Beyond the basics as defined by the manufacturer on the label, the rhodiola dosage you take will vary depending on your reason for trying rhodiola rosea and your individual response to different dose amounts. This complete guide to rhodiola rosea dosage will teach you to read labels and manufacturer claims and help you prescribe the right rhodiola dosage for your specific needs.
I provide clickable navigation below so you can skip to the specific treatment you are researching, but please at least skim the four sections on taking the right rhodiola and properly timing your dosage.
- Only Take the Right Rhodiola
- Defining A Rhodiola Dosage
- The Rhodiola Rosea Ratio
- Timing Your Rhodiola Rosea Dosage
- Improve Memory
- Treat ADD or ADHD
- Relieve Anxiety or Depression
- Reduce Fatigue
- Improve Athletic Performance
You should not take anything suggested on the Internet without discussing the matter in person with a professional who can take into consideration your exact health situation, including current condition, height, weight, age and medical history.
The reason I suggest beginning all dosages low is that everyone is different. Just because the average person feels an effect from taking 300 mg of rhodiola rosea doesn’t mean you won’t experience a significant change from taking just 100 mg.
And some people may find rhodiola rosea over-stimulating or all together ineffective. So always start slow and easy, paying close to attention to how your body responds. For larger doses, or for taking rhodiola to treat depression or anxiety, or for improving your athletic performance, I strongly recommend taking rhodiola rosea under supervision of a professional familiar with your condition. Rhodiola rosea toxicity is very low, but you should always exercise caution and restraint when taking a new herbal remedy.
First understand that there are several species of rhodiola, and only one of them has the support of multiple animal and human studies verifying its efficacy and safety for human consumption: rhodiola rosea. There are some other rhodiolas for which preliminary animal-based studies suggest benefits, especially rhodiola crenulata, but none of them have the peer-reviewed human studies supporting their use like rhodiola rosea.
For more on the different species of rhodiola, read rhodiola taxonomy.
So you first want to make sure your rhodiola supplement features only rhodiola rosea. Some supplements try to cut corners by featuring multiple species of this plant, but these will not provide the rhodiola benefits you are hoping to enjoy.
In medical literature and on product labels you may see rhodiola listed as R. rosea. This is still rhodiola rosea, it is just the more formal way to specify the rosea species, with the plant genus (Rhodiola) abbreviated.
You can take rhodiola rosea as a tablet, capsule or tincture. The rhodiola rosea tincture is more common in Europe and Russia than in the United States, but tinctures are becoming more available.
Note that you should stick with Siberian rhodiola rosea. Some studies suggest rhodiola rosea grown in lower Asia lack the same potency of rosavins as Siberian rhodiola rosea. So avoid Tibetan rhodiola, for example.
Always take a standardized extract to ensure product quality and consistent dosage.
I will describe all recommended dosages with three data points: milligrams per individual dosage, dosages per day and total milligrams per day. You may need to adapt the exact dosage depending on potency of individual brands. For example if the suggestion is to take 300 mg, but your tablets have 200 mg per tablet.
Until you have been taking rhodiola for at least two weeks, I would round down if your particular tablet or capsule won’t allow you to take the exact suggested dose. Because of this variable, I recommend taking a table or capsule with 100 mg of rhodiola rosea extract. This will give you greater flexibility.
There is no real research to support how additional ingredients enhance rhodiola rosea’s properties or improve rhodiola’s benefits, so be wary of manufacturer claims and aim for a pure and simple supplement with only rhodiola rosea extract.
Don’t pay more for a fancy formulation with unproven additional ingredients and a persuasive marketing message.
A good rhodiola rosea supplement should come in a 3 to 1 ratio of rosavins to salidrosides. As long as the ratio is between 3 to 1 and 3 to 0.8, it should be okay. You may also see the ratio listed as 3:1 or similar.
Don’t succumb to hype for products boasting a greater ratio of rosavins to salidrosides. The 3 to 1 ratio is both the naturally occurring ratio of rosavins to salidrosides within a real piece of rhodiola rosea root and it is the ratio used in all the most legitimate studies supporting rhodiola rosea’s usage.
You should time your rhodiola dosage carefully for three reasons.
Take Rhodiola Rosea On An Empty Stomach
Taking rhodiola rosea with food may cause the extract to be carried beyond the stomach and proximal intestine where it is best absorbed. While it may still be absorbed well enough, you greatly increase the likelihood it will be fully absorbed if you take it on an empty stomach and at least 30 minutes before you eat anything.
Take Rhodiola Rosea In the First Half of the Day
While this may vary with each individual, for most people rhodiola rosea has a stimulating, energizing effect. To keep your rhodiola dosage from negatively affecting your ability to sleep, you should take it during the first half of your waking hours, preferably before breakfast and then before lunch.
Take Rhodiola Rosea Separate From Any Stimulants
At least when you first begin taking rhodiola rosea, you should not take it within two hours (before or after) you consume any other stimulants. This includes coffee, tea and soda pop. If after you begin your dosage you are confident it doesn’t over-stimulate you, you might be able to take a small dosage near when you drink your coffee, but be careful. For many people this may cause nervousness or make them feel jittery.
If you really don’t want to compromise your morning coffee routine, you might try taking your doses of rhodiola before lunch and then mid-afternoon. This is not ideal, but it makes it easier to avoid over-stimulation from taking both rhodiola rosea and caffeine too near each other.
To see if taking rhodiola rosea improves your memory, start with 100 mg a day, with a single dose taken 30 minutes before breakfast. If you’re sure your body tolerates this dosage after five days, add one additional dosage, taken 30 minutes before lunch.
If after another five days you still are doing fine, you can increase your dosage by 100 mg every few days until you are taking 400 to 500 mg a day, split in two doses. Do not start taking rhodiola rosea at that amount right away (work up to it), and do not take it with any other stimulants.
While a couple of studies indicate a 200 mg dose increases performance on memory exercises for four hours, most studies suggest you need to take around 300 to 400 mg for 4 to 6 weeks before you experience a tangible difference in mental performance.
I suggest an omega 3 fatty acid supplement and a vitamin B complex as well to help you improve your memory and clarity. For omega 3, make sure you get a supplement with EPA and DHA instead of ALA, as your body must convert ALA to EPA and DHA, and the conversion is inefficient. An excellent non-Fish option is the following:
If you are trying to take rhodiola rosea for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you first need to consult your doctor. For clinically diagnosed disorders, a doctor should at least help you monitor your consumption of any therapies.
The rhodiola dosage for ADD or ADHD is to start with 100 mg, 30 minutes before breakfast. If you see improvement after a week, don’t increase your dosage. However, if you don’t see improvement and you don’t experience any rhodiola rosea side-effects, then increase your dosage by 100 mg every 5 days, splitting the doses between your dose before breakfast and our dose before lunch, until you either start experiencing the benefits you desire or you reach 600 mg per day.
Don’t exceed 600 mg of rhodiola rosea each day without discussing the matter with a doctor, nutritionist or naturopath. This is being on the safe side, but I want you to be careful and responsible.
To see improvement to ADD or ADHD, most studies suggest a dose of around 500 to 600 mg may be necessary. But again, don’t start with this dose and pay close attention to yourself at the lower doses, because they may be enough. When it comes to rhodiola dosage, more is not always better.
Most people will require about 400 mg of rhodiola rosea each day for four to six weeks to achieve herbal stress relief as well as relief from depression or anxiety. However, you should start with 100 mg. As long as you experience no rhodiola side effects, increase your dose by 100 mg every 3 to 7 days until you reach 400 mg. As always, split the doses evenly between a first dose 30 minutes before breakfast and the second dose 30 minutes before lunch.
Once you have reached 400 mg, stay at that dosage for 2 weeks to see how you feel. If you are not experiencing an improvement and you are not experiencing any side effects, talk to your doctor or therapist about increasing your dosage to 600 mg, with 300 mg taken before breakfast and 300 mg before lunch. This is a high dosage so discuss your personal situation with a professional before you stay on this dosage for very long.
To improve your energy and reduce your fatigue, your rhodiola dosage will slightly depend on your need. For example, if you are trying to combat general fatigue, follow the same dosage plan I described in the above section on rhodiola for depression.
However, if you need a one-time dose before doing something where you need to maintain your energy and focus while being tired, you will want to follow a slightly different dosage regiment.
First of all, you still need to test to see how your body responds to taking rhodiola rosea. Start with 100 mg 30 minutes before breakfast for three days. If all is well, then add 100 mg 30 minutes before lunch. Increase your dose by 100 mg every 3 to 5 days until you are taking two doses of 200 mg. Then for one day after you have been taking 400 mg for at least 3 days without side effects, take a single 400 mg dose on an empty stomach before breakfast and make sure you don’t have any caffeine for at least 2 hours afterwards. Skip the lunch time dose for that day.
Do this for one day just to see how your body responds to the single large dose. If you don’t experience any side effects, move to the next step below.
If your body responds well to this single dose, you can reduce your dosage to 200 mg a day split between two 100 mg doses. Then when you are about to face your fatigue-inducing task, such as before working the night shift at work or cramming for an exam, take 300 mg of rhodiola about 45 minutes to an hour before the task begins, then eat a small, healthy snack about 30 minutes after taking it. Then about half way through the task, take another 100 mg dose of rhodiola rosea.
It is important that you not take the large dose around the same time as you consume any other stimulant, and it is also important that you see how your body responds with smaller doses before taking a single large dose like this.
To improve your physical endurance or athletic performance, you basically want to use the same approach described in the section above on Fatigue, with one exception.
For people engaging in moderate daily exercise, use the basic dosage regiment alluded to at the beginning of the Fatigue regiment and described in detail in the Anxiety and Depression section.
For people engaging in more intensive exercise regiments, including highly competitive sports and extreme sports, combine the two regiments described in the Fatigue section. I’ll clarify this combination here. Please note that before beginning this regiment you should make sure you are in good health and discuss this dosage with a medical professional first.
So you would slowly work up to about 400 mg a day in 100 mg increments, with doses split between 30 minutes before breakfast and 30 minutes before lunch. Then for one day, test your ability to tolerate a single 300 mg dose before breakfast. Take this larger dose at least 2 hours away from any other stimulant.
If your body responds well to this single dose and you don’t experience side effects, maintain your two doses of 200 mg per day, but in addition, take an addition 200 to 300 mg dose about an hour before you engage in your intensive training. I recommend starting with the 200 mg dose the first time, and only if you feel fine and you don’t notice an improvement, up it to a 300 mg dose.
Do not take this larger dose around the same time as any other stimulant.
For some people, rhodiola rosea has little to no effect. And for some people it makes them just feel a little too stimulated or nervous. Be prepared for the possibility that it may not work for you. It is not a miracle remedy, despite some claims you my find elsewhere on the Internet.
This concludes my comprehensive guide to rhodiola dosage. I’ve tried to create the most comprehensive guide to taking rhodiola rosea online, but if anything is confusing or missing, please let me know.