What is Rhodiola Rosea
This fact sheet provides basic information about rhodiola—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.
Common Names — golden root, roseroot, queen’s crown
Latin Name — Rhodiola rosea L.
Rhodiola Rosea Background
- Rhodiola grows in cold regions of Europe and Asia, as well as in Alaska.
- Historically, people in northern regions have used rhodiola for anxiety, fatigue, anemia, impotence, infections, headache, and depression related to stress. People also have used it to increase physical endurance, work performance, longevity, and improve resistance to high-altitude sickness.
- Today, people use rhodiola as a dietary supplement to increase energy, stamina, and strength, to improve attention and memory, and to enhance the ability to cope with stress.
- The root of rhodiola is sometimes brewed and drunk as a tea. Rhodiola root extracts are also available in capsule or tablet form.
How Much Do We Know About Rhodiola Rosea?
There have been some studies of rhodiola in people; however, the quality of research is limited so firm conclusions about its effectiveness can’t be made.
What Have We Learned?
- Two review articles—published in 2011 and 2012—looked at 15 studies that tested rhodiola on physical and mental performance in 575 people. Both reviews found evidence that rhodiola may enhance physical performance and ease mental fatigue, but emphasized that the limited quantity and quality of available evidence did not allow firm conclusions to be made.
What Do We Know About Safety?
- When taken orally (by mouth), rhodiola may cause dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.
- People can have allergic reactions to rhodiola.
Keep in Mind
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
Bystritsky A, Kerwin L, Feusner JD. A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(2):175-180.
Hung SK, Perry R, Ernst E. The effectiveness and efficacy of Rhodiola rosea L.: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(4):235-244.
Ishaque S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, et al. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;12:70.
Rhodiola. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at naturaldatabase.com on June 11, 2014.
Rhodiola. Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed at www.naturalstandard.com on June 11, 2014.