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Rhodiola Rosea

  • Reduces feelings of fatigue and stress
  • Boosts mental and physical energy and improves mood
  • Powerful antioxidant effects to support a healthy body

 

Rhodiola rosea is a herb that grows primarily in the Arctic regions of Europe and Scandanvia. It has a long history of traditional use as a tonic to prevent stress and fatigue. Rhodiola rosea has been shown to act as a powerful antioxidant and to improve cognitive performance. It may also improve your mood.

 

The key active components of the Rhodiola rosea herbal extract include salidroside and the rosavins. The recommended usage for Rhodiola rosea supplements is around 300 – 680mg, daily. At the recommended dosage, side effects are unheard of. Do not exceed the recommended serving size. If you are taking any medication, consult with your doctor before using this supplement.

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  • Rhodiola rosea is a stress and fatigue-reducing herbal extract and has been used in traditional settings for hundreds of years

  • Rhodiola rosea can be used to reduce feelings of fatigue and stress, to improve cognitive performance and boost mental energy, and can be taken as a health-promoting antioxidant supplement

  • The recommended serving size is around 300 – 680mg daily.

 

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Background

 

Rhodiola Rosea extract is comprised of a remarkably powerful set of phyto-compounds extracted from the Rhodiola rosea herb. Rhodiola rosea, also known as the Artic root or Golden root. Rhodiola is considered an adaptogenic herb, which means it is known to increase one’s resistance to stress without disturbing natural biological functions (Ginseng is another well-known adaptogen). [1]

 

The Rhodiola rosea herb grows at high alitutudes (2000-5000m) in northern latitudes, primarily in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia. The herb’s its beneficial properties have been known for centuries throughout Russia and the Scandinavian countries. It goes by many names, including Rosavin, Rosenroot, Rhodiola Rhizome, Golden Root, Arctic Root, and Rhidola. The correct scientific name is Rhodiola rosea. [2] It is important to not confuse Rhodiola rosea  with other species of Rhodiola, Rosa damascena, Rosmarinic Acid, Roselle, or Scutellaria baicalensis (also known as Goldenroot).

 

In the past, Rhodiola rosea extract was widely used as a tonic remedy for fatigue, poor attention span, and decreased memory. It was also used to cope with stress attributed to the intensely cold climates of Scandanavia and Russia. [3] In traditional medicine, the herb is believed to increase productivity and energy and it is used as a capacity booster for demanding mental tasks and as an energy-booster for strength and vitality. [4]

 

Rhodiola Rosea extract composition:

 

Almost all herbal extracts contain a wide selection of phytochemicals. Most plants and herbs with physiologically active effects contain a number of active chemicals. The active compounds in Rhodiola rosea extract include:

  1. Tyrosol – a natural phenolic antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from oxidative stress and dangerous free radicals. [5]

  2. Salidroside (Rhodioloside) – a derivative of Tyrosol with similar antioxidant effects and additional mood-boosting and stress-reducing benefits. [6]

  3. The 'Rosavins' (Rosin, Rosarin, and Rosavin) – a group of compounds with similar activity to Salidroside

  4. Gossypetin – a flavonoid compound with strong antibacterial activity. [7]

  5. Procyanidins – a set of compounds that are similar to EGCG (from green tea catechins) with very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. [8]

  6. β-sitosterol – a cholesterol-like compound that is being studied for its potential to reduce benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and blood cholesterol levels. [9]

rhodiola-rosea-extract

 

Rhodiola Rosea Effects / Benefits

 

Rhodiola rosea extract has a wide variety of highly beneficial effects. Studies of Rhodiola in both humans and deprivation point to the herbal extract’s powerful anti-stress effects, antioxidant benefits, an ability to support healthy immune system function, and to promote a strong libido, in both men and women.

 

Helps to reduce feelings of stress

 

The primary benefit of Rhodiola rosea herbal extract is its ability to reduce feelings of stress. This effect has been researched in-depth in a number of studies using human participants. For example, a 2012 study examined the extract’s effects on stress in over 1300 participants suffering from life-stress symptoms. The results showed clinically relevant improvements for stress symptoms, functional impairment and overall therapeutic effect. [10]

 

In vitro studies have shown that Rhodiola rosea acts as a potent inhibitor of MAO-A and MAO-B enzymes. [11]

                               

Mental and physical performance benefits

 

Two more of the top Rhodiola rosea benefits are a.) its ability to offer potent cognitive-enhancing effects and b.) to ward off both fatigue and physical/mental exhaustion.  Numerous animal studies have shown that Rhodiola rosea extract supplements can reverse the negative effects of scolopamine and restore memory and cognitive function in animals treated with it.[12]

 

In humans, trials on people with physical and cognitive deficiencies have revealed similar results. Namely, results indicated highly significant improvements in mental deficiencies (difficulties with concentration, forgetfulness, decreased memory, susceptibility to stress, irritability) and physical disturbances (exhaustion, decreased motivation, daytime sleepiness, decreased libido, sleep disturbances, and cognitive complaints). [13]

 

Furthermore, a large number of studies have pointed to the benefit of Rhodiola rosea on reducing symptoms of fatigue. A recent review of published literature on the herbal extract found that it has beneficial effects on physical performance, mental performance, and certain mental health conditions. Rhodiola rosea may help to reduce the feelings of fatigue, especially work-related fatigue. [14] There is preliminary evidence that Rhodiola is highly serotonergic (increases serotonin levels in the brain). [15]

 

Anti-oxidant effects

 

Recent scientific studies into the effects of Rhodiola use have confirmed that it is also an effective antioxidant. The key active compound, salidroside, has been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress and to turn-on DNA repair ‘machinery’. Antioxidants are vital for protecting your body from harmful free-radicals and toxins. Clearly, Rhodiola rosea extracts have the potential to help support a healthy body. [16]

 

rhodiola-rosea-for-relaxation

Rhodiola Rosea recommended usage

 

The key active compounds that are typically standardized for Rhodiola rosea extracts are the rosavins and salidroside. Most extracts contain around 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. The minimum daily dosage for preventing fatigue and stress has been found to be around 50mg. This low dosage is for chronic use. For acute supplementation, the recommended dosage is closer to around 300 – 680 mg per day. Rhodiola rosea extract supplements show a bell-curve response to dosage. This means that doses higher than 680mg may be ineffective. [17]

 

Rhodiola Rosea side effects / warnings

 

As Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb, there are no known long-term negative side effects. Mental Health America says that potential side effects are uncommon and mild, however, excessive use may result in agitation, insomnia, anxiety, and occasional headaches. [18] WebMD, known for its conservative stance on supplements, has this to say about Rhodiola side effects:

 “Rhodiola is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term (for up to 6-10 weeks). The safety of long-term use is not known. The potential side effects of Rhodiola are not known… There isn’t enough reliable information about the safety of taking Rhodiola if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.”[19]

 

Importantly, interactions between Rhodiola rosea supplements and medication have not been fully addressed. It is possible that the herbal supplement may interact with enzymes that help to metabolize medicine. If you are taking any medication, you are advised to consult with your doctor before using Rhodiola rosea extracts.

 

Conclusion

 

In summary, Rhodiola Rosea is an arctic root also known as the Golden root. It has a very long history of use in cold climates as a tonic and remedy to ward off stress and fatigue. It is known for its ability to reduce feelings of fatigue and to improve mood. This supplement is considered an adaptogenic supplement becuase it allows the user's body to better adapt to environmental stresses without disrupting natural functions. The recommended serving size for this potent plant extract supplement is around 300 - 680 mg per day. Do not exceed the recommended serving size. When taken at the recommended serving size, side effects are not yet heard of, but there may be interactions with medications. Do not use this supplement if you are taking any medication. 

 

rhodiola-rosea-for-energy-and-fitness

References:

 



[1] Kelly, G.S., Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen., Altern Med Rev. 2001 Jun;6(3):293-302.

[2] Rhodiola rosea: A High Value Crop, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, March 2010, available online at http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex13054 [Accessed October 23, 2017.

[3] Rhodiola, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, September 2017, available online at https://nccih.nih.gov/health/rhodiola [Accessed October 23, 2017]

[5] 2-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)ethanol, PubChem, CID 10393, Open Chemistry Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, available online. [Accessed October 23, 2017].

[6] Salidroside, PubChem, CID 159278, Open Chemistry Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, available online. [Accessed October 23, 2017].

[7] Rosavin, PubChem, CID 9823887, Open Chemistry Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, available online. [Accessed October 23, 2017].

[8] Hammerstone, J.F., Lazarus, S.A., Schmitz, H.H., Procyanidin content and variation in some commonly consumed foods., Journal of Nutrition. 2000 Aug;130(8S Suppl):2086S-92S.

[9] Beta-Sitosterol, PubChem, CID 222284, Open Chemistry Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, available online. [Accessed October 23, 2017].

[10] Edwards, D., Heufelder, A., Zimmermann, A., Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea extract WS® 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms--results of an open-label study., Phytother Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):1220-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3712. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

[11] van Diermen, D., et al., Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots., J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar 18;122(2):397-401. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.007. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

[12] Getova, D.P. & Mihaylova, A.S., Effects of Rhodiola rosea extract on passive avoidance tests in rats., Central European Journal of Medicine (2013) 8: 176. https://doi.org/10.2478/s11536-012-0124-7

[13] Fintelmann, V., Gruenwald, J., Efficacy and tolerability of a Rhodiola rosea extract in adults with physical and cognitive deficiencies., Adv Ther. 2007 Jul-Aug;24(4):929-39.

[14] Hung, S.K., Perry, R., Ernst, E., The effectiveness and efficacy of Rhodiola rosea L.: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials., Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):235-44. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.014. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

[15] Chen, Q.G., et al., The effects of Rhodiola rosea extract on 5-HT level, cell proliferation and quantity of neurons at cerebral hippocampus of depressive rats., Phytomedicine. 2009 Sep;16(9):830-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

[16] Li, X., Sipple, J., Pang, Q., Du, W., Salidroside stimulates DNA repair enzyme Parp-1 activity in mouse HSC maintenance., Blood. 2012 May 3;119(18):4162-73. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-387332. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

[17] Rhodiola rosea, Examine.com, available online at: https://examine.com/supplements/rhodiola-rosea/ [Accessed October 23, 2017]

[18] Rhodiola Rosea, Mental Health America, (2017), available online at

 http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/rhodiola-rosea [Accessed October 23, 2017]

[19] RHODIOLA, WebMD.com, available online at https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-883-rhodiola.aspx?activeingredientid=883 [Accessed October 23, 2017]

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