Rhodiola rosea – Primary Adaptogen of Russian Research and Sacred Root of Tibet

Rhodiola rosea is a well-known root that grows in the cold mountains of Europe and Asia. It is known as a powerful adaptogen and the most well-known kind of Rhodiola in the world.

There are also the Tibetan Rhodiolas, of which there are three kinds used interchangeably; crenulata, sacra and himalensis. Growing in the harsh environment it has earned the nickname “Plateau Ginseng”.

Limited research that has been done so far shows Rhodiola rosea wins out in effects of physical work capacity.1*

Rhodiola rosea flowers

Rhodiola’s Adaptogenic Effects

One study showed a pronounced anti-fatigue effect resulting from mental work when taking rhodiola.2,3*

Compounds in this root act as MAO inhibitors4 and may help support normal emotional states.*

Rhodiola has strong effects on the symptoms of stress-induced fatigue.* This was shown via cortisol (the stress hormone) measurement in the saliva.

To sum up in the USSR, where Rhodiola was heavily investigated, it was recognized for the following effects:

  • Acts as a stimulant for those suffering fatigue5*
  • Increases ability for mental work (considered #1 for mental clarity)*
  • Aids in recovery from physical and mental work*
  • Helps to maintain sexual function*

It may be best in reducing the perceived effort involved in exercise.6*

It has such great and wide-ranging effects that it’s included in the Spartan Adaptogen Formula and Hercules Formula.

So far, approximately 140 compounds have been isolated from Rhodiola roots. These include:

  • Rosavin
  • Rosin
  • Rosarinrhodiola-powder
  • Salidrosides
  • Tyrosol
  • P-Sitosterol
  • 35 Trace Minerals
  • Several volatile oils
  • 18 amino acids
  • Monoterpene alcohols and glycosides
  • Cyanogenic glycosides
  • Aryl glycosides
  • Phenylethanoids
  • Phenylpropanoids and their glycosides
  • Flavonoids
  • Flavonlignans
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Gallic acid derivatives

According to Chinese Medicine Rhodiola contains all three treasures and is said to enter into the five main meridian systems (heart, spleen, liver, lungs, and kidney), although its primary function is as a Qi and Lung tonic.*

Rhodiola Dosage and Details

Recommended dose is 300-500mg per day. At this dose each bag will last 60 to 100 days.

A 100mg spoon is provided in each bag.

This is an organic dual extraction of rhodiola rosea roots. It is guaranteed to have at least 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides.

The current batch was found to have 4.37% salidrosides, 0.98% rosarin, 3.55% rosavin and 0.62% rosin. 


Some people find Rhodiola to be overly stimulating. In some cases it may elevate high blood pressure, so take caution if hypertensive.

With some MAO inhibitor action rhodiola should not be taken with those on SSRI’s or other anti-depressants. It may also cause some interaction with neuro-transmitter pre-cursors like found in bacopa. This herb is untested in pregnant and lactating women.