Rhodiola rosea is an herb that is native to arctic and mountainous regions and has historically been used to treat fatigue and other health issues.
Some studies have shown that Rhodiola rosea supplementation decreases the symptoms of stress in as little as three days.
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What is Rhodiola rosea?
Rhodiola rosea, also known as “Arctic root,” “golden root,” “roseroot,” and “king’s crown,” is a flowering herb that grows in the arctic and in cold mountainous regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Rhodiola rosea is from the Crassulaceae family of plants and, where it is native, it often grows as a groundcover. The leaves and shoots can be eaten and an extract can be made from the roots. Historically, people living in regions with Rhodiola rosea have used the herb for purposes ranging from treating fatigue and headache to improving physical endurance and work performance. In fact, Rhodiola rosea is often considered an “adaptogen,” a family of herbs believed to help regulate physical, mental, and emotional stresses in the body (5). It contains a number of chemical compounds, two groups of which are suspected to confer the benefits seen with supplementation: the rosavins and the salidrosides.
What are the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea?
Rhodiola rosea’s purported health benefits cover a range of mental health-related conditions, including cognition and fatigue. It is thought that Rhodiola rosea works by protecting cells from damage. It does this by improving blood flow, acting as an antioxidant, acting as an anti-inflammatory, and protecting against a process called apoptosis, which is programmed cell death (4).
While numerous studies have looked into the effects of Rhodiola rosea, the results are limited. This means it is difficult to determine precisely how effective supplementation with Rhodiola rosea can be. This has led one systematic review to suggest that more research should be done to fully uncover the benefits of Rhodiola rosea (2).
Studies focusing on claims made about the effects of Rhodiola rosea include the following:
- Fatigue: In one study, participants with fatigue syndrome took 576 mg per day of Rhodiola rosea extract. After four weeks, the researchers concluded that Rhodiola rosea had anti-fatigue effects and it also increased mental performance, improved the ability to concentrate, and decreased cortisol response (6).
- Learning and memory: In a review of 36 studies done on animals, Rhodiola rosea had a positive effect on learning and memory function (4).
- Physical performance: A systematic review of articles that evaluated Rhodiola rosea’s effects on physical and mental fatigue found mixed results. While some studies showed Rhodiola rosea to be beneficial, the authors of the review warned that the results may be biased (3).
According to some studies, Rhodiola rosea also has the following health benefits, which is why it was chosen to be an ingredient in the Roman Dailies:
In one trial, participants were given 200 mg twice per day of Rhodiola rosea extract for four weeks. Scores on multiple tests that measure stress symptoms were improved, and these improvements were seen as early as three days after the start of treatment (1).
What doses of Rhodiola rosea have been studied?
Nutritional supplements, like Rhodiola rosea, are not reviewed by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. The effective daily dose can therefore only be estimated based on what has been tested in studies. Dosages used in studies examining Rhodiola rosea’s efficacy against fatigue and stress range from 60–680 mg per day (2).
In what forms is Rhodiola rosea available?
Rhodiola rosea is a plant whose leaves and shoots can be eaten. However, Rhodiola rosea is more commonly available as a root extract, which can be made available in capsule or tablet form.
How does Roman offer Rhodiola rosea?
Roman obtains Rhodiola rosea from a non-GMO source in China that grows Rhodiola rosea. The root extract used by Roman contains 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides.
Roman offers Rhodiola rosea in the following supplements:
Rhodiola rosea is one of three main ingredients in Roman’s Stress Relief supplement. The supplement consists of two capsules that should be taken with water. Each individual capsule contains 150 mg of Rhodiola rosea root extract, for a total daily dose of 300 mg.
Other ingredients in the capsules include ashwagandha root extract, phosphatidylserine, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose (capsule), and magnesium stearate. The Stress Relief supplement contains soy and should not be consumed by anybody with a soy allergy.
Does Rhodiola rosea interact with any other drugs?
Currently, there are no well-documented instances of Rhodiola rosea interacting with other medications.
Roman’s Heart Health supplement contains fish and should not be consumed by anybody with a fish allergy.
There is currently no information regarding the safety of Rhodiola rosea in pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare provider before taking supplements that contain Rhodiola rosea.
Roman’s Stress relief supplement contains soy and should not be consumed by anybody with a soy allergy.
- Edwards D, Heufelder A, Zimmermann A. Therapeutic Effects and Safety of Rhodiola rosea Extract WS® 1375 in Subjects with Life-stress Symptoms – Results of an Open-label Study. Phytotherapy Research. 2012;26(8):1220-1225. doi:10.1002/ptr.3712.
- Hung SK, Perry R, Ernst E. The effectiveness and efficacy of Rhodiola rosea L.: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(4):235-244. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.014.
- Ishaque S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, Vohra S. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;12(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-70.
- Ma G-P, Zheng Q, Xu M-B, et al. Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2018;9. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01415.
- NCCIH. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/rhodiola. Published September 1, 2016. Accessed November 12, 2019.
- Olsson E, Schéele BV, Panossian A. A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study of the standardised extract SHR-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Medica. 2009;75(09). doi:10.1055/s-0029-1235006.