Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea

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Introduction to Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant, the root is our medicine and it is commonly used as a stress reliever, a mood enhancer.  The benefits of Rhodiola Rosea are many including enhanced

strength, energy, and better mental capacity.  It is really a natural alternative to the prescription drug Adderall.

You can find it under a few other names as well such as Aaron’s root, Golden Root, or King’s Crown.

Rhodiola Rosea can be found in the arctic regions of Europe, Alaska and Asia and is used heavily in Russia as a remedy for memory improvement, and poor attention span from fatigue.

Rhodiola has been shown to reduce fatigue and exhaustion resulting from situations of prolonged stressful situations. Rhodiola has also been shown to be neuroprotective against toxins (requires more evidence).

Benefits

  • Reduces Daily stress
  • Reduces symptoms of mild to moderate 1stdepression
  • Promotes feelings of general well-being
  • Reduces stress-related fatigue
  • It’s a mild stimulant  so can Improve Energy and Alertness
  • There is some evidence of Cognitive Enhancement
  • Enhances your sleep
  • Relieves feelings of general anxiety

Rhodiola Rosea is also included in my Best Nootropics for Brain Fog

Rhodiola Rosea Uses

  • Depression: For people with mild to moderate depression, Rhodiola after a 6-week course of the extract may help in alleviating the symptoms.
  • Fatigue: Research shows that Rhodiola may decrease stress-related fatigue and a certain extract has been shown to increase students sense of well-being during exams. Another Rhodiola extract also seems to reduce mental fatigue in first-year college students. Some research shows it improves mental performance in tired individuals performing mental tasks.
  • Anxiety: There is evidence to support the lowering of anxiety and depression in people with generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Stress: Taking a certain extract before breakfast and lunch will help those who suffer from general life stress.
  • Memory and Concentration: Studies using proofreading tests have demonstrated that Rhodiola Rosea enhances memorization and concentration ability over prolonged periods. It increases the bioelectrical activity of the brain which improves memory and brain energy

Stress Relief

Rhodiola is an adaptogen which as we know is a natural substance that helps your body beef up it’s resistance to stress and consuming an adaptogen like Rhodiola may help you in how you are able to handle a stressful situation [1]

One study took 101 participants with life and work-related stress. They were given 400mg/day of Rhodiola for a total of 4 weeks.

The result of this study were significant improvements in their stress symptoms. Fatigue was down, anxiety was lowered, and an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion was down after only 3 days with improvements continuing through until the end of the study. [2]

Rhodiola has also been shown to improve symptoms of burnout, which can occur with chronic stress.

In another study taken with 118 people with stress-related burnout, it improved many associated measures, including stress and depression [3.

 

Reduction in Fatigue

There have been a number of studies done that show Rhodiola Rosea does reduce mental fatigue caused by stressful conditions.

One study with 56 young physicians working night shift giving them a dose of 170mg/day and using measures of associative thinking, short-term memory, speed of audiovisual perception, and calculation. After 2 weeks of 170mg/day, researchers found a significant decrease in fatigue due to stress.

Rhodiola is really good at fighting off fatigue. It does a great job of reducing the effects of minor fatigue whether mental or physical. It is most effective when involved in long low intensity that is very repetitive. This also applies to long periods of stress where fatigue is inevitable.

Studies have shown that Rhodiola Rosea can reduce a variety of physical fatigue symptoms such as achy and sore muscles, headaches, and overall tiredness. [4]

When you are tired and perhaps sleepy from being physically fatigued, you may feel irritable, a bit moody, and may have poor decision-making abilities. Rhodiola has been shown in studies to reduce these symptoms as well. [5]

Physical Endurance

Studies have shown Rhodiola shows promise of improving exercise performance.

Thee days the most popular use of Rhodiola is to increase your energy, stamina and strength.  It can help you with increased stamina and endurance by increasing your red blood cell count and lowering oxidative damage.  The red blood cells carry oxygen to your muscles.  If you have a higher red blood cell count your athletic performance will improve.

 

Today, one of the most popular uses of Rhodiola is for increasing energy, stamina and strength.

Rhodiola may help increase your stamina and endurance by increasing your red blood cell count and lowering oxidative damage. (8) Red blood cells (RBC) carry oxygen to muscles and having a higher count can dramatically improve an athlete’s performance and help to delay fatigue. Rhodiola benefits work by boosting EPO, also known as erythropoietin, which stimulates RBC production.

Early studies have shown that giving athletes acute doses of 200mg one hour prior to training may improve their endurance. This increase would likely be the result of increased pulmonary ventilation.[6]

More recently, another study chose 15 active university-aged women to test the effectiveness of a 3mg/kg dose on a time trial bike ride of 6 km. The results were that those taking Rhodiola did improve their endurance performance and had a lower heart rate.[7]

In these studies and others, Rhodiola has been shown to improve exercise performance by decreasing perceived exertion, or how hard participants felt their bodies were working.

Rhodiola is featured in my article on the best nootropic for energy.  Read it here.

Weight Loss

Rhodiola has shown the ability to help in weight loss. Taking Rhodiola along with a proper moderate exercise routine

has been shown to break down visceral fat. This is due to Rosa in which stimulates lipase that breaks down fat.

Rosavin, Rhodiola’s most active compound has the ability to trigger a fat-burning response.  It helps the body normalize its levels of cortisol and therefore, Rhodiola Rosea may be able to reduce our cravings for those unhealthy foods and delay the accumulation of fat tied to high cortisol levels.

 

Stress-induced eating disorders

An active ingredient in Rhodiola Rosea known as salidroside was studied for its effects on binge eating. This study, published in Physiology & Behavior, was done using rats. It found that a dry extract of Rhodiola Rosea that included 3.12 percent salidroside did help reduce or eliminate binge eating in the animals.

The rats that took Rhodiola Rosea also had lower blood levels of a stress hormone that may play a role in binge eating. [8]

Another study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, similarly conducted on rats, determined that Rhodiola Rosea may reduce stress-induced anorexia. The authors say their findings provide evidence to support claims that the herb has anti-stress properties. (3)

 

Reduces Symptoms of Depression

Depression occurs when neurotransmitters in our brain become unbalanced to various degrees and when this happens your doctor gives you some kind of antidepressant medication to balance these neurotransmitters again.

That Said, Rhodiola has been shown to be able to balance these chemicals and have some antidepressant benefits.[10]

One study to determine the effectiveness of Rhodiola with respect to depression symptoms took 89 volunteers suffering from a moderate form of depression. They were randomly given 340mg or 680mg of Rhodiola or simply a placebo. [11]

What happened was that both the 340mg group and the 680mg group experienced a significant decrease in their overall depression, emotional stability, and insomnia. The 640mg group were also showing improvements in their self-esteem. The placebo group, none.

One other study decided to compare Rhodiola to Sertraline (Zoloft), a very common prescription antidepressant medication. 57 volunteers with a diagnosed depression were chosen randomly to be given Rhodiola, Sertraline, or a placebo for 12 weeks. [12]

Interestingly, Rhodiola and Sertraline were both effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Sertraline produced side effects commonly associated with antidepressants while Rhodiola resulted in fewer side effects.

 

Helps With Diabetes

Animal research is beginning to see that Rhodiola may be able to help improve diabetes [13]

It was shown that Rhodiola lowered the blood sugar in rats by increasing the number of glucose transporters in there blood. The blood sugar was lowered by the transport of glucose into the cells. [14].

 

Side Effects

Rhodiola is possibly safe when taken by mouth, for short periods of time (for up to 6-10 weeks). The safety of long-term has not been studied. The potential side effects of Rhodiola are not known.

Rhodiola is generally considered safe and well tolerated. Side effects are mild and rare but these may include:

anxiety, agitation, nausea, hypersalivation, restlessness, and insomnia.

Pregnant and women who are breastfeeding should stay on the safe side and avoid use, as there is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Rhodiola if you are pregnant or nursing.

 

Dosage

The appropriate dose of Rhodiola depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Rhodiola.

Given this, it is highly suggested To follow the product label at all times. The typical daily dosage found on labels for Rhodiola is between 100-400mg of a standardized extract and it is best taken without food. Usage of Rhodiola as a daily preventative against fatigue has been reported to be effective in doses as low as 50mg. Rhodiola is considered a mild stimulant so caution must be taken on when you take it. Do not take it near the time you will be going to bed.

Conclusion

Rhodiola Rosea has a number of potential health benefits, and very few potential side effects. While more research is needed, preliminary studies have shown positive signs that Rhodiola Rosea holds up to the anecdotal evidence that has been assembled for several hundred years.

Jitteriness is the most common side effect. If you experience jitteriness or other unpleasant side effects, stop taking it or decrease your dosage.

 

20 thoughts on “Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea”

  1. I’ve actually tried Rhodiola Rosea in 2013 when I suffered from anxiety and stress due to business. I visited a doctor in Florida and he recommended this specific drug to me. At first I thought what he’s saying isn’t right but there was literally no other for me to cure the problems that I had. I’ve tried it for a few months and to my surprise, it worked!!! You guys should definitely try this if you don’t have an other solution. I’m the living proof that it worked.

    • that’s great news.  Glad it worked out for you.  It’s nice to hear from someone who has used a Nootropic sup. And not only that, but had success.

      Awesome

  2. Awesome review,

    I am a huge fan of nootropics and have been an advocate of them for years. I have yet to find a product that has lasting effects however. Always seeming to wear off, always made me think of the placebo effect. I have found a few that have worked significantly better than others.

    I haven’t heard of the Rhodiola Rosea, and will be happy to dive into this. Thanks for the great article. Do you suggest any nootropics specifically for sleep optimization or extreme boosts in energy? Thanks again.

    Cheers,

    Nic

    • Thanks for the comment.

      For sleep optimization you can take melatonin or bacopa Monnieri.  They are proven and work well.  As far as extreme energy, Rave by ANS Performance may be what you are looking for.

  3. Thanks for this informative article about the benefits of Rhodiola.  The wide variety of plant-based medicines and the benefits and uses of them never ceases to amaze me.  

    Being able to use an herbal remedy — especially one with few apparent side effects — to help stave off burn-out and help alleviate things like fatigue, anxiety and depression which seems to be reaching epidemic proportions is a good thing, I think.

  4. Hello, 

    I find very interesting all the medicines that are used plants such as rhodiola-rosea in its composition. 

    Obviously it is what I call a “superplant” because it has extraordinary powers that can benefit our health in general. 

    Always follow all the instructions that appear on your label. 

    I have little memory, which is what you would recommend me to consume. 

    Regards! Claudio

  5. Hello there. Loved your post. It was really informative and well written. I loved medical use of many plants including Rhodiola Rosea. Of course, I never knew she was this good with different health conditions. I am truly amazed.

    I start my day with different type of herbal tea and also I end my day the same way – with a cup of tea. These teas are made out of domestic herbs that usually benefit the immune system. I never used Rhodiola before but after reading with big benefits it has – I will definitely try using it.

    Is it hard to get Rhodiola in Europe? Does Europeans love using it?

    Thank you.

    • Rhodiola is natural, safe and available just about anywhere so I don’t think you would have a hard time finding in Europe.

      Glad you enjoy herbal tea as well and thanks for the comment.  Appreciate it

  6. Hi, I read the article,

    I one section it says that it reduces anxiety, but in the section on possible side affects, Anxiety was mentioned. So I wonder how effective it is

  7. I love natural supplements over our FDA prescribe medicines. I find them to help more and less side effects. I suffer from a lot of things on this website from depression, to lack of energy, lack of will to go on because of stress and it takes a toll on me every single day. I was thinking of going to the doctor to get prescribe some antidepressants, but do you think this Rhodiola Rosea would be a good substitute? 

  8. Thanks for this great guide on Rhodiola Rosea! I didn’t previously know much about this plant, but it looks like it could have some great health benefits. I did have one question though:

    You mention that the side effects are not yet fully understood and there haven’t been any studies on it. Do you think the benefits outweigh the possibility of side effects or is it always better to avoid plants that haven’t been tested properly? 

    Thanks!

    • well, yes and no.  This root has been used around the globe for years and there have been no reports of any dangerous side effects.  I believe it is pretty good to take, but if you aren’t confident, listen to,yourself

  9. Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful post on benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.Our nature contains many different amazing plants which are very important to our health.

    I am happy to find that from plants we can get such medicine to fight against fat.I am in process of losing weight and I will try this Rhodiola Rosea.

  10. This is what I have been looking for, my dad has been suffering from memory loss for a while. We have tried different remedies so far, most only work for a while then he goes back to how he was before. Would you recommend this particular treatment and where can one get it?

  11. Love your article about Rhodiola Rosea Extract.  I am always looking for alternatives to man-made pharmaceuticals.  This extract sounds like what I’ve been looking for.  It will help reduce stress, improve my physical endurance and help in weight loss.  This extract has made my list of herbal roots to try.  

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