Rhodiola is a plant. The root has a long history of use as medicine, especially in Arctic and Northern European regions.

Rhodiola is used as a so-called "adaptogen", to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress, and for many other uses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Some people use the term "arctic root" as the general name for this product; however, arctic root is actually a trademarked name for a specific commercial extract.


Is a Form of:


Primary Functions:

Help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environment stress

Also Known As:

Racine de Rhadiola, Rhodiola rosea, Rhodiole

How Does It Work?

Rhodiola extracts might help protect cells from damage, regulate heartbeat, and have the potential for improving learning and memory.


  • Altitude sickness. Early research shows that taking rhodiola four times per day for 7 days doesn't improve blood oxygen or oxidative stress in people in high-altitude conditions.
  • Heart damage caused by certain cancer drugs (anthracycline cardiotoxicity). Early research shows that taking a chemical found in rhodiola called salidroside, starting one week before chemotherapy and continuing throughout chemotherapy, reduces heart damage caused by the chemotherapy drug epirubicin.
  • Anxiety. Early research shows that taking a specific rhodiola extract twice daily for 14 days can improve anxiety levels and reduce feelings of anger, confusion, and poor mood in college students with anxiety.
  • Athletic performance. There is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of rhodiola for improving athletic performance. Overall, it seems that short-term use of some types of rhodiola products might improve measurements of athletic performance. However, neither short-term nor long-term doses seem to improve muscle function or reduce muscle damage due to exercise.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking rhodiola might improve symptoms of depression after 6-12 weeks of treatment in people with mild-to-moderate depression.
  • Fatigue. Early research suggests that rhodiola might decrease fatigue in stressful situations. A specific rhodiola extract seems to decrease fatigue and increase a sense of well-being in students taking exams, night-shift workers, and sleep-deprived military cadets. Other rhodiola extracts also seem to reduce mental fatigue in first-year college students and adults experiencing burnout. There is conflicting evidence regarding a combination product containing rhodiola extract, schisandra berry extract, and Siberian ginseng extract. Some research shows it improves mental performance in tired individuals performing mental tasks. Other research shows it doesn't work.
  • A type of persistent anxiety marked by exaggerated worry and tension (generalized anxiety disorder or GAD). Early evidence suggests that specific rhodiola extract might lower anxiety and depression in people with a condition called generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Early orgasm in men (premature ejaculation). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing rhodiola with other ingredients might slightly increase how long it takes to ejaculate and improve a man's control over ejaculation. But higher quality research is needed to confirm.
  • Stress. Early research shows that taking a specific rhodiola extract before breakfast and lunch can improve stress symptoms in people with life-stress, college students with anxiety, and people experiencing burnout.
  • Aging.
  • Cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hearing loss.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Increasing energy.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Stress-associated heart disorders.
  • Other conditions.

Recommended Dosing

The appropriate dose of rhodiola depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rhodiola. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Rhodiola Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

Can Rhodiola cause weight gain?

In human clinical studies, administration of rhodiola rosea extract, in combination with moderate exercise, produced significant weight loss.  Extracts of rhodiola rosea, standardized to a specific level of rosavin, in combination with regular exercise, can accelerate weight loss.

Does Rhodiola interact with any medications?

Rhodiola may alter blood pressure and is not recommended for patients taking ACE inhibitors. Rhodiola can also increase the risk of bleeding when it's taken with aspirin or prescription anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin. It is not proven safe with anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®).

What is Rhodiola supplement used for?

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. Rhodiola root extracts are also available in capsule or tablet form.

When should I take Rhodiola?

As it has a mild stimulant-type effect, Rhodiola rosea is not recommended for people who have bipolar disorder or who are taking other stimulants. One article suggests that people can take the herb on an empty stomach 30 minutes before breakfast and lunch.

Can you take Rhodiola every day?

When taken by mouth: Rhodiola is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken short-term. Twice daily doses of rhodiola extract have been used safely for 6-12 weeks. Rhodiola might cause dizziness, dry mouth, or excessive saliva production. There isn't enough reliable information to know if rhodiola is safe to use long-term.

Does Rhodiola raise estrogen levels?

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute offer new evidence that herbs such as red clover and motherwort -- traditionally used for gynecological complaints -- as well as saw palmetto and rhodiola rosea root can have such a strong estrogenic effect they could increase the risk of estrogen-related .

Does Rhodiola increase serotonin?

Rhodiola rosea has been classified by some researchers as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps to make you less prone to physical and emotional stress. Limited research has shown that this natural medicine may stimulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine activity.

Does Rhodiola affect hormones?

Rhodiola is also promised to improve memory, help with weight loss, increase energy levels, and boost immunity. It is not safe to take with birth control pills and thyroid medication because rhodiola may contain estrogen receptor-interacting chemicals. Rhodiola rosea is considered an adaptogen.

How quickly does Rhodiola work?

Brain Energy

Some researchers have suggested that Rhodiola's stimulating effects may commence within 30 minutes of taking the herb, and may continue for up to 6 hours. The herb's stress-resistance benefits and stimulating benefits combine to promote energized mental clarity.

Will Rhodiola help me lose weight?

Rhodiola has been proven to help people with all the factors they need to lose weight. It boosts energy. It reduces stress-related mental fatigue. It burns fat.

Can Rhodiola cause hair loss?

Rhodiola enhances the mood through its attempts to normalize levels of important "happy" brain chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Please realize that rhodiola does not make hair grow.

Does Rhodiola make you sleepy?

Folks are commonly encouraged to increase their dose of rhodiola until they achieve the desired effect. Many sources claim it is a safe herb with very little side effects. Most common side effects are difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, gastrointestinal distress, headache, and dizziness.

Is it OK to take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola together?

Ashwagandha and rhodiola are two “must-have” herbal adaptogens that help you thrive during times of mental and physical stress. Together, these amazing botanicals: Sustain your mental and physical energy – without jitteriness. Help you stay focused, even with demanding schedules.

Is Rhodiola a banned substance?

Because Rhodiola is more moderate and isn't on any lists of banned substances, it continues to intrigue modern researchers and athletes around the world. Rhodiola-based products are still widely sold in Eastern European and Asian pharmacies as a remedy for depression and fatigue.

Does Rhodiola affect the liver?

A Rhodiola extract protected the liver from oxidative-stress-induced damage while a methanolic extract of R. crenulata root extract increased glycogen synthesis and the expression of regulatory enzymes in HepG2 cells and suppressed fat accumulation in hepatic cells under high-glucose conditions.

Does Rhodiola lower cortisol?

Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins. Rhodiola also protects the heart and liver, increases use of oxygen, improves memory, and may even extend longevity. Also, new research proves it's effective as a weight loss agent.

Is Rhodiola the same as Ashwagandha?

Both in the case of ashwagandha and rhodiola, it is the root that is used to make medicines. Both herbs are used by herbalists in the fight against stress and fatigue, support the nervous system, increase endurance and solve the problem of infertility.

Is Rhodiola a stimulant?

As it has a mild stimulant-type effect, Rhodiola rosea is not recommended for people who have bipolar disorder or who are taking other stimulants.

How much Rhodiola should I take for anxiety?

Some guidance about the adequate dose of Rhodiola rosea for GAD can be extrapolated from clinical trials using specific extracts. A range of doses is seen in such trials, from 100-170 milligrams daily. One author recommends basing dosage recommendations on the content of rosavin, aiming for 3.6-6 milligrams daily.

Clinical Studies