Rhodiola rosea

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Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root)
File:Rhodiola rosea a2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Rhodiola
Species: R. rosea
Binomial name
Rhodiola rosea

Sedum rosea (L.) Scop.
Sedum rhodiola DC.
Rhodiola arctica Boriss.
Rhodiola iremelica Boriss.
Rhodiola scopolii Simonk.
Sedum scopolii Simonk.

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Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot) is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world. These include much of the Arctic, the mountains of Central Asia, the Rocky Mountains, and mountainous parts of Europe, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia, Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland.

Uses of Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Russian research shows that it improves both physical and mental performance, reduces fatigue, and prevents high-altitude sickness. In one study, the Rhodiola rosea group decreased proofreading errors by 88% while the control group increased proofreading errors by 84%. Rhodiola rosea's effects are attributed to its ability to optimise serotonin and dopamine levels, due to monoamine oxidase inhibition and to its influence on opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins.Template:Fix/category[citation needed]

Substances like these are referred to as adaptogens. They differ from stimulants, and do not have the same health consequences as nicotine, etc.

In Russia, Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. It has also been used for centuries in Scandinavia, both by the Vikings and the Sámi. Note that Rhodiola is sometimes inappropriately referred to as "Arctic Root", which is a trademark product name held by the Swedish Herbal Institute for an extract SHR-5 which contains unique Rhodiola rosea extracts tested in human clinical trials. Publication of a double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial shows a significant effect for SHR-5 Rhodiola extract in cases of mild-to-moderate depression.[2]

It is used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called hóng jǐng tiān ().

Active ingredients

Dried Rhodiola rosea root

Rhodiola rosea has some compounds which are not found in other Rhodiola species.Template:Fix/category[citation needed] These are:

Note that the word rosavins can be used to include rosavin, rosarin, and rosin. Also, the word Rosavin is a brand name.

Rosavin, rosarin, rosin and salidroside (and sometimes p-tyrosol, rhodioniside, rhodiolin and rosiridin) are considered the active ingredients of Rhodiola rosea.


Rhodiola rosea extract is mainly used in the form of capsules or a tablet. These dosage forms usually contain 100 mg of a standardized amount of 3 percent rosavins and 0.8-1 percent salidroside because the naturally occurring ratio of these compounds in Rhodiola rosea root is approximately 3:1. Some companies believe that there are as many as 12 active biochemical compounds in the plant and do not subscribe to what they perceive as "artificial" standardization on only two of those compounds.

A typical dosage is one or two capsules or tablets daily; one in the morning and when taking two, one in the early afternoon. Rhodiola rosea should be taken early in the day because for some it can interfere with sleep. Others can take it in the evening with no effect on sleep patterns. If a user becomes overly activated, jittery or agitated then a smaller dose with very gradual increases may be needed. It is contraindicated in excited states.

The dose may be increased to 200 mg three times a day if needed. A high dose is considered to be daily intakes of 1,000 mg and above.

Other adaptogens


  1. "Rhodiola rosea - Plants For A Future database report". www.pfaf.org. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  2. Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmström C, Panossian A. (2007). "Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.". Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. 61 (5): 343–8. PMID 17990195. doi:10.1080/08039480701643290. 

External links

Critical of effects on mountain sickness

et:Roosilõhnaline kuldjuurhsb:Róžatka is:Burnirót hu:Illatos rózsásvarjúháj nl:Rhodiola roseano:Rosenrot nn:Rosenrotse:Gálberássi fi:Ruusujuuri sv:Rosenrot