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Rhodiola Fights Aging, Depression and Stress Naturally

Last Modified on Mar 26, 2015

Side Effects   0  0   

Posted by Jessiejess (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/25/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Rhodiola Herbal supplement: This supplement - I purchased for my daughter I thought was supposed to help her focus- I started to take it. This supplement made me feel SUPER anxious, extrememly irritated, jittery and just did not do what I was told it would do. I would not recommend this to anybody. I purchased mine from GNC for $29.00 and I regret it. I wish I did my research first on this. I took it for a week before I realized that it was this herb that was making me feel out of sorts.

Posted by Debra (Providence, Ri) on 08/14/2012

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I have been taking 500 mg of Rhodiola by NOW and have begun to suffer from severe anxiety. The anxiety is so severe it borders on anxiety attacks. I exercise daily and eat well, but taking Rhodiola has sent me to counseling. At first I didn't know why I was feeling so out-of-control until it dawned on me...... it was the Rhodiola.

Replied by Gloria
Portland, Or Usa
Yes, heightened anxiety is known as a possible side effect of Rhodiola. Most people will not experience this, but I have also felt anxiety from taking Rhodiola.

The first time I took it, however, for a number of months, I experienced only the positive effects of increased energy and well-being. So it seems to depend on other factors in the body (metabolism, perhaps?)

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
Hi Debra, I'm sorry you had such a experience from rhodiola use. This is why I tell people they should be evaluated by a qualified person before embarking on Chinese herb use. It is one thing to use the adaptogens but otherwise, there are lots of things considered about each individual before then recommending the herbs appropriate to the person's body state. I take rhodiola but it was given to me by a Chinese herbalist and it is also in a formula I use. I was told it would be good for me but if I saw any anxiety, to stop immediately. I have not seen that happen. When you got the rhodiola, did someone recommend it to you or did you just decide it sounded good?

You might want to consider calling Dragon Herbs and getting a free phone consultation where they will evaluate you through lots of questions and you explaining your lifestyle, etc. If you read the testimonies from both Meg and Sue here on the Latest Post page, you will see their experiences from this course of action.

Wishing you well, Lisa

Replied by Andre
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hi Debra, I completely relate to your post, it happened to me too... In my case I started taking 5HTP (which is extracted from Rhodiola) for several reasons but it made me very anxious and extremelly irritated with everyone and everything to the point I was feeling a bit crazy. The problem went away after a couple of days of stopping taking it (I have tried it twice with the same results).

However I have recently given it a shot one more time and it is working wonders now, I love it! The trick it what time of the day you should to take it! You should read the book "Mood Cure" by Julia Ross. She will go into the 4 groups of mood maintenance chemicals our body needs in order to maintain good mental health, how to identify imbalances and properly supplement, and how to maintain it through diet once the issue is fixed. Go to her website and take the questionnaire, and get the book! It's like 10 bucks on B&N. I failed miserably on the serotonin group and 5HTP (taken properly) fixed it. It HEALED me and it was so easy! Good luck!

Posted by Mark (Nottingham, Uk) on 10/05/2011

[WARNING!]  I was taking Rhodiola Rosea 250mg standardised to contain 1% salidrosides. One in morning, one at lunch.

I hadn't heard about the stimulating effects of this and took it for 3 months and had awful anxiety attacks. It wasn't until I found this site that I stopped taking it and my anxiety attacks stopped.

It doesn't say the origin of the root extract on the label.

In short be very careful with this herb, introduce it gradually and monitor the effects.

Perhaps I needed a higher dose but the label said max 2 capsules. If I ever considered this herb again I would purchase a higher quality one. Begs the question 'How do we really know what's in it?'

Posted by Diane (Vernon, B.c., Canada) on 07/19/2011

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Rhodiola: Was prescribed by naturopath. Fine for a couple of weeks. Noticed now have symptoms similar to too much caffeine. She prescribed it for stress, thinks it's my adrenals. Should I discontinue?

Posted by Larry (Bloomington, In) on 03/10/2011

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I experienced malignant hypertension with a small dose over a one month period.

Replied by Mary R.
St. Paul, Minnesota
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I just came across this forum when I did a search for rhodiola side effects, not really expecting to find anything. I've been taking rhodiola for a few months at a low dose (100 mg/day), which didn't have much effect. I increased it about a month ago to 500 mg a day and loved the boost to my mood and energy.

But a few days ago I started having fierce hot flashes (I'm 55 and seldom get them any more). I also started getting dizzy when I was doing yard work--that was pretty scary. I reduced the dose to 250 today with no change in the side effects, which also seem to include panic attacks (they go with hot flashes) and twitchiness. I wish I'd just stopped taking it. I do take Wellbutrin (bupropion) for SAD and at first blamed a bad batch of that for my odd symptoms. But after reading other people's feedback here, I think the rhodiola is probably interfering with the antidepressant. I suspect my blood sugar has also gotten high the last few days. I'm a big fan of supplements and I tend to forget they can be as potent and potentially harmful as prescription drugs. Next time I'll do my homework.

Posted by Karen (Wayne, Patr) on 10/23/2010

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I took 100 mg Rhodiola (containing 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides) by Pure Encapsulations and it made me wired. I read on your post that you can take 1500 mg for a calmer effect. Are there any studies to show if that is safe or do you know any information about that? I would like to try.

Posted by M (Miami, Fl Usa) on 10/19/2010


I have just started taking Rhodiola (250 mg)two days ago. I started taking it based on the findings that it increases energy and may promote weight loss. It has only been two days now, but I notice that I am feeling very sluggish and tire earlier than usual. I also started taking Grapeseed (380 mg) for pre-hypertension two days ago as well. Does anyone have any idea if either of these tend to cause lethargy and sluggish behavior as a side effect?

I will stop taking one at a time to see which one is causing this. If anyone has any feedback regarding similar effects it would be appreciated.

Replied by Kathy
Dallas, Tx
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I started taking 100 mg. of Rhodiola 30 minutes before breakfast yesterday. So far it is making me feel more tired and sleepy. Does anyone know if these side effects will wear off eventually or no? I would really like to take it long term because of the many benefits.
Replied by Smulf
Lexington, Ky
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I was told by my doctor to take Rhodeola once in the morning (3% rosavins at 350mg). The first couple of days I felt like a new person. Now it has the complete opposite effect. I am so tired and have a massive headache from it. Instead of feeling better when I workout I feel weaker and my endurance is worse. What could be the problem?

Posted by Bee (USA) on 10/05/2009

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I tried Rhodiola for the first time, and really hoped it would lighten my mood. I am also currently tapering off Paxil, down to 10 mg from 20 mg. The withdrawal is physically and mentally a struggle, and unfortunately the Rhodiola seemed to greatly worsen my anxiety. I felt like I could not sit still and was overly sensitive, emotional and distressed. My abdominal muscles were so tight I felt I could not take deep breaths. I can only attribute this change to Rhodiola, as I have been at this half dose for about a month and things were getting better. I am trying magnesium and tyrosine now. Also, before tapering I started on 5-htp 100mg and that was helping. I still hope to find some combo that allows me to get rid of the constant and emotionally draining anxiety, as well as the persistent down mood as it's taking over my life. But I don't want to be stuck forever on prescription medicines, as I worry about long-term effects.

Replied by Rob
Manhattan, New York
Hi Bee... there might be some helpful advice here...(no need for me to repeat it)
Replied by Anonymous
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa
Mix 1 tablespoon each Chamomile, Catnip, and Basil in hot water, steep 10 minutes or so. While it's steeping eat a cup of plain yogurt, not lowfat or anything. Then drink the tea, strain out the leaves if you like. This makes the abdominals quite relaxed and peaceful. Also try Horse Chestnut with yogurt.

Posted by Ruser (New York, NY) on 07/09/2009

[SIDE EFFECTS]  manic episode on rhodiola... Hi, i am a psychologist reporting that a client of mine who worked her way up to 600 mg of Rhodiola wound up feeling agitated, "out of her mine" chopping at ther hair, and ultimately got arrested in a department store for shoplifing. she describes confusion at the time and persevaritive thoughts. I have consulted with some psychiatrist friends of mine who indicate the drug might potentiate a manic or hypomanic episode. does anyyone else have any info to report on this matter? Thanks.

Replied by Sisterlouise
Portland, Oregon
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I did have trouble with anxiety when taking rhodiola. I only tried it a few days. The energy level was great, felt very positive throughout the day (took in a.m. as recommended by New Chapter, but in the evening, I was miserable, anxious, even my bp went up a bit. Had to drop it. It is GREAT for my husband, but, alas, not for me.
Replied by Rob
Manhattan, New York
[SIDE EFFECTS]   yes, same for me... I also experimented with the New Chapter brand at 300mg and found it was too strong. I was able to take half a capsule. There are other brands that are less potent. You may also want to cycle it at three days on, 2 days off and taking a week off every couple weeks. Taking time off is a good idea for many supplements.
Replied by Sisterlouise
Portland, Or
Followup: My husband who was feeling really good on 100 mg of Rhodiola a day began to feel it was not as effective with energy and focus as it had been. Rather than increasing the dose as the manufacturer had suggested, he begin taking it just every other day, which seemed okay. He's begun to notice, though, that on the days he takes it, he has a bit of pain in one of his elbows. He has some sensitivity to some foods that causes joint trouble occasionally and this may be falling into that same category.

Posted by Diana (Arlington, VA) on 04/17/2009

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I have been taking Nutrilite's Rhodiola 110 for about a month now (take twice a day) and I found that after two weeks of taking it, my period stopped. I thought I might have been pregnant after being 2 weeks late and took 5 pregnancy tests - all negative. So, I am now almost 6 weeks late on my period and not pregnant, so I would have to say after reading others' feedback, that my missed periods and subtle cramping is due to taking this pill.

Although it gave me great energy, it has altered my cycle and put me through some stressful weeks.

Replied by Maxine
Rochester, NY
I've been trying 2 full squirts of this herb in tincture form (small bottle with dropper) daily in the mornings, sometimes with an extra dose in the afternoon, for a couple of weeks now. As a person with chronic fatigue, I have see a noticeable difference in my mental clarity and ability to get through the day, and with way less anxiety than before. I wake up feeling better, am still not 100% but am more productive overall, and am happy with the increased energy and functioning. My period this month, however, was BARELY present at all--a trade off I am more than willing to accept! :-)

The brand I use is Herb Pharm purchased on sale at local health food store for $8.99. It tastes terrible in a small glass of water as suggested, so I take mine with juice instead. I prefer tinctures because they're a good alternative to swallowing pills, and has a much longer shelf life.

Good luck all!

Replied by Char
Fayetteville, Nc
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I have been taking New Chapter Rhodiola for about a month now at 300mg in the am per day. I also alternated with Now 500 mg per day.

New Chapter seemed to work instantly, I felt less stressed and just happier in general, however I missed my period in October entirely and like Diana I thought I was pregnant. I had strange cramping and have been to the two different doctors trying to find answers to by abnormal symptoms, now (thanks to this site and the people who write on it) I can almost guarantee its from supplementing rhodiola. I stopped dosing yesterday and will not be taking it anymore.

In closing I would like to comment that Rholdiola did make me happier, less stressed and excited for my day, however it put my body out of its natural cycle with unusual cramping and bloating. Due to this I will not take Rhodiola.

Replied by Anonymous
Melbourne, Australia
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I had a similar experience. I took Rhodiola _____ brand for about 1 week (2 per day) followed by ____ brand (2 per day most days, 1 per day occassionally) for about 2. 5 weeks and my period was late. The day after my period was due, I stopped taking Rhodiola after reading other comments on this website. My period is now 1 week late. Rhodiola was very effective for treating anxiety, however I am quite concerned about this side effect and what it may mean for my reproductive cycle. In case it is relevant, I have had mild cramping. Also, I am definitely not pregnant as confirmed by 2 pregnancy tests.

Posted by Mary (London, UK) on 11/14/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I took Rhodiola Rosea- Each one-a-day capsule contained 250mg standardised Rhodiola Rosea root extract (1% each rosavins, salidrozid and polyphenols) and also 130mg Raw Rhodolia Root powder.
I bought these after internet research from a reputable vitamin company, mainly for an energy lift and adrenal support following a period of chronic stress. I didn't expect to experience any results for a week at least but have stopped taking this after only 3 days because of a marked change in mood - feeling depressed, irritable and very tired. Foggy, negative thinking. Eye irriation and head ache. I was not previously depressed. I am a skeptical person and wary of attributing these effects to R.Rosea after such a very short period of time, but I have no other explanation than to consider this a negative reaction to the herb. Disappointed and concerned, this was not at all what I expected.

Replied by Robert Bernard
Moscow, Russia
RHODIOLA ROSEA (Golden root)
This is a perennial plant with red, pink, or yellowish flowers. It is no biological relation of the "common" rose, but due to its similar fragrance it has been used as a substitute for Attar of Roses. One of the greatest things Rhodiola does is enhance mental and physical performance. It has been widely used by Russian athletes to increase energy. Rhodiola is cardio-protective, normalizing the heart-rate immediately after intense exercise. It improves nervous system and mental functions such as memory by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain, and also increases protein synthesis. Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen and anti-depressive agent. In this respect Rhodiola rosea is much more powerful than other adaptogens.

Posted by Joy (Toronto, Ontario) on 11/12/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I took Rhodiola for two days and the pain in my joints was terrible. I stopped taking it. I started again 3 weeks later and had the same effect. It also worsens my fibromyalgia. I have taken Rhodiola on 5 occasions. I like how it helps increase my clarity of thought and focus, nevertheless I must always discontinue use because of the pain.

Posted by Louise (NSW, Australia) on 10/04/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I started using Rhodila Rosea 500mg after reading how it increases energy. I started taking 1 capsule 1/2 hr before breakfast and it made me VERY tired. I then tried 250mg (1/2 capsule)...same I diluted 1 500mg capsule in 250 ml water and took 50ml equalling
100mg and I still get tired (not as much) but very moody. My sister gets the same effects as I do.

Posted by David (Portland, Oregon) on 07/14/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  For about six months I've been taking Rhodiola (Rosavin Plus standarized 3% Siberian Rhodiola rosea, RosaFactor 300 mg.) for depression and fatigue. For some weeks now I have been suffering headaches, eye irritation, and general tiredness. I have also had some heart arrhythmia. My doctor can find no other cause of these symptoms and recommends that I stop taking this herb and see if there is improvement. I will report what happens and would like to hear from others who may have had negative side-effects to Rhodiola. DJW

Replied by Abisha5192
Staten Island, New York
[SIDE EFFECTS]   Thanks for posting this. I'm a healthy 56 yo, with a heart of a 26 yo, no history of heart disease in my family, non smoker and non drinker, I am in ICU right now with arrhythmic palpitations that almost killed me. I will see my cardiologist tomorrow and tell him that there is no doubt in my mind it is the 275 mg Rhodiola Rosea I take daily.

Posted by Sally (Birmingham, England) on 05/25/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  i've been using the Rhodiola for a few days, but only one a day. I read the post about someone taking two close together and feeling restless and jittery, and i've been feeling a bit like that. Does that mean i shouldn't take it at all?

Also, my husband has tendonitis in shoulder, any natural remedies. He is taking a capsule of msm; hydrocloride glucosamide; and bought a some turmeric but only used that once or twice. Someone mentioned Black strap molasses for arthritis, would that work? i have some in cupboard.

EC: Possible pages of interest:

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
Yes, there is something else that will help your husband's shoulder bursitis. If you know what poke sallet (pokeweed) is, they are just now beginning to blossom and you'll have to wait until they ripen this fall to gather them to take. Contrary to popular belief, they are not poisonous. I have been taking them for 30+ years and I'm still here to answer your question. If you want to know how to take them, I started taking 3 or 4 berries 4 times a day and kept increasing them until I was taking about 20 to 25 berries 4 times a day. Several years after starting them, I read that if you extracted them in alcohol or vinegar, it stayed good for several years but dehydrating them, they were only good for 6 months or so. If you care to get into this, there are many books (or on line information) you can find. A general rule of thumb for beginners is that when using fresh herbs - l part herb to l part diluent used to extract: when using dry herbs use 2 parts diluent to l part dries herb. If you want to research poke berries - google pokeweed instead of poke sallet.
Replied by Sammi
Flowery Branch, Ga
Other Southerners know it as poke salad. LOL.
Replied by Beth
Savannah, Ga.
I've only been on Rhodiola a few days, but I seem to be having the opposite affect. I'm tired, and sad. I took 350 mg for several days, thought it was too high so I found Gaiya brand at 250 mg. Still napping twice a day, no impetus to do anything. I get stuff done eventually, but no zeal-always a chore. Break up issues, very alone, and work related sadness, money issues-maybe I'm just too depressed for this to work. Any feedback.

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