c mice by putting syngeneic L-1 sarcoma cells (through grafting), Rhodiola quadrifida extract and salidroside substantially decreased tumor-induced angiogenesis. Rhodiola Rosea extracts along with anti-tumor agent cyclophosphamide cause increased anti-tumor and anti-metastatic efficiency of drug treatment, and reduced drug-induced harmfulness.

In cell culture studies, Rhodiola Rosea stops rapid growth of cell and cause cell apoptosis in different cells and cell lines like breast cancer cell line, gastric cancer cells, urinary bladder cell lines, colorectal cancer cells, glioma cell, and sarcoma and lung cancer cells. Among them, the lung cancer line is much sensitive to the cytotoxic impact of salidroside.

However, provided data on the in vivo anti-tumor activity of Rhodiola rosea extracts and salidroside against cancer a bit limited. A clinical study demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea extracts when given to patients with superficial bladder cancer, there was a decrease in the mean frequency of relapses by half.

  1. Fatigue

One of the most important reasons people want to take Rhodiola rosea is that it has energy increasing and fatigue-fighting abilities. According to a study that was done on nursing students on shift work, Rhodiola rosea assisted in lowering fatigue levels more excellent than a placebo.

Rhodiola rosea works at the level of cells to combat fatigue as Nigma Talib, N.D., a naturopathic doctor, and holistic health professional says that Rhodiola can increase energy metabolism and enhance the capability of mitochondria to generate energy-rich substances in the brain and liver, blood and muscles. Rhodiola rosea is also helpful for brain function and concentration.

  1. Athletic Endurance

As it has the ability to combat fatigue, Rhodiola rosea is highly consumed by endurance athletes. A clinical study based on young and healthy people who used Rhodiola rosea regularly for about four weeks demonstrated an enhanced endurance during exercise. The adaptogen markedly increases immunity during a prolonged activity like marathon running. It is not only for super athletes.

According to Rachelle Robinett, Rhodiola is perfect for people who do continuous physical work. It is beneficial not only for athletes but also for those who stand for a long duration or walk a ton. It performs a significant role in cognitive function.

  1. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health

Rhodiola also has a role in improving overall health, especially cardiovascular function. Rhodiola rosea has a powerful and active agent, salidroside, which protects heart function and reduces oxidative stress in patients of breast cancer after their chemotherapy. The power to preserve the heart from the stress of chemotherapy is also an adaptogenic property of Rhodiola rosea.

Many studies performed on isolated cells state that Rhodiola rosea enhances the production of erythropoietin, which is a hormone required for the generation of red blood cells. Rhodiola rosea can treat hypertension by stopping the enzyme that causes hypertension development.

Continuous stress can result in the breakdown of compounds inside your body and even obesity, which Rhodiola Rosea can aid in preventing. Two studies demonstrate that Rhodiola rosea can avoid bone loss and diet-induced obesity. This is because of inhibitory pathways activated by Rhodiola rosea against oxidative stress and damage.

Taking Rhodiola rosea is essential you can take to get a healthy body and a sharp mind.

  1. Other Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea
  • It is also significant for altitude sickness. Early studies indicate that consuming Rhodiola three times per day for six days regulates blood oxygen or oxidative stress in individuals with high-altitude conditions.
  • Rhodiola Rosea also has an active role in checking Heart damage due to certain cancer drugs (anthracycline cardiotoxicity). Consuming a chemical present in Rhodiola known as salidroside, beginning two weeks before chemotherapy and continuing throughout this case, minimizes heart disorder because of the chemotherapy drug epirubicin.
  • Early study indicates that consuming a particular Rhodiola extract two times daily for 10 days can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and minimize feelings of anger, and bad mood in students with stress or anxiety.
  • There is scientific evidence on the effectiveness of Rhodiola for uplifting athletic performance. Overall, it seems that the short-term use of some kinds of Rhodiola products may maintain athletic performance measurements. On the other hand, short-term or long-term doses seem to maintain muscle function or minimize muscle damage because of exercise.
  • A recent study indicates that consuming Rhodiola may relieve symptoms of depression after 5-12 weeks of treatment in individuals with mild-to-moderate depression.

Rhodiola is also beneficial in case of the following conditions;

  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hearing loss
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing energy
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stress-associated heart disorders

Possible Side Effects

Side effects of Rhodiola rosea are typically uncommon and mild to moderate. They may involve headaches, stomach distress, drowsiness, vomiting, and sleeping issues.

You may feel dizziness if you mix Rhodiola rosea with benzodiazepines, certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Avoid taking Rhodiola rosea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding your child, or consuming prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). There are no renowned risks linked to Rhodiola rosea; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration do not approve the formation of herbs and supplements. Most herbs and supplements are not thoroughly tested, and there is no guarantee to the pure nature of the ingredients that are utilized for the manufacturing of supplements.

Dosage and Preparations

The adequate dose of Rhodiola depends on plenty of factors like the user's age, health, and different health conditions. At this time, there are no adequate studies based details on determining a proper range of doses for it.

Always remember that natural products are not always safe, and dosages can be significant. You must ensure to follow relevant directions on labels and see your pharmacist or physician before using it.

The suggested adult dosage for the capsule form of it is 100 to 300 mg daily. There is not adequate scientific proof to suggest the use of Rhodiola Rosea in kids and older adults. You must read the product label about the appropriate dosage and speak to a doctor or medical healthcare provider to get personalized suggestions.

How to take it

Like any other herb, Rhodiola rosea is also present in capsules, pills, dried powder, and liquid extract. The dosage and amount of extract changes between brands and product variety. Herbs and supplements are adjusted as food, not medicines, by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So, knowing what dose to consume and how much is involved in it is not always clear. There may also be problems with quality or purity. Although some studies have describes dosages utilized for particular objectives, it appears that Rhodiola rosea may be consumed at various strengths to treat plenty of health issues. In the Alternative Medicine Review article, experts point out that the dosage may change, depending on how much-standardized extract it comprises.

Rosavin is one of the main compounds named as having an impact on relieving stress. The expert of the review recommend about;

  • For 1 % Rosavin, 350-600 mg on a regular basis of an extract standardized
  • For 2 % Rosavin, 170-300 mg of an extract standardized
  • 90-170 mg for an extract standardized for 3 percent Rosavin

What to Look For

Rhodiola rosea is typically consumed in capsule form, but it is also readily present in other forms like extracts or teas. If you are going to purchase a Rhodiola supplement (or any supplement), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that you check a Supplement Facts label on the product that you purchase.

This label will comprise crucial detail involving the number of active ingredients per serving, and other added ingredients such as fillers, binders, and flavorings. Lastly, the organization recommends that you look for an item that comprises a seal of approval from a third-party organization that offers quality testing.

These organizations are and NSF International. A seal of approval from one of these organizations may guarantee the product's safety or efficiency and offer assurance that the product was adequately formed, comprises the ingredients listed on the label, and does not consist of dangerous contaminants.


Rhodiola rosea is a unique or remarkable flowering herb grown in cold, high-altitude areas of Europe or Asia. Other names for it involve the king's crown, arctic root, golden root, and roseroot. It has been utilized in traditional medicine for years, especially in Russia and other cold, mountainous places. Some individuals think that the herb may be used to treat anxiety, depression, muscle stiffness, numbness, anemia, and headaches.

Plenty of research has been conducted on this plant. While some results appear capable, many studies have been new, biased, or flawed. As such, researchers say more studies are required to determine how Rhodiola Rosea is efficient and whether it must be involved in treatment plans.

Meanwhile, it has a low risk of drawbacks and appears to provide certain health benefits for many of these conditions. So, it may be a natural option that is worth trying for its beneficial uses. But for better understanding, you should speak to your doctor and medical health care provider in the first place to avoid any side effects.

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