Understanding Rhodiola: A Natural Ally for Daily Vitality

Understanding Rhodiola: A Natural Ally for Daily Vitality

Amidst the pace of contemporary life, many of us seek natural solutions to meet daily demands with peak mental and physical performance. Enter Rhodiola Rosea, a standout herb with proven effects.

This article explores what Rhodiola Rosea is, its uses, proven benefits from human studies, and emerging findings from preliminary research. Understand how it works, recommended dosages, and safety recommendations. 

What is Rhodiola?

Rhodiola Rosea, referred to as "golden root" or "arctic root," is a perennial plant that blooms in the chilly, mountainous areas of Europe and Asia. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine, especially in Russian and Scandinavian cultures. Rhodiola is renowned for its ability to enhance physical stamina, improve work efficiency, promote longevity, and aid in adapting to the challenges of high-altitude environments.

Uses and Benefits of Rhodiola

Explore the broad spectrum of applications for Rhodiola Rosea, thanks to its adaptogenic (stress resistance) and ergogenic (physical performance enhancement) properties. Take a closer look at its diverse uses:

Stress and Mood Management

1. Stress Reduction 

Rhodiola is widely used to manage stress. It helps in balancing the body’s stress response system, thereby reducing the physical and mental effects of stress.

A study [5] published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice in 2018 highlighted the significant benefits of Rhodiola Rosea extract (RRE). This extract is recognized as a main adaptogen, which means it helps the body manage stress, and it has been officially approved for this use by the HMPC/EMA (Herbal Medicinal Products Committee/European Medicines Agency).

The study found that Rhodiola Rosea not only affects the release of hormones related to stress, making it easier for the body to handle stress, but it also enhances energy metabolism, as shown in studies conducted on animals. This makes Rhodiola Rosea a valuable natural option for managing stress and boosting energy levels.

2. Combatting Fatigue

Several human studies have demonstrated Rhodiola's efficacy in reducing general fatigue under stressful conditions, such as during intense intellectual activity or demanding work schedules.

A study [12] involving 100 people who were experiencing long-term or chronic tiredness examined the effects of Rhodiola Rosea extract. Remarkably, the participants began to feel less tired just one week after starting the treatment. As they continued taking the extract, their fatigue levels kept decreasing, showing a notable improvement by the eighth week. This suggests that Rhodiola Rosea could be a helpful treatment for those struggling with ongoing fatigue.

3. Mood Stabilization

It's also used to improve mood and may be beneficial in managing mild mood swings and emotional stress.

Exhausted and stressed knowledge worker

Mental and Cognitive Enhancement

4. Focus and Concentration

Rhodiola improves brain function, and can help enhance focus and concentration [3], particularly in situations requiring prolonged mental exertion.

5. Memory Enhancement

Some studies suggest that Rhodiola may have a positive effect on memory [4] and learning capabilities; but further research is needed to fully understand this.

6. Enhancing Cognitive Function

Research has shown that Rhodiola can improve attention, cognitive function [13], and mental performance, especially during periods of decreased focus and increased stress.

Support in Mental Health Conditions

7. Anxiety and Depression

While not a replacement for medical treatment, Rhodiola is sometimes used as a complementary approach in managing symptoms of anxiety and mild to moderate depression.

A study [6] explored the effects of Rhodiola Rosea on anxiety, stress, and mood. In this trial, 80 people who experienced mild anxiety were divided into two groups. One group took Rhodiola Rosea, while the other group didn't receive any treatment. They completed surveys and cognitive tests over 14 days. The results showed that the group taking Rhodiola Rosea felt significantly less anxious, stressed, angry, confused, and depressed after 14 days.

Additionally, their overall mood improved significantly compared to the group that didn't take anything. This suggests that Rhodiola Rosea can help reduce mild anxiety and improve mood.

8. Emotional Well-being

Studies suggest Rhodiola can have a positive impact on mood, helping alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression [14] and anxiety.

General Wellness

9. Immune System Support

There is emerging evidence that Rhodiola may help strengthen the immune system [7], though more research is needed in this area.

10. Anti-Aging

Due to its antioxidant [8] properties, Rhodiola is sometimes included in supplements aimed at promoting longevity and anti-aging.

Enhancing Physical Endurance and Recovery

11. Athletic Performance

Athletes often use Rhodiola to boost physical performance. It is believed to increase stamina and reduce recovery time after strenuous exercise.

A recent study [1] has highlighted the beneficial effects of Rhodiola Rosea on exercise performance. According to the research, taking Rhodiola Rosea for a short period (acute supplementation) can improve endurance during exercise and also make the effort feel less taxing (lowering the rating of perceived exertion or RPE).

In simple terms, Rhodiola Rosea can be quite helpful for athletes or people engaging in physical activities, either making their workouts feel easier or enhancing their performance in different types of exercises.

12. Energy Boost

Rhodiola can act as a natural energizer by stimulating the nervous system [2], making it popular among individuals seeking a non-caffeinated energy lift, especially during times of physical fatigue. It can also be combined with caffeine for those who desire an enhanced energy boost. This combination is particularly appealing to those who are accustomed to caffeine but are looking for an additional supplement to further increase their energy levels and improve focus.

Other Uses

13. High Altitude Adaptation

The traditional use of Rhodiola for high-altitude sickness [9] remains relevant, as it is thought to help the body adapt to low oxygen levels in high-altitude environments.

14. Work Productivity

Professionals and students sometimes use Rhodiola to increase productivity [2] and withstand the pressures of demanding work or academic environments.

15. Hormonal Balance Support During Menopause and Andropause

Anecdotal evidence and some preliminary research suggest that Rhodiola may help in balancing hormones, particularly during menopause [10] in women and andropause in men.

16. Sleep Regulation

Improving Sleep Patterns: Some users find that Rhodiola helps in regulating sleep patterns [11], although it should be taken earlier in the day due to its stimulating effects.

Rhodiola with Caffeine 

A recent study [15] has shown that combining Rhodiola Rosea with caffeine for 30 days can improve resistance exercise performance in people who are not accustomed to such workouts. Additionally, this combination was found to increase grip strength in rats. The study also observed elevated levels of certain substances in the body, like erythropoietin and dopamine, along with an increase in the maximum amount of oxygen the rats could use. These findings suggest possible reasons behind the improved exercise abilities seen with the combined use of Rhodiola Rosea and caffeine. The study also indicates that this combination might help even those who are already trained in resistance exercises to enhance their performance further.

How Rhodiola Works: A Closer Look

Rhodiola Rosea Plant

Rhodiola Rosea's ability to support the body in adapting to stress is attributed to its unique phytochemicals- rosavins and salidrosides. Let's take a closer look at how Rhodiola works on the body:

Rhodiola's Impact on Neurotransmitters

Serotonin and Dopamine Regulation

Rhodiola influences key neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine [11]. These chemicals play a crucial role in mood regulation, cognitive function, and the overall sense of well-being. By balancing these neurotransmitters, Rhodiola can help improve mood and cognitive function, particularly under conditions of stress and fatigue.

Inhibition of Monoamine Oxidases

Rhodiola has been shown to inhibit [16] monoamine oxidases (MAOs), enzymes that break down neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. This inhibition can lead to increased availability of these mood-regulating chemicals in the brain.

Rhodiola and Stress Response Modulation

Cortisol Reduction

Rhodiola can help modulate the body’s stress response system, particularly by influencing the levels of cortisol [17], the primary stress hormone. By reducing excessive cortisol production, Rhodiola aids in mitigating the negative effects of stress on the body and mind.

Enhancing Stress Resistance

 Adaptogens like Rhodiola are known to increase the body’s resistance to stress by supporting the efficient functioning of the adrenal glands. This helps in maintaining a balanced response to physical and emotional stressors.

Rhodiola's Antioxidant Properties

Protection Against Oxidative Stress

Rhodiola also exhibits antioxidant [18] properties. It helps protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress, which can be elevated in times of physical and emotional stress. This cellular protection is crucial for maintaining overall health and can also contribute to improved recovery from stressful events.

Rhodiola's Anti-inflammatory Effects

Reducing Inflammatory Responses

Emerging research suggests that Rhodiola may have anti-inflammatory [19] effects. Chronic stress is known to be associated with inflammation, and by mitigating inflammatory responses, Rhodiola may further support the body’s ability to cope with stress and its related physiological impacts.


Rhodiola's Impact on Physical Performance

Enhancing Energy Metabolism

Rhodiola is believed to stimulate ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production [20], the primary energy carrier in cells. This can lead to increased energy levels and improved physical endurance, making it a popular supplement among athletes and those with physically demanding lifestyles.

Mental Clarity and Cognitive Function

Improving Neuroplasticity

There is evidence to suggest that Rhodiola may improve neuroplasticity [21] – the brain’s ability to form new neural connections. This is crucial for learning, memory, and overall cognitive agility, especially under conditions of mental strain and fatigue.

Rhodiola Dosages

The dosage of Rhodiola Rosea can vary depending on the intended use, individual response, and the concentration of active ingredients in the supplement. Here is a more detailed look at common dosages:

Standard Dosage

Typical Range

The standard dosage of Rhodiola extract ranges from 100 to 600 mg per day. This range is considered effective for most proposed benefits, including stress reduction and cognitive enhancement.

Daily Vitality

Our product is standardized to 5% rosavins and 2% salidrosides, this equates to 10mg of rosavins and 4mg of salidrosides per serving. This specific dosage falls within the low to mid range of the typical dosage and is a good starting point for most users.

Dosage for Specific Benefits

Rhodiola For Stress and Fatigue

For managing stress and fatigue, dosages at the lower end of the spectrum (around 200-300 mg daily) are often sufficient. Usage of rhodiola as a daily preventative against fatigue has been reported to be effective in doses as low as 50 mg.

Rhodiola for Physical Performance

For enhancing physical performance, some individuals might opt for slightly higher dosages, closer to 400-600 mg per day.

Rhodiola for Cognitive Function

Dosages around 200-400 mg daily are generally used for cognitive benefits, like improved focus and memory.

Dosage Frequency

Single vs. Split Doses: Rhodiola can be taken as a single dose in the morning or split into two doses, one in the morning and another before lunch. It’s not recommended to take Rhodiola late in the day as it may interfere with sleep.

Duration of Use

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Use: Rhodiola is often used for short-term relief of stress and fatigue. It’s advisable to use it for specific periods- when you need a boost or regularly for 6-12 months. 

Adjusting Dosage Over Time

Monitoring Effects: Users should monitor their response to the supplement and adjust the dosage accordingly. If side effects occur, reducing the dose or discontinuing use is recommended.

Safety and Known Interactions

Rhodiola Rosea is generally considered safe and well-tolerated for most people. While it holds promise, understanding its safety profile and interactions is key to determining if it is right for you. Dive into this section for a deeper, informed perspective.

Safety Profile

Side Effects

Common side effects of Rhodiola are generally mild and may include dizziness, dry mouth, or trouble sleeping. High doses might lead to increased agitation, palpitations, or nausea. It's crucial to start with a lower dose and observe how your body reacts.

Special Populations

  1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Due to a lack of sufficient research, Rhodiola is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  2. Children and Adolescents: The safety of Rhodiola in children and adolescents has not been well established.

Known Interactions

Rhodiola Interaction With Medications:


Since Rhodiola can affect serotonin and dopamine levels, it may interact with antidepressants, particularly SSRIs and MAOIs. This combination can potentially lead to serotonin syndrome, a serious condition caused by excess serotonin.

Blood Pressure Medications

Rhodiola may influence blood pressure, so combining it with antihypertensive drugs could either potentiate or weaken their effects.

Rhodiola Interaction with Other Supplements:

Other Adaptogens

Using Rhodiola in conjunction with other adaptogens should be done cautiously, as their combined effects on stress hormones and neurotransmitter levels are not fully understood.

Herbs with Sedative Properties

Combining Rhodiola with herbs that have sedative effects, like valerian root, may alter the effectiveness of either substance.

Medical Conditions:

Bipolar Disorder and Mania

Due to its stimulating effects, Rhodiola might not be suitable for individuals with bipolar disorder or mania, as it could potentially trigger manic episodes.

Autoimmune Diseases

Since Rhodiola may stimulate the immune system, it could exacerbate symptoms in autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Recommendations for Safe Use

Consultation with Healthcare Providers

For individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or those taking medication it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning a Rhodiola supplement.

Monitoring and Adjustment

Start with a low dose and monitor for any adverse reactions. Adjust the dosage or discontinue use if necessary.

Awareness of Source and Quality

Ensure that the supplement is sourced from a reputable provider and contains the stated amount of active ingredients without contaminants.

Final Thoughts

Rhodiola Rosea is an herbal powerhouse poised to redefine your approach to stress management and elevate both mental and physical prowess. Rooted in a rich history and validated by contemporary research, this natural solution is for individuals seeking to enhance their daily well-being and performance. Embrace benefits, supported by the wisdom of ages and the precision of modern science. Rhodiola Rosea is a powerful substance and best used with care and professional guidance. If you are looking for the easiest way to incorporate Rhodiola into your routine, check out Daily Vitality, our formula for stress resilience, focus, and calm energy. 


  1. Sanz-Barrio, P. M., Noreen, E. E., Gilsanz-Estebaranz, L., Lorenzo-Calvo, J., Martínez-Ferrán, M., & Pareja-Galeano, H. (2023). Rhodiola rosea supplementation on sports performance: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 37(10), 4414–4428. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7950
  2. Khanum, F., Bawa, A. S., & Singh, B. (2005). Rhodiola rosea: A Versatile Adaptogen. Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety, 4(3), 55–62. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2005.tb00073.x
  3. Olsson, E. M., von Schéele, B., & Panossian, A. G. (2009). A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta medica, 75(2), 105–112. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0028-1088346
  4. Ma, G. P., Zheng, Q., Xu, M. B., Zhou, X. L., Lu, L., Li, Z. X., & Zheng, G. Q. (2018). Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1415. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01415
  5. Anghelescu, I. G., Edwards, D., Seifritz, E., & Kasper, S. (2018). Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice, 22(4), 242–252. https://doi.org/10.1080/13651501.2017.1417442
  6. Cropley, M., Banks, A. P., & Boyle, J. (2015). The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 29(12), 1934–1939. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5486
  7. Liu, M. W., Su, M. X., Zhang, W., Zhang, L. M., Wang, Y. H., & Qian, C. Y. (2015). Rhodiola rosea suppresses thymus T-lymphocyte apoptosis by downregulating tumor necrosis factor-α-induced protein 8-like-2 in septic rats. International journal of molecular medicine, 36(2), 386–398. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2015.2241
  8. Li, Y., Pham, V., Bui, M., Song, L., Wu, C., Walia, A., Uchio, E., Smith-Liu, F., & Zi, X. (2017). Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention. Current pharmacology reports, 3(6), 384–395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40495-017-0106-1
  9. Kelly G. S. (2001). Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic, 6(3), 293–302.
  10. Gerbarg, P. L., & Brown, R. P. (2016). Pause menopause with Rhodiola rosea, a natural selective estrogen receptor modulator. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 23(7), 763–769. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2015.11.013
  11. Ivanova Stojcheva E, Quintela JC. The Effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea L. Preparations in Alleviating Various Aspects of Life-Stress Symptoms and Stress-Induced Conditions-Encouraging Clinical Evidence. Molecules. 2022;27(12):3902. Published 2022 Jun 17. doi:10.3390/molecules27123902
  12. Lekomtseva, Y., Zhukova, I., & Wacker, A. (2017). Rhodiola rosea in Subjects with Prolonged or Chronic Fatigue Symptoms: Results of an Open-Label Clinical Trial. Complementary medicine research, 24(1), 46–52. https://doi.org/10.1159/000457918
  13. Koop, T., Dienel, A., Heldmann, M., & Münte, T. F. (2020). Effects of a Rhodiola rosea extract on mental resource allocation and attention: An event-related potential dual task study. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 34(12), 3287–3297. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6778
  14. Mao, J. J., Li, Q. S., Soeller, I., Xie, S. X., & Amsterdam, J. D. (2014). Rhodiola rosea therapy for major depressive disorder: a study protocol for a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial. Journal of clinical trials, 4, 170. https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0870.1000170
  15. Liu C, Zhao H, Yan Y, et al. Synergistic Effect of Rhodiola rosea and Caffeine Supplementation on the Improvement of Muscle Strength and Muscular Endurance: A Pilot Study for Rats, Resistance Exercise-Untrained and -Trained Volunteers. Nutrients. 2023;15(3):582. Published 2023 Jan 22. doi:10.3390/nu15030582
  16. van Diermen, D., Marston, A., Bravo, J., Reist, M., Carrupt, P. A., & Hostettmann, K. (2009). Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 122(2), 397–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.007
  17. Olsson, E. M., von Schéele, B., & Panossian, A. G. (2009). A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta medica, 75(2), 105–112. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0028-1088346
  18. Li, Y., Wu, J., Shi, R., Li, N., Xu, Z., & Sun, M. (2017). Antioxidative Effects of Rhodiola Genus: Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Mechanisms against the Diseases. Current topics in medicinal chemistry, 17(15), 1692–1708. https://doi.org/10.2174/1568026617666161116141334
  19. Pooja, Bawa, A. S., & Khanum, F. (2009). Anti-inflammatory activity of Rhodiola rosea--"a second-generation adaptogen". Phytotherapy research : PTR, 23(8), 1099–1102. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2749
  20. Abidov, M., Crendal, F., Grachev, S., Seifulla, R., & Ziegenfuss, T. (2003). Effect of extracts from Rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola crenulata (Crassulaceae) roots on ATP content in mitochondria of skeletal muscles. Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine, 136(6), 585–587. https://doi.org/10.1023/b:bebm.0000020211.24779.15
Concerto, C., Infortuna, C., Muscatello, M. R. A., Bruno, A., Zoccali, R., Chusid, E., Aguglia, E., & Battaglia, F. (2018). Exploring the effect of adaptogenic Rhodiola Rosea extract on neuroplasticity in humans. Complementary therapies in medicine, 41, 141–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.013