- Golden root
- Rose root
- Hong Jing Tian
- Rose root extract
For Patients & Caregivers
Rhodiola was shown to improve physical and mental performance by reducing fatigue caused by stress.
Rhodiola is used in traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia as a stimulant, to improve performance, and to reduce fatigue and depression. Some pilot studies in humans do support these claims, but more studies are needed. Because it may interact through pathways the body uses to metabolize prescription medications, patients should ask their doctor before taking rhodiola supplements.
Human studies showed that rhodiola may improve anxiety or mild to moderate depression. Further research is needed.
Several studies found that rhodiola can reduce fatigue under stressful conditions.
Rhodiola improved exercise capacity and mental performance in human studies.
- You are taking drugs that are substrates of Cytochrome P450 3A4: Rhodiola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
- You are taking drugs that are substrates of P-glycoprotein: Rhodiola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
- You are taking antidepressants: Rhodiola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
- You are taking drugs for high blood pressure: Rhodiola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
- You are taking drugs that stimulate the central nervous system: Rhodiola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
For Healthcare Professionals
Rhodiola is a plant used in traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia to enhance physical and mental performance, stimulate the nervous system, and fight depression. Rhodiola rosea extract and its key constituent salidroside have been esearched, although studies in humans are limited.
In vitro studies indicate that salidroside from rhodiola may have neuroprotective (8) (9) and anticancer effects (10). Supplementation with rhodiola has been shown to improve physical endurance (1) and mental performance (2) (3), reduce stress-induced fatigue in humans (4) (5), and improve stress symptoms (19) (20). Preliminary data also suggest that it may be effective against generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (6). Rhodiola was also shown useful in the treatment of mild to moderate depression (7); it was also better tolerated with fewer side effects, although less effective, compared to sertraline (22).
A small study showed that salidroside may have cardioprotective effects in patients with breast cancer receiving treatment with epirubicin (11), but more data are needed to confirm this effect.
In animal models, rhodiola exhibits dose- and time-dependent Th1 and Th2 cytokine modulation effects (16). Salidroside in rhodiola confers neuroprotective effects via nitric oxide (NO) pathway inhibition in vitro (9) and through induction of antioxidant enzymes thioredoxin, heme oxygenase-1, and peroxiredoxin-I; downregulation of proapoptotic Bax protein; and upregulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-XL proteins (8). Another study shows the constituents of rhodiola have synergistic antioxidant activity (17). In vitro, rhodiola inhibits monoamine oxidases (MAOs) A and B, suggesting that it has antidepressant effects (13).
In human breast cancer cells, salidroside induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis via mechanisms as yet unidentified, but independent of the estrogen receptor (10).
- Cytochrome P450 3A4 substrates: Rhodiola inhibits CYP3A4 and can affect the intracellular concentration of drugs metabolized by this enzyme (12) (21).
- P-glycoprotein substrates: Rhodiola was shown to inhibit P-gp activity and can interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs (12) (21).
- Antidepressants: Rhodiola has MAO inhibition activity and may increase the serotonergic side effects (13).
- Antihypertensives: Rhodiola has MAO inhibition activity and may increase the hypotensive side effects (13).
- CNS Stimulants: Rhodiola has MAO inhibition activity and may enhance the hypertensive effect (13).