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Rhodiola Fights Aging, Depression and Stress Naturally

Last Modified on Mar 26, 2015

Rhodiola rosea is a powerful natural anti-aging, anti-depression and anti-stress home remedy. In Russia, Rhodiola is known as the 'depression herb' and is a customary home treatment for depression.  It is rapidly becoming more well-known in Europe and North America as people become more aware of the multiple benefits of this exciting herb.

Benefits of Rhodiola

In Russia, Rhodiola is commonly given to aging political leaders to help them feel younger, less fatigued and to improve their mental acuity.  Astronauts, soldiers and athletes are particularly interested in how Rhodiola improves endurance and performance by restoring their strength  when dealing with increased physical loads. Many people who take Rhodiola are severely sleep-deprived because of odd working hours or stress. Rather than feeling as if they were walking zombies, they are alert and well-functioning. They say that the difference is quite amazing.

Anti-Aging and Stress Reduction

This Siberian herb is an adaptogen, something that enhances the body's ability to resist stress and has a generalized normalizing effect. Since stress is the direct or indirect cause of many of the diseases people suffer from, especially as they age, stress reduction has a positive benefit on the entire body and mind.  People have more energy, stamina and endurance.

Studies have shown that Rhodiola also slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure.

Fights Depression Naturally

Rhodiola increases serotonin levels, giving this herb a reputation as the natural anti-depression herb. In fact, it is regarded as being among the best natural supplements for depression.

Improved Mental Performance

Rhodiola is typically taken by long distance drivers, flight personnel, traffic controllers and the elderly for increased attention and to combat mental fogginess.


Soviet studies have shown that Rhodiola rosea, when combined with physical exercise, can be a powerful tool in weight reduction as it activates of fat-tissue lipase, resulting in the breakdown of stored fat.

A Chinese animal study has shown that Rhodiola slowed heart rate and lowered blood pressure. Russian and Korean animal studies have shown that rhodiola protects the liver and can help it recover from exposure to certain poisons.

Rhodiola is known to be a powerful antioxidant and may be used in treating cancer. Studies have shown that rhodiola reduced the cell mutations associated with cancer as well as helped the body's ability to repair DNA mutations.

Rhodiola Dosage and Warnings

Rhodiola is powerful. We advise caution whey buying brands with caffeine as some may experience "jitters" and anxiety. Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea extract standardized to contain 2-3% rosavins and 0.8-1% salidroside) is typically dosed at 200-600 mg per day with water and before meals. Only Rhodiola from West and North Siberia is said to contain the critical components of Rosavin, Rosarin and Salidroside.

Interestingly, it has been noted that Rhodiola has a stimulating effect at lower amounts and a sedating effect at higher amounts. A high dose of Rhodiola extract is considered to be daily intakes of 1,500 - 2,000 mg and above.

Rhodiola can be an important daily supplement due to its ability to reduce stress and fatigue while enhancing both physical and mental performance. It is especially useful in combatting depression.

Do you take this herb? If so, please write to us and let us know what you think.

Also check out our related pages on:
Depression Treatments
Relief from Fatigue
Stress Relief Remedies

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Most Popular Rhodiola Remedies:

Stress, Fatigue, Depression13
Multiple Cures8

User Reviews

Adrenal Fatigue   0  1   

Posted by Hawaiianrose (Hawaii, USA) on 08/14/2013

[NAY]  I have been taking Rhodiola standardized 250 mg every morning for awhile now for fatigue, and trying to go off caffeine to heal my adrenals. So far I havent seen any results, I feel so tired, and am a bit discouraged cause I cant do what I need to do during the day. Am I the only one who hasn't had a miracle effect from Rhodiola? I been taking it for a couple weeks. 1 in am on empty stomach and 1 at lunch or afternoon.

I am also taking Monolaurin for Epstein Barr symptoms, cutting out alcohol, caffeine, gluten, corn, and dairy in case of allergies. I am just going back to bed today due to extreme fatigue... Anyone know of good supplements for adrenal fatigue. Thanks.

Replied by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Hi Hawaiianrose - lovely name! Oddly enough, I was going through my archived emails this morning when I came across some information about ribose and fatigue. Dr. Teitelbaum wrote several books about fatigue and, I believe, suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome himself while in medical school. Here's the excerpt from the article:

In a clinical study, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, took a group of 36 patients who suffered from fatigue, and gave each one a small bottle of ribose. He then told them to take the ribose daily until the bottle was empty. Result? The patients saw a dramatic improvement in their energy levels. Plus, they also reported to sleep better… think clearer… and enjoy improved well-being.

It might be worth a try - just make sure it is 100% pure ribose powder (not a capsule with fillers).

Also, I'm wondering if you have to take rhodiola for longer than a couple of weeks to see any benefits. Maybe if you continue for a few months.

The other thing about fatigue - you really need to drink enough water (not juice, tea, energy drinks, etc. ) - but pure water with a bit of sea salt in it as recommended by Dr. Batmanghelidj (your library should have some of his books, as well as Teitelbaum's books). There are several people on this site who highly recommend the "water cure" as it is known.

Have you tried any of the other remedies on Earth Clinic's adrenal fatigue page?

One last thought - have you had your thyroid checked recently?

I wish you the best of luck finding your personal remedy for fatigue. Take care, Bess

Replied by Rescueman911

Your extreme fatigue is due to caffeine withdrawal. Withdrawing from caffeine and white sugar has a host of crazy and debilitating symptoms.the extreme fatigue will pass. Once it does you will feel like a million bucks.

Anxiety   3  0   

Posted by Nzcatherine (Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand) on 06/15/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I'm sorry to add a negative to such high praise on rhodiola but I have to add my own experience as cautionary tale. I have had high levels of anxiety recently lots of adrenal bursts and not being able to sleep which is how I came to the local health food store - for something to help me unwind and relieve exhausted adrenals (my herbalist since directed me to not take anything that would stimulate my adrenals anymore than they were already) in ignorance I continued with the Rhodiola in the mistaken belief they were to have a sedating effect. Tonight I took two. My blood pressure has gone bursurk I have palpitations in my chest like I've drunk 4 or 5 espresso's. I have not had a decent nights sleep for several days now and I'm exhausted - now I have to wait for the rhodiola to wear off. If you are thinking of taking it (it probably does have a mood elevating effect - but then most stimulants probably do) start on a small dose early in the day and monitor your response to it. I have been taking other supplements which I blamed first, now I know it was the Rhodiola without question. I'm very pleased to hear it's been the answer for most people, I will suffer this out knowing that at least some folk are doing better because of it but will save it for a time when I'd other wise chew on a coffee bean.

Replied by Nzregan
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Hey Catherine, I am thinking you should stay on the rhodiola but limit your intake to one per day at lunch time.. I have recently been taking this to help with side effects after taking Champix or Chamtix in US and EU, nothing else was working to decrease the dark moods and anger and anxiety I was having... this "goldenroot" is an incredible herb.. Here's wishing you well... Long Live Christchurch

Posted by Denyse (Orillia, Ontario Canada) on 12/19/2010

[YEA]  I began taking rhodiola 2 weeks ago, I am a 49yr old women I think I was losing my mind I was unable to sleep or should I say I was unable to stay asleep I was always so tired every morning and all day long, So I went online looking for somrthing to help but I wanted to keep it natural, I am a recovering addict I have not used for 3 and a half yrs so I do stay away from anything that is not natural.

Anyways wow at 1st I shrugged it off but now I kno this stuff really works and works well, I would say that u should only take this in the morning as it will keep u awake I take 500mils every morning and I find this to be perfect. This is the 1st time I have shared my info with anyone I was excited to share with others in the hopes others will feel as good as I Peace And Blessings.

Replied by Thehealthyrapper
Houston, T.x

I knew that rhodiola is like the all natural "No Dose" but I had no idea that it helped with cancer, cyst on breast, lowering blood pressure etc. like I learned on this post! Very valuable information!
Replied by Tumbleweedboy
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Denyse, where did you get your supplement from? I would like to try it....
Replied by Candsmom
Ann Arbor, Mi

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I have had severe anxiety for years. At first I tried SSRIs but had too many side effects. Then I tried SNRI (cymbalta) and this worked for me but was very sedating as well as having sexual side effects. When my insurance ran out I could not pay the $400 a month for the dose I needed so I transitioned to Rhodiola. I was looking around trying to find something that might help my norepinephrine levels since plain old SSRI always seemed to make my symtoms worse. I take 680mg (3% rosavins) a day and seem to be holding steady. I have slightly more anxiety than on perscription drugs, but I am doing much better than not taking anything. I also do not have as much sedation and sexual side effects. Breathing exercises and working out really seem to be helping. I also take 4000 grams of epa/dha (fish oil) daily. I am not a doctor, just someone who has suffered with debilitating anxiety since 2000. Everyone's chemistry is different and this worked for me, and costs about $30 a month.

Posted by Matt (Ireland) on 09/13/2010

Hello I just began taking a combo of rhodiola and 5-htp for anxiety and depression. But I recently purchased a more potent rhodiola root by yarrow 500 mm online. And it said on the bottle not to be taken for anxiety so I'm confused as to what I should do?

Replied by Marykaye
Chippewa, Pa.

I have been taking Rhodiola for years and think it is awesome. I just got some Rhodiola from GNC, 340 mg, and it does not seem to have the same effect as the other manufacturers I have used. This has 3% rosavins and say rhodiola rosea root extract. Has anyone tried the GNC Rhodiola?
Replied by Karen
Temple, Tx, Usa

Hi my name is Karen, I have purchased the Rhodiola from GNC and I felt like I wasted $30.00 it did not work. With intensive research on the internet I found 1000mg at vitacost. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to just lose it because I worry and think about things that aren't true but my mind makes them true I just about make myself go major nuts sometimes. If I didn't have these pills I don't know what I would do. The ones from vitacost are from Siberia and 3% which is what you want.
Replied by Wendy
Nanaimo, Bc, Canada

[YEA]   I buy my rhodiola from purebulk. I have my own capsules I put it in. There is no additives in it. Much cheaper to do it this way also. I started to take it mostly for my menopause.

I love taking this stuff as I never ever get depressed. It can be dark dismal weather for a week and I still feel awesome. I have been taking this for about one year. Every morning one capsule.

Replied by Shane
Pine Lodge, Victoria

Hi, this for Wendy... can you tell me please which product do you order from pure bulk Rhodiola Rosea 3% Rosavin or the Rhodiola Rosea 3% Salidroside? And could anyone explain to me the difference between the two? Thanks heaps for the best website on the net BY A MILE love it!!!
Replied by Amy
Los Angeles, Ca, Us

I'm curious as to how long any of you taking Rhodiola had to take it before noticing the effects? Thanks!
Replied by Lottie
Cornwall, St Austell, Uk

I took rhodiola root by FSC, when I first began taking it I began to get happy and feel the benfits after about 30 minutes. But it depends what compounds you take as some can have a calming affect like with Solgar.

Posted by Barbara (Minneapolis, MN) on 05/13/2008

[YEA]  Works within an hour. I have outrageous anxiety. Glad I found this web site for an herbal remedy.

Replied by Clara
West Palm Beach, Florida

Barbara: What brand of Rhodiola do you use and dose? Thank you.
Replied by Phyllis
Scottsdale, Az

I've just looked over this page on Rhodiola and find some disconcerting misinformation. YES - RHODIOLA will cause some people (notably those who are bipolar) possible manic episodes if taken in too high a dose. One person says they are taking 600 MG a day. That's too high for most people. Try taking 150 mg of a good Rhodiola and then moving up to maybe 300 mg if you like the feeling. No reason to do any more than that. We've had seven years experience with Rhodiola in our household, with great success. But, not for skin lightening!! I don't know where one poster got that idea (and the dose she's taking is WAY too much). Consider Rhodiola an herb that is to be respected and treated gingerly. It has been used for many centuries, quite safely.

Breast Pain   1  0   

Posted by Susan Cole (Beverly, Ma.) on 03/14/2009

[YEA]  I have cysts in my breasts and was having xrays at hospital done and they made my left side breast cyst burst . The pain was very bad and I went looking for natural cures and found Rhodiola rosea and one capsules stopped the pain . I took it every day from that time on to now. I use only natural cures now and eat natural foods only

Replied by Sarah
Bloomfield Twp., Michigan/ Usa

I have chronic pain and would need to know the dosage, frequency and the brand. Thank you, Sarah
Replied by Mike
Pasadena, California, Usa

Rhodiola is not really used for pain, it has only been shown in studies to improve mood and "energy" but I've never heard of it being used for pain.
Replied by Maureen
Capbreton, France

please research "lugol' iodine drops for breast cysts" appear to be deficient. Also, if you are taking lugol's iodine drops, be sure to take a selenium supplement as well (separately, not at the same time).

Calming   1  0   

Posted by Jessica (Dc) on 05/30/2014

[YEA]  I've been taking Rhodiola twice a day for about three weeks. I love it! It gives me this subtle calming effect. I've noticed when things get hectic I still feel calm and centered. I love it! And the fact that it's an anti-carcinogen only makes me love it more!

Depression   3  0   

Posted by Lottie Earp (Cornwall, UK) on 06/11/2013

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  Rhodiola root changed my life for the better, as soon as I began taking it 6 years ago I started seeing the brighter side of life. I told the doctor and he said be careful as you can get yourself into situations that you dont know how to get out of because youve never done it before. Low and behold thats whats happened to me. I became so emotionally powerful that it was like limetless the movie, like a role in my own movie. I read morning and night to improve my vocabulary and communication skills. I met influential people. Im not taking it now as these cancerous people ruined me cos they hated how well and mantally fast I was. So the moral of the story is be careful on it.

Posted by Rosemarie (Poole, Dorset, Uk) on 12/31/2012

[YEA]  I'm 45. I've purchased Rhodiola Rosea 1000mg online in the UK. One tablet per day, as a 250mg extract providing Rosavins 8mg. I've had these for some time, not taken, then yesterday, here alone, trying to sort my horrendously cluttered flat, I was feeling depressed then I just started to cry and cry and felt so lonely. In the end I thought about taking a tablet, anything to help... And blimey! , within an hour I was feeling calm and after months of thinking about it I managed to empty and store my 3 suitcases in the alcove behind the kitchen door and clear my hallway and some of the lounge! Is that coincidence? My flat now shows promise of how nice it can look! Anyway I've just had breakfast and taken my second Rhodiola Rosea tablet! I was worried they'd harm long-term but from this site they seem to be a boon of Mother Nature's bounty for us. God bless!

Replied by Joyce

Do rhodiola tablets cause indigestion or any other side effects?
Replied by Betina

[YEA]   I have been taking this for depression and anxiety for 6 weeks and feel fantastic. I buy mine at whole foods. I take the elixir. You can also purchase it online. Make sure you get alcohol free rholiola root.

Posted by Ella (Flint, Flintshire) on 01/10/2012

I was first introduced to this herb in 2005 for depression, with excellent results the first time in my life I felt alive. The store closed and I haven't been able to find any other rhodiola that works for me they either send my anxiety levels way too high or I suffer from deliberating headaches. I am not sure if the fillers cause problems or the rhodiola is not good quality, I would love to feel alive again please can anyone help.

Is there a difference between rhodiola rosea and rhodiola rosea root extract? I have bought both in the past but nothing worked like the stores own brand I tried in 2005.

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Usa

Ella, St. Johns Wort is standard herb for depression. I get good results in combination with the amino acid Tyrosine. Consider 3 mg Melatonin before retiring for good night sleep AND a Glutathione boost. Take a good multivitamin/mineral supplement w/ every meal. Maybe extra Vit B-12 and D.

There are very many causes of Depression, have you tried any detoxification or body cleanses, fast???

Any type spiritual practice, particularly Meditation can allow some degree of light from BEING into consciousness. Cannabis is a wonderful happy herb, but can cause anxiety if used improperly.

Hope this helps.

Posted by Allie (Fullerton, Ca) on 11/07/2011

[YEA]  Rhodiola is my new miracle cure. I have suffered severe chronic depression and fatigue for decades. I began this supplement about three weeks ago, and I feel like a new person. Better than any of the multitude of anti-depressants I have ever tried--and no side effects.

Replied by Angel
San Francisco, Ca

please, tell me the specific brand you take and where to get it, Thank you

Dosages   1  0   

Posted by Tee (Florida, US) on 02/01/2015

I am new on my journey with Rhodiola, but so far am impressed with the gentle way it helps with mood, energy and alleviates stress. Am waiting for further use to see if it helps with memory. I have used product that states the % of rosavins and salidroside and am now concerned that I purchased some from a company that I use other herbals from, and do not see specific percentages, just a note of 12mg rosavins per 240mg. Does that make sense to anyone? I am considering returning the bottle if I don't get info from the company or find out if anyone here can shed light for me. Thank you.

Replied by Rosie

I wouldn't be too worried. You could ring the supplier who can check with the manufacturer. It is usually just information that the supplier has on file. It has been standardised to rosavins, which is a good thing.

Posted by Megan (Fl) on 06/09/2014


I recently ordered a bulk package of Rhodiola Rosea root powder, and discovered the package didn't contain dosage directions or a "scoop" of any sort. I was wondering, since you provide a standard dosage of 200-600mg, what exactly that would look like in terms of teaspoons? As in, how many milligrams of Rhodiola is in 1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp?

I contacted the website but they couldn't provide any information, so I greatly appreciate any information you may have! We are using the powder for research and development of a product, so it is (obviously) crucial to know dosage equivalents!

Thank you for your time, Megan

Replied by Bev

I bought Rhodiola (3% Rosavin) from Bulk Supplements and the information on their site is: 1/8 tsp = 4oo mgs.
Replied by Leslie
Ga, US

I have read several educational sites as well as several blogs the last 2 days, and I only seen people make reference to 5mg per day and up to 25 mg 3 to 4 days per week. No one so far has spoken of a dose higher than that. I have no personal experience. But one of the side effects is your blood pressure going up. And that's a sure thing from reliable sites. MAKE SURE NO ONE TAKES THAT AMOUNT. BE SURE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU START!!
Replied by Rosie

You should be able to work out how much rhodiola per serve if the powder is pure rhodiola. Is there a NIP or ingredients listed on the package. 1 tsp is similar to 2.5-5g of powder (this is a big variable) you need to weigh the powder. Most tablets provide 500mg of standardised rhodiola, a lot of people use 1000-2000 mg per day. Check what works for you b trying it out, once you have worked out how much you are getting in the powder. Start with 250mg and go up by 250mg until you reach 2000mg. You might only need the 250mg.

Posted by Coach (USA, USA) on 02/19/2008

[YEA]  Rhodiola at low doses will give a stimulatory effect and at higher doses of the higher quality 5% Rosavins Rhodiola will give you a calming effect.

Energy   7  0   

Posted by Lh (Manchester Uk) on 01/28/2014

[YEA]  Have been suffering from symptoms of anxiety, stress, fatigue, sleeplessness for a couple of years. GP initially prescribed anti-depressants after a 5 minute chat so I felt very reluctant to go down this route. Read a book that was recommended on combatting anxiety and panic attacks, which when I read it made sense and offered advice on how to manage situations but little about the associated symptoms that I have had for a long time.

I tried valerian and Kalms which helped a little with anxiety but did not regulate my sleep patterns. Every morning I wake up feeling exhausted which then exaggerates or adds to the rest of the symptoms.

I have taken a rhodiola rosea capsule for 5 days now and the effects have been instantly noticeable. I feel mentally alert, full of energy that lasts all day and evening and most noticeably this morning, the feeling that I had had a restful nights sleep which feels like the first in a long time. I felt jittery on one particular day but I think that was because I had drunk a strong coffee later that day.

Obviously it is early days but I feel able to make comparisons as to how I feel now and how I felt "before" and the difference I have to say is huge.

I'm not sure how long you can take them for and if prolonged use is advisable, but for now I'm going to keep taking one a day to see if the symptoms relief is long lasting.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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