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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
+1 (Slight Evidence)
Cognitive performance
+1 (Slight Evidence)
0 (Unclear Effectiveness)
0 (Unclear Effectiveness)


  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is an herb that grows at high altitudes in the arctic regions of Europe and Asia. It is used in Russia and Scandinavia to improve fatigue, depression, attention span, reaction to stress, memory, mood, and to boost cognitive performance, strength, and vitality.
  • Rhodiola is an adaptogen, an agent that works at a cellular level to normalize function and stimulate healing without otherwise affecting function. Animal studies suggest that it may have a beneficial effect on certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.


  • Rhodiola appears to be promising, but needs more research.
  • The safety and effectiveness of rhodiola have yet to be proven on a consistent basis.
  • Study designs do not allow for strong conclusions.
  • Interaction with some medications may alter concentrations in the blood and increase risk of adverse effects.

Rhodiola inhibits a specific metabolic pathway in the liver called CYP3A4. Many drugs are metabolized by this pathway. Use of rhodiola at the same time as other drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 may alter blood concentrations and increase the risk of adverse effects.

DOSAGE: Doses of 100-400mg of Rhodiola rosea taken once daily on an empty stomach have been studied for clinical effectiveness. Start with the lowest dose, and increase by 100 mg weekly, up to 400 mg total daily dose. Some practitioners recommend taking it early in the day to reduce the risk of insomnia, and scheduling a drug holiday (discontinuation) every 1-2 weeks. Use a standardized extract containing 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside.

CONCLUSION: If you elect to try Rhodiola, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

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