Brain Health and Mood

Health Boosting Effects of Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea, roots with flowers.There are foods and there are superfoods. There are herbs and there are super herbs. Rhodiola rosea belongs in both categories though it is more of the latter. In this post we shall look at Rhodiola rosea uses, benefits, and side effects.

What Is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola rosea, commonly known as rose root, roseroot, or golden root, is a flowering plant native to arctic regions. It is also referred to simply as “rhodiola”. The root of rhodiola has been used for centuries as a power-boosting superfood. Viking warriors used it to increase their physical strength in battle.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it has long been used to reduce anxiety and improve stamina. Although you may be unlikely to charge onto the battlefield today, rhodiola can still be a relevant supplement for your life. As one singer said, life is battlefield.

Rhodiola Rosea Benefits

There are many beneficial effects associated with rhodiola. It is known as an “adaptogenic” herb. Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to the effects of physical, environmental or chemical stress. Rhodiola rosea does this by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, preventing long-term hormonal changes that can occur as a result of extended periods of stress. While “stress” in regard to the uses of rhodiola does include emotional stress, it also refers to such stressors as:

  • Physical exertion
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Exposure to the elements

Rhodiola may be a powerful stress reducer, but its potential benefits don’t end there. It is also used to boost energy and endurance, as well as reducing fatigue. A 2010 study demonstrated that rhodiola reduced muscle damage to test subjects engaged in strenuous exercise.[1] This may make it a good choice for athletes to add to their nutritional arsenal.

Even if you’re not an athlete, rhodiola may benefit your daily life. Its fat-burning properties and ability to improve mental acuity are benefits that most people would appreciate more of. One study involving 56 healthy young physicians low-dose treatment with a standardized extract rhizome Rhodiola rosea showed a “statistically significant improvement” in perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions.[2]

Another study showed that Rhodiola rosea extract may help reduce fatigue and increase mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate.[3] Rhodiola is a main ingredient in this brain health supplement.

Related: 10 Brain and Memory Boosting Foods, Herbs, and Supplements

Some studies have even shown that rhodiola may be an effective, natural addition to traditional cancer treatments.[4] It has shown promise in promoting the death of cancer cells and reducing cell division.

Rhodiola rosea may be especially useful among superfoods for women. Women face special challenges as they move through various stages of life that bring with them inevitable hormone changes. If you’re a woman, you’re probably aware that hormonal changes lurk around every corner. There are monthly changes as women move through their menstrual cycle, but there are also changes that occur during pregnancy, after childbirth, and during and after menopause.

The ebb and flow of hormones can be difficult to cope with, but the regulatory effects of rhodiola can help women adapt to these changes. It may even naturally improve fertility and regulate periods.

Rhodiola Rosea Side Effects

While risk of allergic reaction always exists. Most users report no side effects and, for those who do, they are mild Rhodiola rosea side effects are usually mild. They include dry mouth and dizziness. Ask your doctor if you’re pregnant, nursing, or on medication. Consult your healthcare professional is always recommended when starting on a new herb or supplement.


There is no recommended dosage for Rhodiola. The herb, in various forms, is taken in different doses for different needs.

How to Get Rhodiola Rosea

As with many superfoods and herbs, rhodiola can be consumed in a few different forms. Its bittersweet flavor helps it blend well in a variety of foods and drinks. Rhodiola rosea supplements from extracts can be found in pill or powder form. Rhodiola rosea teas are also available.

People of all levels of activity can find some benefit in Rhodiola rosea, and it is arguably one of the most powerful superfoods for women. If you suffer from anxiety, lack of energy, or hormonal imbalance, the addition of rhodiola to your diet or vitamin cabinet may be worth your consideration.


[1] PubMed: Effects of chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on sport performance

[2] PubMed: Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue–a double blind cross-over study

[3] PubMed: Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue

[4] Apoptosis and Necrosis with Rhodiola Rosea in Cancer

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