Rhodiola Rosea: Boost Health, Reduce Stress & Aging

| Modified on Dec 21, 2023
Rhodiola Rosacea

Rhodiola rosea, often hailed as a powerful natural solution for anti-aging, combating depression, and reducing stress, is gaining widespread recognition in Europe and North America. This exceptional herb, traditionally used in Russia as a home remedy for depression, is celebrated for its multiple health benefits.

Unlocking the Power of Rhodiola in Enhancing Well-Being

In Russia, Rhodiola rosea is a popular choice for rejuvenating political leaders, enhancing youthfulness, reducing fatigue, and boosting mental strength. Its remarkable properties are also sought after by astronauts, soldiers, and athletes for its ability to significantly improve endurance and performance, particularly under physically demanding conditions. Additionally, Rhodiola is a lifesaver for those struggling with sleep deprivation due to irregular working hours or high stress, offering a noticeable improvement in alertness and functionality.

Rhodiola Rosea: A Natural Adaptogen for Stress Management and Vitality

As a potent adaptogen, Rhodiola rosea bolsters the body's resilience against stress and contributes to overall well-being. Its stress-reducing qualities are particularly beneficial in preventing a range of stress-related ailments common in aging populations, leading to enhanced energy, stamina, and endurance.

Rhodiola's Impact on Heart Health and Blood Pressure

Clinical research indicates that Rhodiola rosea can slow down heart rate and contribute to lower blood pressure levels, making it a valuable herb for cardiovascular health.

Natural Antidepressant Properties of Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea is renowned for naturally increasing serotonin levels, solidifying its reputation as a highly effective, natural anti-depression herb. It stands among the top natural supplements for effectively managing depression.

Boosting Mental Clarity with Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea is a preferred supplement for individuals like long-haul drivers, flight crew, traffic controllers, and the elderly, owing to its ability to enhance attention and alleviate mental cloudiness.

Rhodiola Rosea in Scientific Research

Extensive studies, including Soviet research, demonstrate that Rhodiola rosea, in combination with physical exercise, can significantly aid in weight loss by activating fat-tissue lipase, leading to the breakdown of stored fat. Animal studies from China, Russia, and Korea have shown its potential in heart health, liver protection, and recovery from toxin exposure.

Rhodiola as an Antioxidant and Potential Cancer Treatment

Rhodiola rosea exhibits potent antioxidant properties and has shown promise in cancer treatment research. Studies reveal its effectiveness in reducing cell mutations linked to cancer and aiding in DNA repair.

Recommended Dosage and Precautions for Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea, particularly the variety from West and North Siberia known for its critical components like Rosavin, Rosarin, and Salidroside, is recommended at a dosage of 200-600 mg per day. It's important to exercise caution, especially when purchasing brands with added caffeine, to avoid potential side effects like anxiety or jitteriness.

Notably, Rhodiola has a stimulating effect at lower doses and a sedating effect at higher doses, with high doses considered 1,500 - 2,000 mg and above daily.

Integrating Rhodiola into Your Daily Regimen

Rhodiola rosea can be a crucial addition to your daily health routine, offering significant benefits in stress reduction, fatigue alleviation, and enhancing both physical and mental performance. Its utility in addressing depression is particularly noteworthy.

FAQ Section: Understanding Rhodiola Rosea

Q1: What is Rhodiola Rosea, and What Are Its Primary Benefits?
A: Rhodiola Rosea is a natural herb known for its adaptogenic properties, helping the body resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress. It's widely used for enhancing mental and physical endurance, reducing fatigue, and potentially improving cognitive function.

Q2: How Does Rhodiola Rosea Work for Stress and Anxiety Relief?
A: Rhodiola works by influencing key brain chemicals, like serotonin and norepinephrine, and stress hormones. It helps in balancing the body's stress-response system, which may alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Q3: Can Rhodiola Rosea Help with Weight Loss?
A: Some studies suggest that Rhodiola may aid in weight loss by activating the breakdown of stored fat in the body. However, it should be used as part of a comprehensive weight management plan including diet and exercise.

Q4: What is the Recommended Dosage for Rhodiola Rosea for Optimal Health Benefits?
A: The recommended dosage of Rhodiola varies, but generally, starting with a low dose (around 100-150 mg) and gradually increasing is advised. Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended for personalized dosage.

Q5: Are There Any Side Effects of Taking Rhodiola Rosea?
A: While Rhodiola is generally considered safe, it can cause side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, or insomnia in some people, especially at higher doses. It's important to start with a lower dose to monitor your body's reaction.

Q6: Can Rhodiola Rosea Improve Athletic Performance?
A: Rhodiola is popular among athletes for its potential to enhance physical performance and reduce recovery time after strenuous exercise. It may improve endurance and stamina.

Q7: Is Rhodiola Rosea Effective in Treating Depression?
A: Rhodiola has been studied for its potential antidepressant properties. It may help by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, but should not replace conventional treatment for depression without a doctor's supervision.

Q8: How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Rhodiola Rosea?
A: The time to feel the effects of Rhodiola can vary. Some individuals report feeling more energetic and focused within a few days, while others may take a few weeks to notice significant benefits.

Q9: Can Rhodiola Rosea Interact with Other Medications?
A: Rhodiola may interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, blood thinners, and diabetes medications. Always consult with a healthcare provider before combining it with other treatments.

Q10: Is Rhodiola Rosea Safe for Long-Term Use?
A: The long-term safety of Rhodiola is not well-established. Taking periodic breaks and consulting healthcare professionals for advice on long-term use is recommended.

Share Your Rhodiola Experience

Have you experienced the benefits of Rhodiola rosea? We'd love to hear from you! Continue reading below to learn how Earth Clinic readers use rhodiola for anxiety and depression, and how well it worked for them.

Related Links:

Dealing with Depression Naturally
Natural Remedies for Fatigue

Rhodiola Usage Tips

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 03/13/2017

I'm not a doctor, but while Rhodiola sounds great (to me specifically), please read this link re contraindications and some important warnings (e.g., don't take if you're bipolar): http://rhodiolarosea.org/rhodiola-rosea-toxicity-side-effects-and-contraindications/

I'm a kidney transplant patient and need to check with my post-transplant coordinator about any natural remedy prior to taking it.

Rhodiola Usage Tips
Posted by Phyllis (Scottsdale, Az) on 12/03/2009

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.


2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Alvarocr (South America) on 06/13/2015

I have been on a Russian Rhodiola rosea extract from Gem***ia since 4 days, the dose being 100 mg per day with 6% rosavins and 2% salidrosides, to help with my ADHD Inattentive type and anxiety. So far I haven't seen any effects on concentration, memory or mood lifting.

Is it the dosing that may be raised for that purpose? Is it that some people don't react to rhodiola and I am one of the unlucky bunch?

Replied by Cam

Your dose looks low (between half & one sixth of typical doses) as per article:- 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. Perhaps increasing your dose to 300mg twice a day could make a difference?

Adrenal Fatigue

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

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

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.

Replied by Carlee
(Seattle, WA)

Adrenomend by douglas laboratories... I suffered from cfs for years. I just wish I would've discovered it sooner. Also read "Grain Brain", some brands of rhodiola are a sham and not the real stuff. Douglas laboratories has a really good reputation.

Replied by John

If your adrenals are burnt then why not try raw adrenal gland (for your general health). It is a common product and is effective. I know of nothing else that will compensate for burnt adrenals.

Replied by Cindy 2
(Roberts, Mt)

Try dried elderberries. I am 66 & 13 wks after a positive Epstein Barr, although have had a better blood draw. You're doing a lot of change, stay consistent, & drink lots of good water & healthy food. I have a reverse osmosis system.


6 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

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

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

Replied by Chris
(Wollaston, Mass. Usa)

What to do if Rhodiola is causing sleeplessness is to take melatonin one hour before you want to go to sleep. Melatonin is natural, and actually produced by the body naturally during the day to signal the brain that you will sleep later. I wake early with tons of energy, and take the Rhodiola in the morning.

Sincerely, Chris

Replied by Shawna
(Vancouver Island)

I take 1 in the morning with breakfast, there is a warning on my bottle that says do not take at night. They work so well for me I'm worried about having to stop them as I have been told to take a break from them after 6 weeks.

Replied by Lola

So glad I'm not alone. I had the exact same problem which is why I was on here reading.

Posted by Candsmom (Ann Arbor, Mi) on 07/05/2012

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

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.

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

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

Anxiety and Sleep

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Leslie (Goose Creek) on 03/12/2017

I take 250 mg Rhodiola Root twice daily; one before bed (improves sleep) and one in the morning (reduces stress). I started taking it when working in an extremely stressful and mentally abusive environment. It took a few days, maybe as many as 5 days, to feel significant results. The results are real! I had tried Melatonin for sleep; but, found it ineffective when experiencing a high degree of anxiety. Melatonin also left me with something of a "hangover" the next day. The Rhodiola Root drastically improves my ability to fall asleep; and drastically improves my stress level. The most notable symptom of reduced stress that I no longer feel compelled to get on other people's "crazy train". I have become somewhat immune to internalizing others' anxiety at work.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile , Tn)

LESLIE,,,,,,, that is one of my top ten female names. Anyways, I know your are correct in what you say, but I take Rhodiola Exract as a result of watching two Ivy League MD professors of which the wife had to take leave because dementia had set in. She learned of Rhodiola and it cleared up her brain fog is short order. I ordered it from Life Extension and their counsel is to take it in the morning because it is an upper that gives you energy and will affect your sleep.

My question to you is Rhodiola Extract the same as Rhodiola Root. Right now I have a sleep problem, but took this supplement to delay or avoid dementia. Things are not as simple as they seem sometimes.

Appreciate you or anyone responding to my inquiry.


Replied by Vibegirl
(Buffalo Ny)
14 posts


It should be the same thing, yes..Herbs can be in pill, powder, tea or tincture form..and most often it's the root of the plant that is used.

Hope that answers your question!


Replied by Ian
(Manchester, England)

This is interesting because rhodiola at only 100mg in the morning literally prevents me getting any sleep at all. Mood seems to be boosted a bit but makes me slightly jittery. I will have to try 50mg. I'm amazed how potent this is.

Brand Recommendations

3 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

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.)

Rhodiola from GNC

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)

Rhodiola from GNC

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)

Rhodiola from PureBulk

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.

Breast Pain

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

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" ...you 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).


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Debbie (Melbourne, Australia) on 08/14/2015

I started taking rhodiola last Tuesday. From the moment I took the first capsule I felt different. Now after five days I am starting to get my memory back and feel a lot more relaxed and feel more refreshed and less tired by the end of the day. I find the tablet remarkable. I was prescribed this from a naturapath.

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

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!


5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

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


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

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

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.