Rhodiola Rosea


Rhodiola Rosea is a perennial flowering plant that grows in cold climates such as the Arctic, the Alps, and Iceland. It's first documented medicinal applications were by an ancient Greek Physician, Dioscorides, in 77 A.D. However the origins of using Rhodiola can be traced back even further to the 13th century BC, where the Vikings depended on Rhodiola Rosea to enhance strength and courage required for long voyages. In the same time period, Chinese Emperors were sending expeditions to Siberia to collect the herb so that it could be used in tonics to treat cold and flu symptoms. Mongolian physicians frequently used Rhodiola, "the golden root," to treat tuberculosis and cancer.

While some of the larger claims have yet to be tested by modern scientists, new studies are being done that prove the efficacy of Rhodiola as a treatment for depression, as an energy booster and a strengthener for the immune system.

Some research shows that rhodiola, also known as Arctic root, can increase work performance and reduce mental fatigue by increasing levels of mood-elevating brain chemicals like serotonin. The herb provides a mildly uplifting feeling that instills a sense of positivity and happiness. 

Research on Rhodiola rosea and other medicinal herbs was part of the Soviet Union's push to compete with the West in military development, the arms race, space exploration, Olympic sports, science, medicine, and industry. It is a popular plant in traditional medical systems in Eastern Europe and Asia, with a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression, enhancing work performance, eliminating fatigue, and preventing high altitude sickness.

Rhodiola rosea is thought to improve energy levels, increase sexual function, aid weight reduction, enhances memory, elevate the capacity for exercise, relieve anxiety, enhance immunity, fight depression and also strengthen the nervous system. Some people use Rhodiola rosea to improve hearing, prevent liver damage, aging, cold and flu and to treat diabetes, tuberculosis and cancer. 

The benefits are supported by the following clinical trials and scientific research:

  • Help with general anxiety (Bystritsky, 2008)
  • Relieve mild to moderate depression (Darbinyan, 2007 ; Mao, 2015)
  • Relieve fatigue (Olsson, 2009 ; spasov, 2000)
  • Increase attention (shevtsov, 2003 ; schutgens, 2009)
  • Improve mood (Darbinyan, 2007)

Antioxidants and Constituents

Rhodiola species contain a range of antioxidant compounds, including p-tyrosol, organic acids (gallic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid), and flavonoids (catechins and proanthocyanidins).The stimulating and adaptogenic properties of Rhodiola rosea are attributed to p-tyrosol, salidroside (synonym: rhodioloside and rhodosin), rhodioniside, rhodiolin, rosin, rosavin, rosarin, mad rosiridin.Rosavin is the constituent currently selected for standardization of extracts.p-Tyrosol has been shown to be readily and dose-dependently absorbed after an oral dose; however, pharmacokinetic data on the other adaptogenic compounds found in Rhodiola rosea is unavailable.

Adaptogenic and Nootropic Properties of Rhodiola rosea

Scientists have demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea can help with stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It is a potent adaptogen that helps to normalize the body functions and increase its overall resistance to stress, including:

Sleep disturbance, decreased libido, daytime sleepiness, decreased motivation and exhaustion:

Iovieno et al. state that rhodiola is effective in treating physical deficiencies such as sleep disturbances, decreased libido, daytime sleepiness, decreased motivation, exhaustion and cognitive complaints such as irritability, susceptibility to stress, decreased memory, forgetfulness and concentration deficiencies.

ADHD, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

Brown et al. add that their clinical experiences demonstrated that rhodiola is beneficial in fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is also a proven adjunctive treatment in ADHD (a.k.a attention deficit disorder), since tends to improve cognition and activates attention, alertness and accuracy.

Adjunctive Use

Rhodiola rosea has been associated with the reduction of antidepressant side effects, particularly sexual dysfunction and sedation fatigue when combined with tricyclic antidepressants. Brown et al. state that they use Rhodiola rosea as an adjunctive treatment in depression because it tolerate stress, improves mood and increase physical and mental energy as well.

Immune system:

Rhodiola rosea both protects and stimulated the immune system by reinstating homeostasis in the body. It also increases the natural killer cells in the spleen or stomach.


Feeling unfocused and scattered due to anxiety can have the effect of causing even more anxiety, particularly if you find yourself lost during the exam or in the middle of an important meeting.  Studies using proofreading tests have demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea improves concentration ability and enhance memory over prolonged periods of time. It improves the bio-electrical activity of the brain, which increase brain energy and improves memory.

In one study, scientists have selected 40 random students as subject, half of them received 50 mg of standariezed Rhodiola rosea and half of them received plcebo twice daily for a period of 20 days. The students who received Rhodiola rosea reported a greater motivation to study, greater mood stability, a reduced need for sleep, improved sleep patterns and also statistically significant reductions in mental fatigue. The subject also demonstrated significant improvements in general ell being, mental performance, psychomotor function and physical fitness. The average exam score between students receiving both supplements were 3.47 and 3.20, respectively.   


Rhodiola rosea helps to re-establish healthy, normal function under conditions of stress, which may range from mild to severe. Under stress many different components increase in the body, including catecholamine, opioids and adrenalin. If the levels of these substances remain high in the body, they can cause damage to the glandular and nervous function including sex glands.

In several studies Rhodiola rosea has been demonstrated to reduce various stress induced chemicals in the body to normal levels and alleviate mental and general fatigue. Rhodiola rosea lowers the level of CRF (a chemical in our body that promotes an additional feeling of stress) enabling the mind and body to establish and recuperate normal function.

There have also been claims that this amazing herb has great usage as a treatment in asthenic conditions (headaches, hypertension, irritability, poor appetite, sleep disturbances and decline in work performance) developing subsequent to viral exposure, influenza, intense intellectual or physical strain and other illness. (Panossian and Wikman, 2009)

Metabolic stimulant:

Rhodiola Rosea contains compounds known as rosavin that includes salidroside, rosin and rosarian. These compounds help the body to promote weight loss and process he fatty acids.

How Rhodiola rosea works in our body and produces the desired effects?

The following experiments seek to explain the manner Rhodiola rosea interact with our body:

  • According to one study it is revealed that Rhodiola rosea extract can prevent additional stress related endorphins while increasing our natural endorphin level. This could also generate adaptogen activity. (Lishmanov et al, 2005)
  • Rhodiola extract can inhibit our monoamine oxide enzymes. This has an ability to impact our mood and brain. (Van Diermen, 2009)
  • Rhodiola rosea extract appears to stimulate acetycholine, dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline receptors in the brain. Changes in these receptor proteins, especially in serotonin will have an effect on our mood. (Brown, 2002).
  • Evidence suggests that Rhodiola rosea extract can effect our endocrine system via the HPA axis. HPS axis is a feedback system between the adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands. This axis is mainly responsible to regulate our stress response to the body.  (xia, 2016) 


Usage of rhodiola as a daily preventative against fatigue has been reported to be effective in doses as low as 50mg. Acute usage of rhodiola for fatigue and anti-stress has been noted to be taken in the 288-680mg range. As rhodiola has been shown to have a bell-curve response before, it is recommended to not exceed the aforementioned 680mg dosage as higher doses may be ineffective.

We include 450mg or Rhodiola rosea in our nootropic stack which is to be taken when extreme focus or energy is needed (no more than once per day). 


Questions? Feel free to email us with any questions you may have about Rhodiola rosea or any other ingredients in our products!



A. A. Spasov, G. K. Wilman, V. B. Mandrikov, I. A. Mironova, V. V. Neumoin. 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 regimen. Phytomedicine. Vol. 7, pp. 85-89. 2000.

Yu Mao, Yan Li, Ning Yao. Simultaneous determination of salidroside and tyrosol in extracts of Rhodiola L. by microwave assisted extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. Volume 45, Issue 3, 5 November 2007, pg. 510-515.

Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola roseain 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 duty. Phytomedicine2000;7(5):365-71.

Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmstrom C, Panossian A. Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nord J Psychiatry . 2007;61(5):343-348.

Panossian A, Wikman G, Wagner H. Plant adaptogens. III. Earlier and more recent aspects and concepts on their mode of action. Phytomedicine1999;6(4):287-300.

Lishmanov IuB, Trifonova ZhV, Tsibin AN, Maslova LV, Dement'eva LA. Plasma beta-endorphin and stress hormones in stress and adaptation [in Russian]. Biull Eksp Biol Med . 1987;103(4):422-424.

2009 Mar 18;122(2):397-401. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.007. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Ramazanov Z. Rhodiola rosea : a phytomedicinal overview. HerbalGram . 2002;56:40-52.

2016 Jan;11(1):353-359. Epub 2015 Nov 19.