(rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola rosea grows throughout the mountainous regions in the higher latitudes and elevations of the Northern hemisphere.

Rhodiola has a long history of use in traditional medicine, primarily in Russia and Scandinavia. The Vikings used rhodiola to enhance physical strength and endurance, and it was commonly used by many Northern peoples to treat fatigue, poor physical endurance, nervous system disorders, and infections, and to enhance fertility. In middle Asia, rhodiola was considered a premier treatment for colds and flu during the severe winters that occur there.

What it does

Rhodiola contains a number of active compounds, including phenylpropanoids, salidroside, tyrosol, flavonoids, monoterpenes, triterpenes and phenolic acids. Rhodiola is a potent adaptogen acting predominantly on the hypothalamus in a way that normalises the manner in which the body responds to stress triggers. It can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain and also reduce the degradation of mood-elevating neurotransmitters. The herb’s active components are shown to be powerful antioxidants, especially protective against lipid peroxidation.

Potential Uses

Anxiety Stress Poor memory
Chronic Fatigue syndrome Impotence Depression
Convalescence after illness Athletic performance

Other information

Rhodiola intake may also boost learning and memory skills. Improvements have been shown even after 10 days treatment with rhodiola extract.

Rhodiola has traditionally been used as a tonic to enhance male sexual function. Subsequent research in the field has confirmed its therapeutic effect in certain sexual dysfunctions. For example, in one study involving men suffering from a weak erection and/or premature ejaculation, treatment with rhodiola extract led to substantial improvement in sexual function.


Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Rhodiola is best avoided in cases of nervous excitability, exhaustion of cortical cells, feverish states and hypertensive crisis.

If you take antidepressants or anti-psychotic medication, check with your doctor before taking Rhodiola.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Rhodiola.

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