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Rhodiola Rosea

Generic Name: Rhodiola Rosea

Brand Names: Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Tincture

Drug Class: Herbals

Available Dosage Forms: Powder, tincture,  and capsule

Rhodiola Rosea: Uses, Side effects. Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Tincture

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola Rosea is a herbal therapeutic agent beneficial to cardiopulmonary health. Moreover, it has been used as an analgesic for numerous kinds of pain, a remedy for fatigue, and a neurotropic agent for Alzheimer’s, depression, and anxiety.

The therapeutic properties of Rhodiola Rosea are majorly attributed to its bioactive constituent, Salidroside. Depression-induced animals during a study responded to treatment with 20 and 40 mg/kg of Rhodiola Rosea, similarly to 10mg/kg of amitriptyline administration.1

Estrogen receptors of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis modulate the number and function of mood-regulating hormones noradrenaline and serotonin, though they have more affinity for the latter.

Long-term stresses can diminish the levels of serotonin and lead to the development of the major depressive disorder. Salidroside from Rhodiola Rosea modulates the activity of Estrogen receptors, which in turn elevates levels of serotonin and improves depressive symptoms. Administration of 12 and 24 mg/kg of Salidroside for five days ameliorated depression in mice, possibly through regulation of Brain neurotrophic factor, the release of mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, and reduction of expression of pro-inflammatory molecules.1 The 25mg/kg dosage of Salidroside was reported to have superior efficacy in the treatment of depression and reversal of anxiogenic symptoms.

In another study, adolescent participants with diagnosed major depression exhibited lowered scores on depression scales after administration of active constituents of Rhodiola Rosea. The herb significantly decreased anxiety scores in non-depressed participants as well.2


How to use Rhodiola Rosea?

It can be consumed in the form of capsules, powder, or tinctures:

-Typical dosage is 200-600 mg per day

-It is best to get approval from a doctor to avoid possible issues


What are the side effects of Rhodiola Rosea?

The safety of long-term use of higher doses is not yet established. Common side effects with short term use:

-Dry mouth




Who should not use Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola Rosea has documented interactions with:

-Antihypertensive drugs

-Antidiabetes drugs

-Drugs metabolized in the liver

-Escitalopram (anti depressant)

Do not consume Rhodiola Rosea supplements if:

-You are pregnant or breastfeeding

-You have an autoimmune disease



  1. Zhong Z, Han J, Zhang J, Xiao Q, Hu J, Chen L. Pharmacological activities, mechanisms of action, and safety of salidroside in the central nervous systemDrug Des Devel Ther. 2018;12:1479-1489. Published 2018 May 24. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S160776
  2. Fanaras Heun, Reinhard. The effects of Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on depression, anxiety and mood-A Systematic Review. Global Psychiatry. 2020;3(1). doi:10.2478/GP-2019-0022

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Agata Slezak, Clinical Psychologist, Heilpraktiker (Psychotherapie), Sexologist, Berlin, DE

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