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“The stamina plant”

Scientific name: Rhodiola Rosea, Rhodiola Sacra,
Some Western North American plants formerly included in R. rosea are called:
Rhodiola integrifolia and Rhodiola rhodantha sedum rosea.
Rhodiola: roanensis crenulata, sachalinensis algida dumulosa kirilowii henryi yunnanensis

Common names: golden root, arctic root, rose root, rosen root, western roseroot, Aaron’s rod, king’s crown, lignum rhodium, orpin rose, Aaron’s rod, Arctic Root, Extrait de Rhodiole, Golden Root, Hongjingtian, King’s Crown, Lignum Rhodium, Orpin Rose, Racine d’Or, Racine de Rhodiola, Racine Dorée, Rodia Riza, Rhodiola rosea, Rhodiole, Rhodiole Rougeâtre, Rose Root, Rose Root Extract, Rosenroot, Roseroot, Rosewort, Sedum rhodiola, Sedum rosea, Siberian Golden Root, Siberian Rhodiola Rosea, Snowdown Rose.

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Hong jing tian, 紅景天
Bangladesh names:
Arabic names: الجذر الذهبى (al jidhru’dhahabi)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Crassulaceae

Approximate number of species known: Sources differ on the exact number of species but there are about 90 with China having 55-70, Tibet 30, and 3 in the US.

Common parts used: Root

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 30-76cm

Actions: Adaptogen, astringent

Known Constituents:

Although there appear to be about 140 chemical compounds in the root including flavonoids, alkaloids and anthraquinones, Rhodiola rosea root has six main groups of chemical compounds:-

Beta-sitosterol and daucosterol (Triterpenes);
Tyrosol and salidroside (rhodioloside) (Phenylethanol derivatives);
Rosiridol and rosaridin (Monoterpenes);
Cinnamyl alcohol-vicianosides – Rosarin, rosin and rosavin (Phenylpropanoids);
Rosiridol and rosaridin (Phenylpropanoids);
Tricin, rodiosin, rodiolin, rodionin and acetylrodalgin (Flavonoids);
Hydroxycinnamic, chlorogenic and gallic acids (Phenolic acids).
In differentiating Rhodiola rosea from other species, 5 marker compounds need to be present salidroside, rosiridin, as well as the three cinnamyl alcohol vicianosides (rosavin, rosin and rosarin) which are unique to the R. rosea species.

Also contains Proanthocyanidins and catechins.

Constituents Explained:

Rhodionin is a herbacetin rhamnoside – a flavanol which is a type of flavonoid.
Rhamnose is a naturally occurring sugar. It is a component of the cell wall membrane in the Mycobacterium bacteria genus. Mycobacterium gets its name from the Greek word for fungus because of the mould-like way the bacteria grows in cell cultures.

It is thought that tyrosol and rhodioloside are the most active components and other compounds that contribute to its effectiveness come from the synergism of rosarin, rosin, rosavin and rhodioloside when used in combination.

Other constituents include proanthocyanidins, quercetin, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid – phenolic antioxidants.

The essential oil from the root varies in its chemical composition depending on the country of origin. I.e. Bulgarian Rhodiola rosea root oil contains myrtenol and geraniol along with cinnamic alcohol which has only been found in root from this country. Chinese oil contains 1-octanol and geraniol. The Russian oil is said to contain the highest levels of rosin, rosarin and rosavin.

Components of the essential oil of Rhodiola rosea include monoterpene alcohols, monoterpene hydrocarbons, nonanal, nerol, linalool, decanal, cinnamyl alcohol as well as geraniol and n-decanol which are straight-chain aliphatic alcohols that produce the rose-like odour.


The sandy, dry ground of the arctic areas of Asia and Europe, including Scandinavia, Mongolia, Tibet, Siberia and North east China at high altitudes, mountainous regions, up to 3500-5000 metres, is where it grows in the wild. They are sometimes referred to as ‘stonecrops’ as they can survive in dry, rocky areas. It does grow in the wild Arctic areas of Britain, Europe, Asia and North America.

Although worldwide there are over 90 species of Rhodiola with 55 of them found in China and 30 in Tibet, the most common plant used for medicine today is Rhodiola Rosea. The plant which is perennial and grows up to 70cm, has a thick rhizome with yellow blossoms as separate male and female flowers. It has a floral fragrance when cut and the flavour is both sweet and bitter.

In the wild, Rhodiola rosea can take up to 20 years of growth before it is harvested. As it is a highly popular herb, it has become overharvested, so to protect it from extinction, the shift has moved to use of commercially cultivated plants.

Rhodiola farms are appearing, as the harvesting of the plant for the root is destroying the whole plant. Since experiments in farming the herb in Poland, Sweden, Soviet Union and in Finland from 1994-2002, cultivation of the root has now been established. The first cultivation technologies for roseroot have been introduced in practice, with in South Finland organic root being harvested, the yield of dry root being from 1.5 to 3.0 ton/ha. From planting to harvesting is a long five years, so new plantations are needing to be established to keep up with demand.

Traditional Use:

The ancient Greeks used Rhodiola rosea. In 77 A.D., the Greek physician Dioscorides (AD 40-90) documented the medical applications of the plant, which he then called rodia riza, in his classic medical text De Materia Medica.
Dioscorides used it for headaches.

Talking about the species Rhodia radix (Rhodiola rosea) he said:
“grows in Macedonia, similar to costus but lighter and uneven, making a scent when bruised similar to that of roses. It is useful for those aggrieved with headaches, bruised and applied with a little rosaceum and applied moist to the forehead and temples. It is also called rhodida.”

The name Rhodiola comes from the Greek word meaning rose, “rhodon” and “iola” latin meaning small or unimportant.

In 1725, the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus gave the herb its modern name, Rhodiola rosea renaming it from Rodia riza. The Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné (1707-1778), renamed it as Rhodiola rosea, based on the rose-like fragrance that came from the rootstock when it was cut.

It’s most common names are “golden root” or “arctic root.” It’s rumoured Chinese emperors sent expeditions to Siberia to bring back “the golden root” for medicinal preparations. In Russia, Rhodiola rosea also known as “Golden root”, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life.

Dr. Nicolai Lazarev first coined the term “adaptogen” in 1947 from the Latin word “adaptare.” He identified an adaptogen as having three factors:

1. Non-specific increased resistance for the human body – An increased ability to stand changes in temperature. physical use of muscles, toxicity such as heavy metals or parasites

2. Normalising action – Will encourage body organs towards a more neutral state, rather than one that is over or under active.

3. Has minimal toxicity for human or animal use

Tests were conducted including how long rats could swim in water. In 1968 Dr Brekhman decided that only four herbs met the criteria for what they labeled adaptogen, and Rhodiola rosea was one of these four.

Adaptogens today are associated today as being non-specific herbs that may provide an increase in stamina and mental and physical performance, perhaps supporting adrenal function to promote extra stamina in periods of extra physical demand or exhaustion.

Modern life stresses, that cause fatigue, difficulty in concentration, foggy thinking and possible associated mild depression, may respond to its use.

It is utilized to regulate neurological and physiological responses to stress, as well as the immune system which it is also purported to enhance as an antioxidant.

Apart from supporting the system to alleviate general weakness after major illness or traumatic injuries. It has been used in time of great fatigue, with the purpose to support stamina, deal with psychological stress, sleep deprivation, improve mental outlook, cognition, mood, physical weakness, lack of energy and depression.

It has been linked to performance under stress, energy improvement, heart health, immune defence, hormonal, improvement of brain balance and weight loss. Some people go further and think it increases energy at the level of the body cells, helping them to carry oxygen.

It’s been linked to help preventing oxidative damage and a reduction in stress hormones.

Herbalists have used it when it seems someone’s body has gone beyond exhaustion.
It’s been linked to having anti-aging properties, as well as an increase in learning, retention, mental speed and accuracy. It’s been suggested that further research may be beneficial to ascertain its use for dementia, Parkinson’s and nervous system disorders.
It’s been suggested it may play a role in reducing inflammation.

The Tibetans used it to stop bleeding.

Rhodiola rosea has been used to oppose damaging effects associated with oxygen deprivation, as previous in the Himalayas where occasional use was applied in ailments from altitude, and it supposedly may increase sexual energy. The tea was used effectively, or it was soaked in wine, to ease physical fatigue and treat cold and flu during severe weather in Asian winters in mountainous regions.

Some of the first known uses of Rhodiola rosea were in China and Tibet over a thousand years ago with Tibetan literature recording its use to coughing and spitting up blood, pneumonia as well as women’s vaginal secretions.

It has also been a part of traditional medicine and mentioned for varying applications in the scientific literature, between 1725 and 1960, of countries including France, Germany, the Soviet Union, Scandinavian countries including Norway, Sweden, as well as in Iceland.

Traditionally many different species have been used, to a degree, interchangeably. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this includes use of Rhodiola rosea, R. sachalinensis, R. kirilowii, R. dumulosa, R. yunnanensis, R. crenulata, R. sacra, R. algida, and R. henyri.

The Chinese used it for the lungs and externally for burns. It is thought to have therapeutic action, in particular, in nourishing the heart and clearing the lung meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with the Chinese having used it for angina/chest pain, shortness of breath, paralysis after stroke.

It is now known, from modern research, that it influences the body’s hormonal response to increase resistance to stressors. It may give some respite against stress with its protection against enzymatic destruction and excessive hormone release that would usually cause decline in in serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.

As it may promote an improvement in mood. Some people believe it may be a step at replacing the pleasant feelings people are getting from other substances such as Cannibas.

Some herbalists have used it with other herbs such as Maca, Cordyceps and Damiana.

Clinical Studies:

Unfortunately much of the research done on Rhodiola has been in Germany and Russia and not translated into English.

Rhodiola is generally considered as safe. Some studies appear to show that the herb can activate adipose lipase, an important enzyme needed to burn fat in the body.
It was suggested in the Soviet Union in 1989 to use extracts with three times the amount of Rosavins to salidrosides.

Most clinical trials used Rhodiola rosea extracts in the natural ratios of the chemical constituents of the plant, standardized to minimum of 3% rosavins and 0.8% to 1% salidroside.

Rhodiola as an anti-depressant function and anxiolytic

The results show that this R. rosea extract significantly, but not dose-dependently, induced antidepressant-like, adaptogenic, anxiolytic-like and stimulating effects in mice

No serious side-effects were reported in any of the groups A–C. It is concluded that the standardized extract SHR-5 shows anti-depressive potency in patients with mild to moderate depression when administered in dosages of either 340 or 680 mg/day over a 6-week period.

The present investigation demonstrates that Rhodiola rosea L. roots have potent anti-depressant activity by inhibiting MAO A and may also find application in the control of senile dementia by their inhibition of MAO B.
Van Dierman, D., Marston, A., Bravo, J., Reist, M., Carrupt, P.A., & Hostettmann, K. Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots. Ethnopharmacological communication. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 122, Issue 2, 18 March 2009, Pages 397–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.007

Rhodiola rosea was shown, in human studies, that it may be helpful to relieve depression and lighten mood.
Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, et al. (Mar 2003). “A randomized trial of two different doses of Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work”. Phytomedicine 10 (2–3): 95–105. doi:10.1078/094471103321659780.PMID 12725561.
Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H (Oct 2000).

“Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty”. Phytomedicine 7 (5): 365–71. doi:10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80055-0. PMID 11081987.

Ha Z, Zhu Y, Zhang X, et al. (Sep 2002). “[The effect of rhodiola and acetazolamide on the sleep architecture and blood oxygen saturation in men living at high altitude]”.Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi (in Chinese) 25 (9): 527–30. PMID 12423559.

Mild to moderate depression in both male and female patients of all adult ages was improved significantly with Rhodiola extra doses at 340-680mg day in a clinical trial conducted in Armenia in. 2007.

Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmström C, Panossian A (2007). “Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract in the treatment of mild to moderate depression”. Nord J Psychiatry 61 (5): 343–8.

There was a significant improvement in symptoms in human patients suffering from depression in a study of Rhodiola compared to the control group taking placebo.
Dwyer AV, Whitten DL, Hawrelak JA (March 2011). “Herbal medicines, other than St. John’s Wort, in the treatment of depression: a systematic review” (PDF). Altern Med Rev 16 (1): 40–9. PMID 21438645.

Rhodiola rosea on fatigue, cognition and mood

The anti-fatigue effect of extract SHR-5 combines with an increase in ability to concentrate. Improvements in mild to moderate depression and anxiety are supported with the action of diminishing exhaustion in patients with fatigue. The adaptogenic effects extend to neuro- protective, cardio-protective, nootropic as well as stimulation of CNS. Clinical results appear to be as a consequence of interaction with protein kinases p-JNK, nitric oxide, HPA-system (cortisol reducing). Defence mechanism proteins, such as heat shock proteins Hsp 70 and FoxO/DAF-16 also are part of this collaboration.
Rhodiola rosea also appears to be a safe medication with absence of adverse effects of interaction with other drugs
A. Panossian, A., Wikman, G., & Sarris, J. Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): Traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine. Volume 17, Issue 7, June 2010, Pages 481–493. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2010.02.002

Not many other studies assess cognitive enhancement in non-stressed and healthy rats, with one suggesting efficacy with 0.10mL of a 1:1 aqueous alcoholic extract of rhodiola and the same dose showing inefficacy elsewhere.

Improvements in physical and cognitive deficiencies were improved with Rhodiola dose in mornings.
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17901042

Rhodiola and fatigue under stress

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of repeated low-dose treatment with a standardized extract SHR/5 of rhizome Rhodiola rosea L, (RRE) on fatigue during night duty among a group of 56 young, healthy physicians. The effect was measured as total mental performance calculated as Fatigue Index. The tests chosen reflect an overall level of mental fatigue, involving complex perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions, such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation and ability of concentration, and speed of audio-visual perception. These parameters were tested before and after night duty during three periods of two weeks each: a) a test period of one RRE/placebo tablet daily, b) a washout period and c) a third period of one placebo/RRE tablet daily, in a double-blind cross-over trial. The perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions mentioned above were investigated using 5 different tests. A statistically significant improvement in these tests was observed in the treatment group (RRE) during the first two week period. No side-effects were reported for either treatment noted. These results suggest that RRE can reduce general fatigue under certain stressful conditions.

Rhodiola rosea and stress

One hundred persons suffering from symptoms of lifestyle stress received Rhodiola rosea WS® 1375 at a dose of 200mg twice daily extract over a period of 4 weeks in a study done by seven questionnaires. They were assessed with questions covering Perceived Stress, Numerical Analogue Scales of Subjective Stress Symptoms, Numbers Connecting Test, and Multidimensional Fatigue inventory. Rhodiola rosea was assessed to be safe, well tolerated, with no serious adverse recorded events over the 4 weeks period. There was improvement in life-stress symptoms to a clinically relevant degree, beginning even after 3 days which were shown to be continuing after 1 and 4 weeks.
Edwards D, Heufelder A, Zimmermann A. “Therapeutic Effect Of Rhodolia Rosea Extract WS® 1375 In Subjects With Life-Stress Symptoms: Results Of An Open-Label Study.” 2012 January http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22228617

Rhodiola on stress during examinations

The objective was to investigate the stimulating and normalizing effect of the adaptogen Rhodiola rosea extract SHR-5 in foreign students during a stressful examination period. The study was performed as a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled with low repeated dose regime. The study drug and the placebo were taken for 20 days by the students during an examination period. The physical and mental performance were assessed before and after the period, based on objective as well as on subjective evaluation. The most significant improvement in the SHR-5 group was seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro-motoric tests (p<0.01). The self-assessment of the general well-being was also significantly (p<0.05) better in the verum group. No significance was seen in the correction of text tests or a neuro-muscular tapping test. The overall conclusion is that the study drug gave significant results compared to the placebo group but that the dose level probably was suboptimal. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711300800781 Stress-induced alterations to appetite, weight gain, the estrus cycle and physical activity were prevented in rats given Rhodiola. Mattioli L, Funari C, Perfumi M (May 2008). “Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on behavioural and physiological alterations induced by chronic mild stress in female rats”.Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford) 23 (2): 130-142 Rhodiola rosea and stamina

During exercise, acute Rhodiola rosea ingestion was found to significantly decrease heart rate during the initial warm-up phase. Heart rate response is decreased to that usual with maximum exercise with exercise endurance increased through reduction in the effort perception.

Noreen, Eric E.; Buckley, James G.; Lewis, Stephanie L.; Brandauer, Josef; Stuempfle, Kristin J. The Effects of an Acute Dose of Rhodiola rosea on Endurance Exercise Performance
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2013 – Volume 27 – Issue 3 – p 839–847
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825d9799

Rhodiola and physical endurance

Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise capacity in young healthy volunteers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of acute and 4-week Rhodiola rosea intake on physical capacity, muscle strength, speed of limb movement, reaction time, and attention.

Rhodiola and exercise performance

Rhodiola may increase exercise performance
The basis of increased performance from Rhodiola rosea is thought to come both from the enhancement of the catecholaminergic system as well as improved functioning of cellular energy metabolism.
Perfumi M., Mattioli L. Adaptogenic and central nervous system effects of single doses of 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside Rhodiola rosea L. extract in mice. Phytotherapy Research. 2007;21(1):37–43. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2013.

Rhodiola and exhaustion

Swim to exhaustion time in rats was increased significantly.
Lee F. T., Kuo T. Y., Liou S. Y., Chien C. T. Chronic Rhodiola rosea extract supplementation enforces exhaustive swimming tolerance. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2009;37(3):557–572. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X09007053.

Rhodiola rosea and fatigue

There was a significant improvement both in levels of fatigue from burnout as well as attention span after 4 weeks of daily dosage.
Olsson E.M.G., von Schéele B., Panossian A.G. (2009). “A randomized double-blind placebo controlled parallel group study of an extract of Rhodiola rosea roots as treatment for patients with stress related fatigue”. Planta medica 75 (2): 105–112.doi:10.1055/s-0028-1088346. PMID 19016404.

Rhodiola cell membrane permeability and post stress recovery.

Helped cell membrane permeability and post stress recovery
Gupta, V., Lahiri, S., Sultana, S., Tulsawani, R., & Kumar, R. Anti-oxidative effect of Rhodiola imbricata root extract in rats during cold, hypoxia and restraint (C–H–R) exposure and post-stress recovery. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Volume 48, Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 1019–1025. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2010.01.012

Rhodiola and anti-aging

Rhodiola sacra (water and methanol extracts) and Uncaria rhynchophylla (water extract) especially showed strong scavenging activity against superoxide anion radical (·O2−)
In addition, the active-oxygen scavenging activities of 19 compounds isolated from R. sacra were also examined, and hydroquinone (1), caffeic acid (3), protocatechuic acid (6), gallic acid (7), (–)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (8), 3-O-galloylepigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (10), heterodendrin (17) and gallic acid 4-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (19) were found to show mild or strong inhibitory activity against superoxide anion radical (·O2−), while 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (2), 3, 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (4), 6–8 and 19 inhibited hydroxyl radical (OH·). These active-oxygen scavengers may contribute, to different extents, to their anti-aging action.

Rhodiola and learning and retention

The effect of alcohol-aqueous extract (1:1) from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on the processes of learning and memory is studied on rats. Several methods of active avoidance with negative and positive reinforcements are used, as well as of passive avoidance. Using the maze-method with negative (punitive) reinforcement, it has been found that Rhodiola extract in a single dose of 0.10 ml per rat essentially improves learning and retention after 24 hours.

Rhodiola and hepato-protective properties

Two hepatoprotective phenolic compounds, kaempferol, and salidroside, were isolated from the roots of Rhodiola sachalinensis together with two inactive compounds cinnamyl alcohol and daucosterol based on the hepatoprotective activity against tacrine-induced cytotoxicity in human liver-derived Hep G2 cells.

Rhodiola and RBC glutathione damage

Rhodiola helps protects RBC from glutathione being reduced.

Rhodiola and musculoskeletal damage after work out

Helps prevents muscular skeletal damage after workout

Rhodiola Kirowilli enhancing white blood cells

Rhodiola Kirowilii Enhances white blood cells

Rhodiola protecting cells against H202 damage

Rhodiola helps protect cells against h2o2 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584909003219

Rhodiola and safety

Safety of Rhodiola rated as good or very good by 99% of patients

Rhodiola rosea and senility

Its ability to help withstand against senility is associated with its action in releasing norepinephrine from rat pineal corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cell and artery endothelium cell.

Effect of Rhodiola on level of NO and NOS in cultured rats’ pineal corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cell and artery endothelium cell Kong X., Shi F., Chen Y., Lu H., Yao M., Hu M. Chinese Journal of Andrology 2007 21:10 (6-11)

Rhodiola and hormones

When Rhodiola rosea -treated rats were subjected to a 4-hour period of non-specific stress, the expected elevation in beta-endorphin was either not observed or substantially decreased. Consequently, the characteristic perturbations of the HPA were decreased or totally prevented
Shmanov IB, Trifonova ZV, Tsibin AN, et al. Plasma beta-endorphin and stress hormones in stress and adaptation. Biull Eksp Biol Med 1987;103:422-424. [Russian]

Rhodiola rosea and cardio-protection

Rhodiola rosea’s limited adrenergic effect on the heart were behind the herbs cardioprotective and antistressor abilities. Stress-induced catecholamine release was prevented in the myocardium as was higher cAMP levels. During stress, Rhodiola rosea proved its adaptogen capabilities by preventing lower adrenal catecholamines.
Maslova LV, Kondrat’ev BIu, Maslov LN, Lishmanov IB. The cardioprotective and antiadrenergic activity of an extract of Rhodiola rosea in stress. Eksperimental’naia i Klinicheskaia Farmakologiia [01 Nov 1994, 57(6):61-63]

Rhodiola rosea was found to induce opioid peptide biosynthesis and its antiarrhythmic effect is thought to be secondary to this.

Lishmanov IB, Maslova LV, Maslov LN, Dan’shina EN. The anti-arrhythmia effect of Rhodiola rosea and its possible mechanism. Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1993;116:175-176. [Russian]

Rhodiola rosea and lifespan

A study showed an increase of 24% in lifespan of fruit flies with no changes in diet.
Schriner, Samuel E.; Lee, Kevin; Truong, Stephanie; Salvadora, Kathyrn T.; Maler, Steven; Nam, Alexander; Lee, Thomas; Jafari, Mahtab; Englert, Christoph (21 May 2013). “Extension of Drosophila Lifespan by Rhodiola rosea through a Mechanism Independent from Dietary Restriction”. PLoS ONE 8 (5): e63886. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063886.

Rhodiola rosea and heavy metals

It is thought Rhodiola may aid in the detoxification of many toxic heavy metals.
Boon-Niermeijer, E.K.; van den Berg, A.; Wikman, G.; Wiegant, F.A.C. “Phyto-adaptogens protect against environmental stress-induced death of embryos from the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis”. Phytomedicine 7 (5): 389–399. doi:10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80060-4.

Rhodiola rosea and cognition

A repeated low dose of Rhodiola rosea extract SHR-5 was given to students for 20 days during examination timeframe when they would normally be stressed. Both objective and subjective evaluation was used to show improvements in neuro-motoric tests, mental fatigue and physical fitness.

Spasov AA1, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, Mironova IA, Neumoin VV. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9.
A study on 56 healthy young physicians, working night duty, who were given Rhodiola rosea supplements for two weeks, showed statistically significant improvements in fatigue, stress, as well as cognitive ability governed by speed of audiovisual perception, calculation, concentration and short-term memory.
Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71.
Rhodiola at 50-100mg/kg over 9 days was able to help memory in a dose and time dependent manner in otherwise normal and healthy rats who were given a passive avoidance task..
Qu ZQ, et al Pretreatment with Rhodiola rosea extract reduces cognitive impairment induced by intracerebroventricular streptozotocin in rats: implication of anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects . Biomed Environ Sci. (2009)
Test results imply that use of Rhodiola rosea may help avoid neurogenerative diseases and cerebral ischemia due to the action of a phenylpropanoid glycoside, salidroside. Salidroside modulates the apoptosis-related gene expression, inhibits intracellular ROS production and reinstates the mitochondrial membrane potential to shield PC12 cells from hypoclycaemia and serum limitation-induced cytotoxicity.

Yu, S., Liu, M., Gu. X., & Ding, F. Neuroprotective effects of salidroside in the PC12 cell model exposed to hypoglycemia and serum limitation. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Dec;28(8):1067-78. doi: 10.1007/s10571-008-9284-z. Epub 2008 May 15.


(1) http://www.cancerlynx.com/BOOKFOURROOTS.PDF
Panossian A, Nikoyan N, Ohanyan N, et al. (Jan 2008). “Comparative study of Rhodiola preparations on behavioral despair of rats”. Phytomedicine 15 (1–2): 84–91.doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.10.003. PMID 18054474.
Yousef GG, Grace MH, Cheng DM, Belolipov IV, Raskin I, Lila MA (Nov 2006). “Comparative phytochemical characterization of three Rhodiola species”. Phytochemistry67 (21): 2380–91. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.07.026. PMID 16956631.
Liu Q, Liu ZL, Tian X (Feb 2008). “[Phenolic components from Rhodiola dumulosa]”.Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi (in Chinese) 33 (4): 411–3. PMID 18533499.
Panossian, A., Wikman, G. (2010). “Rosenroot (Roseroot): Traditional Use, Chemical Composition, Pharmacology, and Clinical Efficacy”. Phytomedicine 17 (5-6): 481–493.doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.02.002.

Brown R., Gerbarg P, Ramazanov Z. Rhodiola rosea: A Phytomedicinal Overview HerbalGram. 2002; 56:40-52 American Botanical Council; Austin, TX. Accessed on September 29, 2014.
Rhodiola crenulata

is the recorded species in The Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China (2005) Part I with the dried root and rhizome being used for medicine.

Rhodiola crenulata as an antioxidant

In a study of Rhodiola crenulata on Kunming mice and Wistar rats, it was found that the anti-oxidant effect of Vitamin E compared similarly to that of 12.5ug/ml butanolic extract found in the herb with the inhibition of liver microsome peroxidation being dose-dependent. It was also found that the effects of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in causing haemolysis was inhibited by the extract and it also has the ability to scavenge DPPH free radicals.

Rhodiola crenulata and toxicity

In rats, with benzene induced hemotoxocity, the herb was found to increase the bone marrow cell level and white blood cell count, while reducing PCE (p<0.01). Female, adult rats had been given 1600mg/kg benzene for 3 weeks. Following, Rhodiola crenulata was given at doses of 1000mg/kg, 2000mg/kg and 4000mg/kg for 5 weeks. Rhodiola crenulata and radiation

Female Kunming mice (80) who had been given dosage or Rhodiola crenulata at either 10, 20 or 50ml/kg daily for 38 days, were exposed on the 24th day to 5GyCo60-gramma ray radiation. They were found to have a higher DNA content through all groups compared to the control group, with highest levels in those having been administered dosage at 50ml/kg. The white blood cell count was also higher in all treatment groups compared to the control group.

Rhodiola crenulata and blood glucose regulation

In a human study, the herb was administered as a tea over a period of 24 months along with the patients’ regular treatment. Compared to the baseline of 7.8mmol/L as normal level, fasting glucose was 7.5+/-0.9 after 12 months, and 6.8+/-1.2mmol/L after 24 months.

Rhodiola crenulata anti-hypoxia and anti-fatigue

A dose of 0.45g/kg was found to both reduce exercise associated lactic acid build-up in the blood as well as lengthen the survival time of mice placed in ischemic and hypoxic conditions due to the sodium nitrite toxication in comparison to a control group.

Work in progress
© 2017 Will Shannon – Pinnacle Encyclopedia of Botanical Pharmacology