Rhodiola rosea, less commonly known as Rhodiola, Roseroot, Rosenroot, Golden Root, Arctic Root, or Orpin Rose (Panossian, Wikman & Sarria, 2010), grows in high altitudes throughout the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia (Brown, Gerbarg, & Ramazanov, 2002). Due to its ability to promote resistance to chemical, physical and biological stressors, Rhodiola rosea was designated an adaptogen by Russian scientists (Kelly, 2001). Some researchers believe that Rhodiola rosea use dates back to the Vikings as a medicinal compound used to enhance vigorous and strenuous work (Panossian et al., 2010). Since 1961 there have been more than 180 studies on the adaptogen’s pharmacological, phytochemical and clinical effects (Panossian et al., 2010), however the majority of modern research has been conducted in Russia and Scandinavia (Kelly, 2001). In traditional medicine Rhodiola rosea has been used to “increase physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders” (Brown et al., 2002, p. 41).

Benefits and Effects

  • Reduces burn-out, mental fatigue and cortisol levels associated with stress (Darbinyan et al., 2000; Olsson et al., 2009; Spasov et al., 2000);
  • Promotes cognition through neuroprotective, antioxidant, stimulatory yet emotionally calming effects, reduces forgetfulness, memory impairment, irritability, inability to concentrate, and cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease (Qu et al., 2009; Walker & Robergs, 2006; Fintelmann & Gruenwald, 2007; Khanum, et al., 2005);
  • Promotes a sense of general well-being and reduces depression (Brown et al., 2002; Panossian et al., 2010; Khanum et al., 2005);
  • Improves exercise endurance capacity, work capacity and cardiovascular functioning (De Bock et al., 2004; Spasov et al., 2000; Kelly, 2001).


360-600 mg standardized for 1-percent rosavin

180-300 mg standardized for 2-percent rosavin

100-170 mg standardized for 3.6-percent rosavin


Brown, R. P., Gerbarg, P. L., & Ramazanov, Z. (2002). Rhodiola rosea. A phytomedicinal overview. HerbalGram56, 40-52. Retrieved from

Darbinyan, V., Kteyan, A., Panossian, A., Gabrielian, E., Wikman, G., & Wagner, H. (2000). Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night dutyPhytomedicine7(5), 365-371. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80055-0

De Bock, K., Eijnde, B. O., Ramaekers, M., & Hespel, P. (2004). Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performanceInternational journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism14(3), 298-307. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.14.3.298

Fintelmann, V., & Gruenwald, J. (2007). Efficacy and tolerability of a Rhodiola rosea extract in adults with physical and cognitive deficienciesAdvances in therapy24(4), 929-939. doi: 10.1007/BF02849986

Khanum, F., Bawa, A. S., & Singh, B. (2005). Rhodiola rosea: a versatile adaptogenComprehensive reviews in food science and food safety4(3), 55-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2005.tb00073.

Kelly, G. (2001). Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen. Altern Med Rev6(3), 293-302. Retrieved from

Olsson, E. M., von Schéele, B., & Panossian, A. G. (2009). 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 fatiguePlanta medica75(02), 105-112. Doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1088346

Panossian, A., Wikman, G., & Sarris, J. (2010). Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacyPhytomedicine17(7), 481-493. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.02.002

Qu, Z. Q., Zhou, Y., Zeng, Y. S., Li, Y., & Chung, P. (2009). Pretreatment with Rhodiola rosea extract reduces cognitive impairment induced by intracerebroventricular streptozotocin in rats: implication of anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effectsBiomedical and environmental sciences22(4), 318-326. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(09)60062-3

Spasov, A. A., Wikman, G. K., Mandrikov, V. B., Mironova, I. A., & Neumoin, V. V. (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimenPhytomedicine7(2), 85-89. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80078-1

Walker, T. B., & Robergs, R. A. (2006). Does Rhodiola rosea possess ergogenic properties?International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism16(3), 305-315. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.16.3.305

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