Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea
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Sedum rosea (L.) Scop.
Sedum rhodiola DC.
Rhodiola arctica Boriss.
Rhodiola iremelica Boriss.
Rhodiola scopolii Simonk.
Sedum scopolii Simonk.

Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot) is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world. These include much of the Arctic, the mountains of Central Asia, the Rocky Mountains, and mountainous parts of Europe, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia, Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland.


Rhodiola rosea is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Russian research shows that it improves both physical and mental performance, reduces fatigue, and prevents high-altitude sickness. In one study, the Rhodiola rosea group decreased proofreading errors by 88% while the control group increased proofreading errors by 84%. Rhodiola rosea’s effects are attributed to its ability to optimise serotonin and dopamine levels, due to monoamine oxidase inhibition and to its influence on opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins. [1]

Substances like these are referred to as adaptogens. They differ from stimulants, and do not have the same health consequences as nicotine, etc.

In Russia, Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. It has also been used for centuries in Scandinavia, both by the Vikings and the Sámi. Note that Rhodiola is sometimes inappropriately referred to as “Arctic Root®”, which is a trademark product name held by the Swedish Herbal Institute for an extract SHR-5 which contains unique Rhodiola rosea extracts tested in human clinical trials. Publication of a double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial shows a significant effect for SHR-5 Rhodiola extract in cases of mild-to-moderate depression. [2]

Rhodiola rosea has some compounds which are not found in other Rhodiola species. [3] These are:

Note that the word rosavins can be used to include rosavin, rosarin, and rosin. Also, the word Rosavin is a brand name.

Some images of Rhodiola rosea