Rhodiola Rosea FAQ

I know many people have very little time to conduct thorough rhodiola rosea research online. So I’m collecting the most frequently asked questions I’ve received through my contact form into one quick reference here. I hope this helps you develop a clear overview of this natural herbal remedy.



What Is the Rhodiola Rosea Plant?

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Rhodiola rosea is in the Crassulaceae family. Its genus is Rhodiola and its species is rosea. The species name derives from the potent rose-like scent of the plant’s root. Rhodiola rosea is a small plant with succulent leaves. Several shoots grow from the same root and over time these shoots will blossom bunches of little yellow flowers. Its delicate appearance belies its toughness, as this rugged little plant thrives in windswept, craggy areas. It is also sometimes called arctic root, roseroot or golden root. The most important medicinal component is believed to be its rosavins.

Where Does It Grow?

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Rhodiola Rosea grows in high altitudes and cold regions of the northern hemisphere. The Arctic, Siberia, the Alps and the Rocky Mountains are common places where rhodiola rosea can be found growing in the wild. It tends to thrive in dry, sunny and cold environments.

Can I Grow Rhodiola In My Garden?

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Technically, yes, but several studies indicate that cultivated rhodiola rosea plants lack the medicinal properties of wild grown rhodiola rosea plants. Quality supplements rely on wild gathering and harvesting in places like Iceland and Siberia. If you do try to grow rhodiola rosea on your own, note that it needs to be grown for around five years before harvesting.

What Part of the Plant Is Used For Medicinal Purposes?

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Rhodiola rosea extract is derived from the thick, richly scented root of the plant.

Why Take Rhodiola Rosea?

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In several human pilot studies, rhodiola rosea has exhibited the ability to alleviate mild depression and improve mood. It is one of the only adaptogens to be supported by legitimate double-blind, placebo-controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Many claims are made for various natural herbal remedies and adaptogenic herbs, but only rhodiola rosea features real corroborating evidence in the scientific community. I encourage you to research the many rhodiola benefits currently being researched and verified.

What Is An Adaptogen?

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An adaptogen is an herbal remedy that helps a person adapt to external stressors. This means an adaptogen should theoretically help you adapt to either emotional or physical stress and thus help you maintain mental or physical performance despite the presence of those stressors. While rhodiola rosea is categorized an adaptogen, there is significant skepticism among conventional researchers for the claims made for adaptogens. Don’t discount the benefits of rhodiola rosea because of the skepticism for many other herbal remedies categorized as adaptogens.

Is There Any Real Science to Support Its Use?

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Separate clinical trials conducted by the Department of Neurology, Armenian State Medical University, and the Swedish Medical Center and published in several peer-reviewed medical journals verified the use of Rhodiola Rosea for depression, particularly for treating mild depression and for maintaining mood and energy while working long hours at night.

Is Rhodiola Rosea Safe?

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Rhodiola rosea features a remarkably low toxicity and very few side effects. Its LD50 (lethal dose at which 50 percent of animals perish) has been tested to be 3,360 mg/kg. That would be about a 235,000 mg dose for an average human, and most daily doses of rhodiola rosea are only between 200 mg and 600 mg. Additionally, there are little to no side effects, and in most cases they can be avoided with responsible use.

What Are Rhodiola Side Effects?

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There are very few side effects of rhodiola rosea and most of those can be avoided with responsible, cautious use. The most common side effects include nervousness or a jittery feeling and if rhodiola rosea is taken in the second half of the day, mild cases of insomnia. Read more about how side effects occur and how you can avoid them in my comprehensive guide: Rhodiola Side Effects.

How Much Should I Take?

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This will depend on your size, age, your sensitivity to the compounds in rhodiola rosea and your desired results. The typical single dose is 100 to 200 milligrams, with the average daily dosage being between 200 and 600 mg per day. You can read more about identifying the right rhodiola dosage for you in my comprehensive guide on dosage: Rhodiola Dosage.

If you’re looking for more detailed information on rhodiola rosea, I encourage you to start with my home page (Rhodiola Rosea) or our Rhodiola Rosea Phytomedicinal Overview.

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