6 Impressive Health Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root)

Rhodiola rosea (commonly called golden root, rose root, roseroot,  Aaron’s rod, Arctic root, king’s crown, lignum rhodium, orpin rose) is a perennial flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae.

Rhodiola, also known as Rhodiola rosea, is a medicinal plant that’s been used for hundreds of years to treat various ailments and promote general well-being. You can find rhodiola root tea, as well as rhodiola powder and rhodiola capsules. Modern research points to rhodiola being an effective natural remedy for depression comparable to pharmaceutical drugs. It may help counter stress, fatigue, and anxiety disorders while providing protective health benefits.

For occasional stress and fatigue, rhodiola may help. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which is a type of herb that helps the body maintain homeostasis in the face of stress. In fact, it can improve the body’s resilience to stress, increase physical performance and endurance, and boost mental clarity.[1]

In a small study, 10 participants with generalized anxiety disorder were given 340 mg of rhodiola every day. After 10 weeks, all participants given rhodiola had lower anxiety scores than at the start of the trial.[2] As an adaptogen, rhodiola helps the nervous system stay out of “fight or flight” mode. In animal models, rhodiola has been shown to suppress the release of the stress hormone cortisol.[3] By helping keep cortisol levels under control, rhodiola may help anyone with mild stress to severe anxiety cope with their symptoms.

Rhodiola rosea grows naturally in wild Arctic regions of Europe (including Britain), Asia, and North America and can be propagated as a groundcover.

Research studies have looked at the effect of rhodiola on the stress-impaired brain. When the body is in “fight or flight” mode, physical senses are sharpened, but cognitive functions can be compromised by high cortisol levels, causing brain fog and short-term memory loss. In a 28-day study, 576 mg of rhodiola extract per day was found to increase concentration and attention span, as well as cognitive performance.[4]

Besides lowering stress, it seems rhodiola can also help by lowering blood pressure. When blood pressure becomes too high because of arterial plaque, it can put you at risk for heart disease. While research hasn’t been conducted on human patients, rats with hypertension showed reductions in blood pressure with rhodiola intervention.[5] Rhodiola has even been shown in animal models to protect the heart against stress-induced damage.[6] Rhodiola also increases cardiac output, which is the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute.[7]

While more research is needed, data from animals suggests that rhodiola has several heart-protective benefits. These benefits could potentially benefit athletic performance, as well as play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Research shows that rhodiola has antidiabetic effects that promote metabolic health. According to a recent publication in Scientific Reports, rhodiola has the ability to lower blood sugar and insulin resistance.[8] High blood sugar and high insulin resistance are some of the major markers of prediabetes and diabetes. By supporting the health and integrity of metabolic pathways, supplementing with rhodiola regularly could help prevent metabolic disorders.

When healthy volunteers took a four-week course of daily rhodiola supplements, they performed at a higher physical capacity by the end of treatment. The regimen was 200 mg of rhodiola per day, and it was linked to longer exercise endurance, faster movements, and quicker reaction times.[9]

Rhodiola is best taken in doses of 100 to 300 mg daily. Always adhere to the recommendation on your product’s label because some supplements can be more concentrated. Side effects of rhodiola can include dizziness, insomnia, jitteriness, and dry mouth. While rhodiola has been used in studies lasting 12 weeks, the safety of long-term use of rhodiola isn’t well known. If you’re having any adverse effects of taking rhodiola, discontinue taking it. Before taking rhodiola, check with your prescriber if you’re taking any medications, including medicine for diabetes and blood pressure, as there could be interactions.

The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and stress-fighting actions of rhodiola make it beneficial for your health in various ways. There’s still a lot for modern science to learn about this herb, but it has a long history of medicinal use in Scandinavia and Russia. From what’s known so far, rhodiola can help counter the effects of stress on both the mind and body; it increases mental attention and focus, while improving physical endurance. It also helps protect your heart and metabolic health while potentially relieving anxiety symptoms.

It’s worth noting that even natural substances can sometimes produce negative effects. To ensure your safety, it’s critical to consult with a healthcare professional before using herbal products or other supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions, are taking other medications or supplements, or are pregnant.


Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider. This article is not intended to provide medical advice.

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