Rhodiola rosea or Golden root benefit

Rhodiola rosea or Golden root benefit | HealthSoul

How Rhodiola rosea benefits were found?

Rhodiola rosea or Golden root is a relatively rare herb with significantly broad medicinal properties found at the peak of the mountain range (nearly 2280m altitude) of European, Asian, North American and arctic areas. Traditionally this herb is well known for its ‘adaptogen‘ property. [1] Adaptogen enhances the endurance and attention to prevent or mitigate or reduce fatigue conditions or other stress-induced disorders, which can negatively affect mental health and immune or neuro-endocrine system functioning.

Centuries ago, Vikings had used this golden root herb for strengthening their action on hard work. Linne´ s Materia medica had mentioned the therapeutic benefit of this herb against headache, discharges, hernias, hysteria and also mentioned its astringent property. first The uses of this herb are also mentioned in Swedish national pharmacopeia. Several traditional documents had mentioned its folk medicinal uses, which are as follows:

  • Dried golden root infusion formulation was used as astringent, oral pain reliever, prevent kidney stone formation, relaxes headache, stops diarrhea. Washing hairs with this herbal regimen enhances hair growth.
  • The golden root can treat different skin disorders
  • Ground, pressed golden root mixed with butter had recommended to lessen swellings, back pain relief, reduces joint pain and other pain symptoms
  • The dried root was used to cure swelling, freckles removal, head strengthening.
  • Golden root also enhances intellect, acts as a tonic against weakness, repair nerve weakness.
  • In French folk medicinal practice, Rhodiola rosea was used to treat scurvy, acts as an astringent and a stimulant.

In 1969, the Pharmacological Committee of the Ministry of Health of the USSR had first recommended the application of Rhodiola rosea for its stimulant action against fatigue and mental exertion during asthenic states or intensive physical work. In the current century also Russian people use this herbal remedy as to a popular adaptogen. [2]

What are the phytochemicals present in Rhodiola rosea Root?

There are multiple species belongs to Rhodiola and almost 140 compounds have isolated from Rhodiola roots and rhizomes. These bioactive phytochemicals mainly belong to different glycosides like aryl glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, phenylpropanoids, phenylethanoids, and their flavonoids, gallic acid, flavonlignans, and proanthocyanidins derivatives. The eight distinct bioactive phytochemicals of Rhodiola species are catechin, gallic acidrosin, rosavin, rosarin, rhodionin, salidroside, and tyrosol. All most of all Rhodiola genus belonging herbs contain Salidroside. Apart from this, the Rhodiola Rosea root significantly contains rosavin, rosin, rosarin. [1]

Phytochemical present in Rhodiola Rosea

What is the Mode of action of Rhodiola rosea Root health benefits?

  • Rhodiola rosea root and its bioactive compounds including salidroside have multi-targeted effects, including antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-stress, etc. Build up of stress is one of the primary causes of aging, whereas cellular aging leads to cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and other chronic ailments.
  • The adaptogen property of Rhodiola rosea extract provides resistance against physical, chemical and biological stresses. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in our body releases different mediators such as beta-endorphins, cortisol, heat shock proteins, nitric oxide, etc. as stress responses. Rhodiola rosea extracts act on HPA and reduce the release of these mediators and decrease the serum levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone and corticosterone. Thus, this herbal ingredient effective to act as a stress-inhibitor.
  • The bioactive phytochemical Salidroside prevents neurodegenerative diseases by protecting against oxidative stress that occurs due to the activation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide.
  • The phytochemical compositions of Rhodiola rosea act as a free radical scavenger and also enhances the expression of antioxidant enzymes. Thus this herb acts as a potent antioxidant.
  • The salidroside active ingredient present in  Rhodiola rosea extract can interact with the mTOR pathway, which is responsible for its anti-tumor, anti-cancer and protect brain neurons from ischemic injury.
  • Salidroside also has an inhibitory effect against DNA strand breaks in hematopoietic stem cells, thus uphold DNA structure and helps in DNA repair.
  • Rhodiola rosea induces hypoxic conditions and angiogenesis to prevent cancer cell growth.
  • Salidroside has immunostimulating activity by increasing the total CD3+ and memory CD4+ T cell pools. But it has an inhibitory effect against cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. This bioactive phytochemical also balances the production of Th1 cytokines and spleen and thymus lymphocyte apoptosis to prevent tumor growth also.
  • The anti-inflammatory activity of Rhodiola rosea root is obtained by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and Phospholipase A2 activity and also inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines productions. [1]

What are the different forms of Rhodiola rosea root?

Both solid and liquid dosage forms of Rhodiola rosea root preparations are available in herbal stores. Rhodiola rosea root drops, and Rhodiola rosea root capsules are common dosage forms of this herbal medicinal plant. The common recommended dose of Rhodiola rosea root drop is 5-10 drops for 2 to 3 times per day. The medicine needs to take 15 to 30 minutes before eating for 10-20 days. However, in the case of psychiatric disorders and fatigue conditions, the recommended starting dose is 10 drops for 2 to 3 times a day, which is then gradually increased up to 30-40 drops for 1-2 months. [3]

The recommended adult dose of Rhodiola rosea root capsules varies from 100 to 300 mg per day depending upon the underlying condition. [4]

Different forms of Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea root uses


The anticancer activity of Rhodiola rosea root is well established by different preclinical and laboratory-based research studies. Different research result results found that this herbal remedy is effective against breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer. Researchers expected that this herbal ingredient is a promising treatment regimen against cancer in the future.[1]

Neurodegenerative disease protection

In recent days, the survival rate of the elderly population is increasing due to the advancement of medical science. However, Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease are some of the big challenges for elderly populations. Rhodiola rosea root has Neurodegenerative disease protection activity and may help to prevent these disorders. [1]

Cognitive functioning

Oral administration of Rhodiola rosea root is recommended for the elevation of mood and improvement of cognitive performance and attention. Anfimov’s correction test result reported the number of errors has reduced by the administration of Rhodiola rosea root preparation. Researchers also expected Rhodiola extracts to act on neuropeptide Y receptors and increase the expression of neuropeptide Y, which also improves memory and learning capacity. [2] Preclinical trial result also reported that treatment with Rhodiola rosea root extract can reduce the escape latency, improve the frequency and the length of memory functioning. [5]

Relief fatigue condition

The adaptogen property of Rhodiola rosea root is well studied through both preclinical and clinical trials. It has found that oral administration of this herbal ingredient can relief fatigue conditions. A placebo-controlled- clinical trial finding also showed that Rhodiola rosea root extract had significantly improved physical fitness, mental fatigue conditions after 20 days treatment period. [2]

Anti-depressive and anti-anxiety

Rhodiola acts on mono-amine oxidase A and stress-system and inhibits the secretion of cortisol and JNK mediated effects on glucocorticoid receptors. This alteration of pathophysiology is effective to reduce depression. Moreover, Rhodiola extracts acts on neuropeptide Y receptors and increases the expression of neuropeptide Y, which also decreases depression and anxiety along with a balanced energy level. [2]

Reproductive health improvement

Both male and female may get benefited by in taking Rhodiola root by the following ways:


Women with amenorrhea may restore their menstrual cycle and get pregnant after treatment with Rhodiola root extract. A clinical trial conducted in 40 women with amenorrhea to check the efficacy of both oral and parenteral routes of Rhodiola root extract. After completion of the study period, the research result showed that 25 women restored their menstrual cycle and 11 among them had got pregnant. [3]


Male individuals are suffering from erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation may improve their sexual function by intaking Rhodiola root extract. An open trial result reported that among 35 study participants, 26 men had benefitted by taking 150-200 mg of R. rosea formulation per day for 3 months. They had improved sexual functioning, normalizes prostatic fluid. [3]

Rhodiola rosea root uses

Rhodiola root Side effects

Mild to moderate side effects of Rhodiola root includes stomach upset, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty in sleeping. However, every user may not feel these side effects, but some may have. Therefore, consult your doctor for accurate dosing of this herbal preparation.

When should I avoid Rhodiola root?

During pregnancy and lactation and individuals who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors prescribed medicine. [4]

Rhodiola Rosea Side Effects


  1. Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention.
  2. Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): Traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy.
  3. Rhodiola rosea: A Phytomedicinal Overview.
  4. The Health Benefits of Rhodiola.
  5. Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms.