What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola rosea is a plant that belongs to a group of herbs called adaptogens. Adaptogens are a class of plants that assist your body to adapt to environmental, chemical and physical stress. Rhadiola has been found as the most effective in group2. Rhodiola is mostly grown in high attitude areas like Asia and Eastern Europe.

Rhodiola rosea


Rhodiola rosea has many health benefits such as1, 4, 5

Reduces weight

Rhadiola can reduce overweight by helping your body burn stored fats for energy. Rhadiola has an active compound known as rosavin which has proven effective in triggering a fat burning reaction in your body.

Rosavin stimulates an enzyme known as hormone-sensitive lipase which is responsible for breaking down fat in your belly region. In clinical studies, they have highlighted that when a person uses rhadiola extract along with simple exercises, an individual is able to increase the rate of burning belly fat.

For example a study was conducted on 130 overweight patients at Georgian State Hospital revealed that those taking rhadiola extracts had a great loss of weight as compared those who did not use rhadiola.

Lowers depression and stress

Rhodiola rosea extracts boost transport of a chemical compound called serotonin into the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical that is used to control body temperatures, facilitate muscle contractions, control respiration and blood pressure. When serotonin levels in the brain are normal, it improves the mental state.

In case the level of serotonin is too little or high, it may cause abnormal mental states such as depression. Rhadiola on the other hand has been used either alone or in combination with other antidepressant drugs to enhance the mental states of patients.

Rhodiola rosea has the ability to elevate the body’s resistance against undesirable situations and help normalize the functions of the body. In case you encounter a stressful situation, taking rhadiola allows your body to adapt to this condition and help you cope with the traumatic situation.

Stress occurs when the level of cortisol hormone is high in the body. Increased levels of cortisol leads to the following:

  • Weak immune system
  • Increase in weight in the abdomen
  • Poor memory
  • Imbalance in the hormones
  • low response to blood glucose

High levels of cortisol also may make you to age faster. By taking rhadiola extracts, you will be able to lower the level of cortisol hormone in your body hence reducing stress as well as slowing down the aging process.

Facilitates muscle recovery

Rhodiola rosea has proven to cut down the time taken for muscles to recovery after a workout or exercise. It improves strength of muscles and attention and it also works against toxics in the body. Rhadiola extracts elevates the enzyme activities and proteins that are vital in ensuring muscles recovery properly after a walkout.

Rhodiola rosea also ensures that muscles have energy by facilitating synthesis of glycogen in the liver and muscles. It also facilitates synthesis of protein in the muscles.

Apart from facilitating muscle recovery, rhadiola can enhance your stamina and boost your athletic performance. Rhodiola rosea does this by increasing the red blood cells count in your blood. Red blood cells are used to carry oxygen to tissues and organs in your body. With an increased count of red blood cells, more oxygen will be available to the muscles hence boosting athletic performance and lowering fatigue. Rhadiola enhances a compound called erythropoietin which is responsible for triggering production of red blood cells in the body.

Boost memory

Rhodiola rosea has been found to boost concentration and memorization over some time. Rhadiola extracts reduce mental fatigue, enhance sleep patterns, improves mood and as a result boosts a person’s physical alertness and mental performance.

Lowers cardiac problems

Rhodiola rosea has been effective in managing cardiac problems caused by stress. Rhadiola has the ability to reduce the quantity of corticosteroids and catecholamines produced by adrenal gland during stress.

When corticosteroids and catecholamines are excess in the body, they are likely to cause high blood pressure. They also elevate cholesterol and potassium levels in the body which increase your risk of developing heart attacks and other diseases.

Rhodiola rosea is able to reduce toxic lipids in the blood and therefore minimize your risk of developing heart attack. It also lowers the amount of the body’s energy producing chemicals which are released into the cardiac cells.

The energy molecules convey messages between the outside and inside environment of the cells. They also assist the cells to absorb more calcium in the heart which promotes increased contractions of the heart muscles. This can lead to abnormal heartbeats. By lowering the amount of energy molecules released into the cardiac cells, rhadiola helps to control heartbeat and counteracts abnormal heartbeats.

Boosts the immune system

Rhodiola rosea plays a key role in enhancing the functions of the immune system. It protects and stimulates the immune system by balancing homeostasis in the body. It also raises the levels of natural killer cells in your spleen and stomach to deal with infections in the body.


The most recommended dosage for Rhodiola rosea supplements is 250-500mg. You should take it two times a day 15 minutes before meals3.

Side effects

Use of Rhodiola rosea can cause the following side effects1:

Increases blood pressure

Some people using Rhodiola rosea reported high pressure after use of the herb.

It can cause thinning of blood

Rhodiola rosea can cause your blood to thin. It is advisable that before a person undergoes surgery, he or she should discontinue the use of rhadiola since it may cause the blood to thin leading other health conditions. You should also consult a doctor if you have been using blood thinning medications such as warfarin or other supplements like vitamin E.

It may also lead to nervous excitement

Some people using Rhodiola rosea have exhibited signs and symptoms of nervous excitement such as hypertension and agitated states. People with nervous excitement should not use rhadiola unless they are supervised with competent health personnel.

Currently, medical research has not identified adverse effects of rhadiola on embryo development during pregnancy or to babies who are breast-fed. Also little is known about any dietary supplement of rhadiola for use while breastfeeding and when pregnant. Therefore inform you doctor any dietary supplement you are using when pregnant or breastfeeding. in addition do not give rhadiola supplements to children before consulting with a health professional.

Reference List

  1. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-rhodiola.html
  2. https://examine.com/supplements/rhodiola-rosea/
  3. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-883-rhodiola.aspx?activeingredientid=883
  4. Rhadiola. Available at http://www.rhodiolaroseabenefits.com/rhodiola_side_effects.html/

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