Rhodiola Rosea – Natural Alternative to Antidepressants

Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot) is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world.

Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root)

Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root)

Uses of Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea may be effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Pilot studies on human subjects showed that it improves physical and mental performance, reduces fatigue, and minimizes high-altitude sickness.

Rhodiola is included among a class of plant derivatives called adaptogens which differ from chemical stimulants, such as nicotine, and do not have the same physiological effects.

In Russia and Scandinavia, Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. Such effects were provided evidence in laboratory models of stress using the nematode, C. elegans, and in rats in which Rhodiola effectively prevented stress-induced changes in appetite, physical activity, weight gain and the estrus cycle.

Rhodiola may be inappropriately called “Arctic Root” which is a trademark held by the Swedish Herbal Institute for SHR-5, the Rhodiola extract tested in several studies referenced in this article.

Rhodiola has been used in traditional Chinese medicine where it is called hóng jǐng tiān ().


Rhodiola rosea extract is mainly used in the form of capsules or a tablet. These dosage forms usually contain 100 mg of a standardized amount of 3 percent rosavins and 0.8-1 percent salidroside because the naturally occurring ratio of these compounds in Rhodiola rosea root is approximately 3:1. Some companies believe that there are as many as 12 active biochemical compounds in the plant and do not subscribe to what they perceive as “artificial” standardization on only two of those compounds.

A typical dosage is one or two capsules or tablets daily; one in the morning and when taking two, one in the early afternoon. Rhodiola rosea should be taken early in the day because for some it can interfere with sleep. Others can take it in the evening with no effect on sleep patterns. If a user becomes overly activated, jittery or agitated then a smaller dose with very gradual increases may be needed. It is contraindicated in excited states.

The dose may be increased to 200 mg three times a day if needed. A high dose is considered to be daily intakes of 1,000 mg and above.

However, in the Swedish clinical trial on treating depression cited above, total effective doses were in the range of 340-680 mg per day for 18-70 year old adults, with no side effects demonstrated at these doses.

I just ran across this supplement in an article I was reading.  Does anyone know anything about it?  I found the definition above at http://www.wikipedia.com.  There are more details there if you wish to check it out fully.

Check out what others are saying about this supplement:

  • Effective Antidepressant Eases depression and boosts energy at or below 500mg daily. Higher doses often cause sedation and did so for me at 1000mg daily.
  • Didn”t do much for me I was disappointed because Siberian Ginseng had really helped me and is classified as an adoptpgen just like Rhodiola Rosea.
  • amazing!!!!!!!! I have tried xanax, clexa and many herbal remedies without any sucsess or relief. I was about to give up when I stumbled upon rhodiola on your website. I tried it and three days later I felt great. Calm, crystal clear thinking and an energy boost similiar to coffee without the jitterness. Also I have found niacinamide works great as well. Don’t give up! Good luck.
  • Rhodiola My son had been on ritalin like medicine since 5 years old and antidepressants since 9th grade. He couldn’t sleep, eat,had stomach aches and headaches. He spent 2 years constantly laying down due to the side effects. He lost all energy to do sports.His adrenals seem burned out. He got even more depressed being sick due to all the side effects the medicine had. He stopped all medicine. ( This scared me because 3 relative committed suicide.) He wanted the adderal so he could concentrate in school but it burned him out and he could not eat or sleep. Finally I tried him on Rhodiola. He went back to being normal in energy. He was alert, laughed,had energy to run in basketball,and shot 3 pointers again. He stopped swearing, punching holes in the wall and talking to himself which is how he waswithout any medicine. Rhodiola was fantastic it got him normal again. Keep the dose low (100 mg),because it can make you not sleep for 5 days.It” wakes up” the brain and delivers oxygen to every cell. It is also an antibiotic. It is used by cosmonauts in low oxygen and stressful conditions. It is used by Russian olympic winners to give them stamina, endurance and help them handle stress. Don’t take it at night or you may not sleep. It you get jittery or can’t sleep lower the dose immediately. I don’t know if little kids should take it. But ADHD kids at 9th grade lose their hyperness due to lack of being able to sleep.9th graders could tell you if the dose is too high and tell you how they are doing on it. The Rhodiola would perk up this age level and get them back to normal by healing their body, and get rid of depression and anxiety.
  • Rhodiola My MS and low thyroid affect my anxiety. Also I took colloidal silver that poisoned me. The silver caused 24 hr. a day panic attacks. I took xanax, MSM, and chorella, and oriental medicine (chrondrus- brown sea weed and rumex) to detox. [Xanax is a psychiatric medication that causes more toxins – definitely not a detox item!] This was not enough to get through the day. My anxiety was like torture and hell. Like a Mad Hatter’s disease. The Rhodiola helped me be normal. Not scream, get things done, no panic attacks, less depressed, more energy, lower thyroid medicine (delivers oxygen to mitochrodria of cells), make decisions, and stop shaking. I take it in the morning, but it wears off in the evening and I am back to torture. I would like a smaller dose for the evening . If I take it in the evening ,I can’t sleep. Most people need only 100-200mg a day. Reduce your dose if you get jumpy or can’t sleep immediately.I took too high a dose at first. It felt great, but then I could not sleep for 5 days. I had to let it wear off and then lower the dose. I am going for chelation treatments to get the silver out of me. Once I am detoxed I may not need Rhodiola, but it helps my cells work better, so I probably will continue it. It works great,but just watch the dose. It takes away anxiety and helps your body work better at the same time.My ADHD son is off his ritalin and antidepressant medicine. When he took Rhodiola he stopped swearing , punching holes in the wall, and talking to himself. He laughed and played basketball better and ran with more energy. He had not felt this good since he was small. It is a great antidepressant substitute. He will not longer have to sleep his life away due to medicine side effects. It increases oxygen to your cells. Cosmonauts and Olympic athletes use it to increase work performance, handle stress and survive under low oxygen conditions.
  • After quite a number of years of high stress, this caused depression and hormonal problems for me. In the past and the only treatment i was offered conventially was anti-depressants, which in the past help me to get through the bad pmt but i never liked being on them, and never felt totally connected.
  • I have tried many herbs to try to help with this health problems, i am pretty sensetive and everything affects me quickly, good or bad. After much research i cam across Rhoiola Rosea it seems to have all the attributes i needed, i have only just started using it, i have found that at a dose of just 380mg it makes me too hyper and unable to sleep. I have purchased a lower dose of 100mg and am hoping that it does not affect me adversely. Reading the reviews of this site just goes to show how we are all able to tolerate substances differently and i agree that caution with the dosage is recommended in sensative people…
  • It helps me tremendously with Social Anxiety and Anxiety in general. The effect seems to last forever. I’m not addicted but I can’t go without my rodiola everyday. Everyday is mine with rhodila. First 3 days it doesn’t seems to work then after that I got my life and happiness back!!! I will happily take it forever until the day I die…. Never in my life has something ordinary like this effect my life. I LOVE LIFE!!!
  • Effective Antidepressant Eases depression and boosts energy at or below 500mg daily.Higher doses often cause sedation and did so for me at 1000mg daily.

I have found this supplement on the usual discount vitamin websites online.

All information posted in this writing is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.

This website may contain some copyrighted material. We reserve the right to reproduce such material under the Copyright Act, Title 17 US Code, Section 107, “Fair Use”, as we believe the public should be informed of such information so they can think for themselves rather than rely on advertisements and the word of others. We gain no profit from such articles. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
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13 Responses to “Rhodiola Rosea – Natural Alternative to Antidepressants”

  1. patrick dunaway Says:

    The medical community and especially the psychiatric and pharmacuetical industry have sold us a bill of goods and brainwashed us into thinking we need these drugs-but there is no real proof that they actually work and in fact cause suicide in a percentage of people-the psychiatrist and pharmacuetical companies like the tobacco companies have been ingenious at hiding this information but daily are getting busted for it.


  2. Your Friend Says:


    Thanks again for your comment!

    Yes Big Pharma would prefer we take their expensive poisons than be healthy. They even have our politicians brainwashed.

    Have you ever heard of Rhodiola Rosea?

  3. Panic Attacks Adolence, Rhodiola Social Anxiety Says:

    Rhodiola Rosea: Alternative to Antidepressants It helps me tremendously with Social Anxiety and Anxiety in general. The effect seems to last forever. I’m not addicted but I can’t go without my rodiola everyday.

  4. Your Friend Says:

    Panic Attacks Adolence,

    Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear some positive feedback!

    Best regards,
    Your Friend

  5. someone Says:

    to the person who said: Rhodiola Rosea: “Alternative to Antidepressants It helps me tremendously with Social Anxiety and Anxiety in general. The effect seems to last forever. I’m not addicted but I can’t go without my rodiola everyday.” can you tell me what does you take? I need for same problems + panic attacks. I started at 100mg and only notice slight difference.. Thanks!

  6. herbalist88 Says:

    please keep in mind, this herb is NOT an antibiotic. The point that was said about it being a natural antibiotic is false!!! please do your research before publishing any such comments

  7. Richard L. Hall Says:

    I agree with the last comment, Rhodiola rosea is not an antibiotic. It is a natural antidepressant with side benefits such as helping high altitude sickness, better focus & attention span and helps to increase stamina when working out or having sex. For the best benefits one should chose their product carefully, not all Rhodiola rosea products are the “rosea variety” and come from hybridized plants in low land China. The most potent Rhodiola rosea and the one used in case studies come from the Altai range of Siberia. It takes a permit to harvest from that region. Another thought about using Rhodiola rosea: All people do not get the same response to Rhodiola rosea for various reasons. It could be that the % of rosavins in their product is not present or the product may be adulterated with salidroside and not true Siberian Rhodiola rosea or it could be Rhodiola crenulata. If you are not getting the results you desire at 100mg you should consider increasing it slowly for a week, 100mg at a time. Take it first thing in the morning before food and again in the early afternoon, 1-2pm, but not late at night unless you like elevated dream states. At 900-950mg of 3% Siberian Rhodiola rosea you may become irritable, if so just stop taking it for a day and go back to the comfortable amount and stay there. Still not sure? Check with a healthcare practitioner who is well versed in herbal extracts before you buy or use the product. Since my company (Ameriden®) was the first to bring Siberian Rhodiola rosea to the U.S. via Dr. Zakir Ramazanov, in 1998 and because it has been used in case studies with Dr. Richard Brown & Patricia Gerbarg, I can highly recommend our product Rosavin™. It’s the real deal, pure water extracted & freeze dried. I know there are other companies who make a good Rhodiola rosea product, but most are using an alcohol extracted & spray dried product which is 1 to 2 1/2 times less potent according to clinical tests. Other good Siberian Rhodiola rosea products to try are Rosavin Plus® or ClearMind.

  8. Jamie Says:

    I am 35 weeks pregnant. Once I hit the third-trimester I lost my abililty to concentrate and my work performance dramatically decreased, causing me to worry about losing my job since I had a new boss who was “testing me out.” I increased my B vitamin intake and it helped some, but I really needed an extra “oomph.” Well, my husband and I have been fans of rhodiola rosea for a while and I search the interenet for any evidence of it being harmful to take during pregnancy. The only answer I could find is that no one had really tested the effects during pregnancy. So I decided to trust my own judgment and began supplementing with 100mg of rhodiola only on days I felt I needed more help with mental clarity. My energy levels went way back up, my ability to perform at work impressed my new boss and locked-in my job security, and my baby is still as healthy at every dr. appt I go to. In fact, fruit juice makes my baby react more than the rhodiola does! I didn’t start taking rhodiola until my 33 week of pregnancy, knowing I have a “normal” (aka NOT a “high-risk”) pregnancy and have had NO complications other than depression, which the rhodiola also curbed.

    • Your Friend Says:

      Great news, Jamie! Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone!!!

      • StaceyAnn Says:

        That’s great news, Thanks for sharing! How is your child now, almost 3 years later?
        My own judgment has lead me to begin a rhodiola regiment at 17 weeks pregnant. It is hard to find any research on this topic. After battling depression, sluggishness and a lack of motivation due which got even worse early in pregnancy, I’m looking at all natural and dietary solutions to balance my hormones and get my life going again. I am more willing to try a low dose herbal supplement (that claims to increase reproductive health) than any prescription drug.

        Has anyone else had experience with Rhodiola while pregnant?

  9. detox products Says:

    Antidepressent dont’ help at all. It is good to have an alternate like Rhodiola rosea.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    i am looking for a clinic that could help me go off antidepressants i am not able to go off without
    supervision and some kind of vitamin or herbal helpi
    i live in israel but am willing to go to america for treatment
    if you know of anyplace please let me know

  11. Your Friend Says:

    Hi Rachael!

    Check the right-hand panel of this site under “Detox”. You will find a list of many facilities to help you. If you cannot find one there that is close to you Narconon International is a great place to start: http://www.narconon.org/.

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