Rhodiola rosea may enhance your mood, reduce fatigue, and improve cognition.

Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root or arctic root, has a long history of medicinal use in various cultures.

For centuries, it’s been used in traditional medicine systems, such as in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Nordic regions where it’s primarily been used as an adaptogen, a substance believed to help the body adapt to physical and emotional stress.

While research on Rhodiola rosea is ongoing and individual results may vary, here are seven of its potential benefits.

Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea) may support a positive mood and help alleviate symptoms of depression by influencing neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, such as serotonin and dopamine.

A 2015 study found that R. rosea extract significantly reduced self-reported anxiety, stress, anger, confusion, and depression in mildly anxious participants over a 14-day period.

The experimental group showed improvements in mood without significant changes in cognitive performance. The study suggests that R. rosea extract may have a positive impact on mood symptoms, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Rhodiola rosea has been suggested to potentially improve cognitive function, including aspects such as memory, attention, and mental performance.

Research on animals suggests that R. rosea may improve cognitive function via the following mechanisms:

  • antioxidant properties
  • regulation of cholinergic activity
  • prevention of cell death
  • anti-inflammatory effects
  • enhancement of blood flow to the heart
  • improved brain metabolism

Rhodiola rosea may help combat mental and physical fatigue, promoting alertness and combating feelings of exhaustion, thus improving overall mental energy and resilience.

In a clinical trial, 100 participants with prolonged or chronic fatigue symptoms took a dry extract of R. rosea (200 mg twice per day) for 8 weeks.

The results showed significant improvement in fatigue symptoms after just one week of treatment, and the positive effects continued throughout the trial. The treatment was well-tolerated with no major safety concerns.

Rhodiola rosea may help modulate the stress response by reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, helping to restore balance in the body.

In addition, R. rosea may increase the activity of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in regulating mood and stress.

Rhodiola rosea also exhibits antioxidant properties, protecting cells from oxidative stress caused by stress and other factors.

Rhodiola has adaptogenic properties that can help regulate your body’s stress response and promote a sense of calm, which may indirectly contribute to better sleep.

Additionally, research has shown R. rosea to support healthy serotonin levels in the brain, which can influence sleep patterns and promote a more restful sleep.

Rhodiola rosea may have neuroprotective properties, which could help protect your brain against oxidative stress and age-related cognitive decline.

In particular, research suggests that R. rosea exhibits antioxidant properties, which help fight against oxidative stress and reduce damage to brain cells. Rhodiola also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can protect against inflammation-related damage in the brain.

In addition, R rosea has been found to enhance the production of certain neuroprotective proteins and promote the growth and survival of neurons.

Along with its many cognitive and mental health benefits, Rhodiola rosea may also help you recover from exercise and athletics.

A study on R. rosea supplementation found that it may help reduce exercise-induced pain and muscle damage, improve antioxidant capacity, and enhance athletic explosive power (the ability to generate a quick and forceful movement, such as needed in sprinting).

R. rosea is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. But like any supplement, it may cause side effects in some individuals.

Here are some potential side effects associated with Rhodiola rosea:

  • Sleep disturbances: In some cases, R. rosea may cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping, especially if taken in the evening.
  • Restlessness or irritability: Some individuals may experience increased restlessness, irritability, or overstimulation when taking R. rosea.
  • Digestive issues: Rarely, R. rosea may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach upset, nausea, or diarrhea.
  • Allergic reactions: Although uncommon, some individuals may be allergic to R. rosea. If you experience symptoms such as skin rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Interactions with medications: R. rosea may interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, stimulants, and blood pressure medications.

While Rhodiola rosea is generally safe for most individuals, there are certain groups who should exercise caution or avoid its use. These include:

  • pregnant and chestfeeding people
  • individuals with bipolar disorder
  • those with autoimmune conditions
  • people taking certain medications
  • children

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before considering the use of R. rosea, especially if you fall into any of these categories.

Does rhodiola affect estrogen levels?

Some evidence suggests that R. rosea may have the potential to act as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). This is a substance that can have estrogen-like effects on some tissues while blocking or reducing the effects of estrogen in other tissues.

Researchers say that R. rosea should be explored as a possible treatment to prevent, delay, or alleviate menopause-related cognitive, psychological, cardiovascular, and osteoporotic issues.

Here are different ways you can ingest Rhodiola rosea:

  • Rhodiola supplements: This is the most common and convenient way to take Rhodiola. It’s available in various forms such as capsules, tablets, or liquid extracts.
  • Rhodiola tea: You can make tea by steeping dried R. rosea root in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Rhodiola tinctures: Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of Rhodiola rosea. They can be mixed with water or other beverages and consumed.
  • Rhodiola powder: Some people prefer to use Rhodiola powder, which can be mixed with water, smoothies, or other foods.

Rhodiola rosea offers a range of potential benefits for your mental and physical well-being.

Its adaptogenic properties help alleviate stress and anxiety, while improving cognitive function and mood. It may also enhance athletic performance, reduce fatigue, and provide antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.

While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and long-term effects, the available evidence suggests that R. rosea holds promise as a natural supplement for promoting overall health and wellness.