Rhodiola

Also indexed as:Golden Root, Rhodiola rosea, Roseroot
Rhodiola: Main Image© Martin Wall
Common names:
Golden Root, Rhodiola rosea, Roseroot

Parts Used & Where Grown

There are some 50 species of rhodiola, but it is the fragrant root of the species Rhodiola rosea that is used medicinally. Rhodiola rosea grows throughout the mountainous regions in the higher latitudes and elevations of the Northern hemisphere.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Stress
170 mg daily of a standardized herbal extract3 stars[3 stars]
Rhodiola has been shown to promote feelings of well-being and support mental function.
Anxiety
170 mg of a standardized extract twice per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking rhodiola has been shown to significantly improve anxiety symptoms.
Athletic Performance and General Endurance
200 mg of an herbal extract, standardized to contain 3% rosavin plus 1% salidroside, taken one hour before endurance exercise2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, healthy volunteers who received an extract of the herb Rhodiola rosea one hour before an endurance-exercise test saw significantly increased endurance, as measured by the time it took to become exhausted.
Mental Performance
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study, supplementing with an extract of rhodiola for two weeks significantly improved mental fatigue in a group of physicians during night duty.
Fatigue
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Traditional use and some double blind, test tube, and animal research suggests that rhodiola may treat fatigue.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Rhodiola has long been used in traditional medicine, primarily in Russia and Scandinavia.1 The Vikings used rhodiola to enhance physical strength and endurance, and it was commonly used by many Northern peoples to treat fatigue, poor physical endurance, nervous system disorders, and infections, and to enhance fertility. Rhodiola was included in the first Swedish Pharmacopeia, and Dioscorides, the Greek physician, reported on its use in his treatise De Materia Medica. In middle Asia, rhodiola was considered a premier treatment for colds and flu during the severe winters that occur there.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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