Rhodiola rosea

(Known as Arctic root, Golden root, Crenulin, Rhodiola rosea)

tickMood enhancer
tickAids health
tickHerbal
tickBoosts energy
How does it work?
Rhodiola has a reputation for decreasing depression, enhancing work performance, and reducing fatigue. The Vikings reportedly used rhodiola to enhance physical strength and endurance. Rhodiola may also increase your bodys ability to take up and use oxygen, which could explain some of the energizing effects reported by many users.
Who is it used for?
Rhodiola rosea extract is popular with people faced with unusual mental and physical stress (which may manifest itself as decline in work performance, sleep disturbances, poor appetite, irritability, hypertension, headaches, and fatigue) such as an intense exercise program or a high-pressure job.
How does it work?
Rhodiola comprises several species of plants found in the arctic mountain regions of Siberia. The root of the plant is also called "Golden root" and Crenulin. Russian researchers categorise Rhodiola rosea as an adaptogen due to its ability to increase your resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical sources of stress. When faced with acute or chronic stress, adaptogens like Rhodiola rosea allow your body to handle the stressful situation in a better way.

The active compounds in Rhodiola are believed to be rosavin, rosarin, rosin and salidroside. Unlike Korean and Siberian ginseng, which are thought to exert their adaptogenic activity primarily at the level of the pituitary and adrenal glands, Rhodiola rosea appears to work centrally and peripherally on monoamine and opioid synthesis, transport, and receptor activity [1].

There are several clinical trials to show that Rhodiola rosea has a positive effect on mental performance. A group of 56 young, healthy physicians took part in a series of tests involving complex perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions, such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation and ability of concentration, and speed of audio-visual perception [2]. Rhodiola users performed significantly better on these tests than the control group, who received a placebo.

Rhodiola rosea extract has also been shown to reduce mental fatigue in students during a stressful examination period. Rhodiola rosea and a placebo were taken for 20 days by the students during an examination period. The most significant improvement in the Rhodiola group was seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro-motoric tests [4]. A single dose of Rhodiola rosea has also been shown to improve endurance exercise capacity [3]. In the study, time to exhaustion was increased from 16.8 minutes to 17.2 minutes following the use of Rhodiola. In addition, VO2peak increased from 50.9 ml/kg/min to 52.9 ml/kg/min.
How do I use it?
General dosage recommendations for Rhodiola rosea are typically in the range of approximately 250-750 milligrams daily of an extract standardised for 40% polyphenols. Supplementation is normally started several weeks before a period of physical or mental stress, and continued for the duration of the challenging event or activity. We recommend the Solgar brand of Rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola rosea has been administered for periods ranging from as little as one day to up to four months with no sign of adverse side effects. Some evidence suggests that with several days of very high doses (1.5-2.0 grams and above) of Rhodiola rosea, some individuals experience an increase in irritability and insomnia.
What results can I expect?
Most Rhodiola rosea users report improvements in mood, enhanced mental performance, and reduced fatigue.
What can it be combined with?
Rhodiola rosea can be used alone, or as part of a combined supplementation programme, such as one combining the use of whey protein, creatine, fish oil and a multi-vitamin and mineral formula.

1. Kelly, G.S. (2001). Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen. Alternative Medicine Review, 6, 293-302
2. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. (2000). Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine, 7, 365-371
3. De Bock K, Eijnde BO, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. (2004). Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 14, 298-307
4. Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, Mironova IA, Neumoin VV. (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine, 7, 85-89

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