Rhodiola Rosea for Anxiety
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb generally taken as an antidepressant to help relieve stress and anxiety. This anxiolytic herb grows in cold and hilly areas of Europe and Asia. Rhodiola rosea, also known as the arctic root, king’s crown, or golden root and has traditionally been used to treat fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Rhodiola root contains about 140 chemical compounds, the most potent of which are rosavin and salidroside. It is used as a dietary supplement to relieve a wide variety of health conditions.
This article details the benefits of Rhodiola rosea for anxiety and other health conditions and possible risks associated with overconsumption.
Is Rhodiola Rosea Effective for Anxiety?
Rhodiola rosea is a herb usually prescribed to reduce depression and anxiety. This adaptogenic herb improves the body’s ability to resist stress in various ways as adaptogens are believed to better manage stressful situations.
Studies revealed that Rhodiola rosea has great potential to reduce stress and anxiety and reduce feelings of depression.
What Does Research Say?
Various clinical studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of Rhodiola rosea on stress and anxiety. It is also demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea decreases the signs of burnout resulting from chronic stress. According to a study, 118 individuals suffering from stress were instructed to use 400mg of Rhodiola for 12 weeks. They experienced a significant improvement in symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
The results appeared during the first 7 days of the study and continued to improve throughout the study. It was probably claimed to be the first trial aimed to investigate the effects of Rhodiola herb on the treatment of burnout. The researchers encouraged and recommended further studies to evaluate the effects on symptoms of burnout.
Studies also found that Rhodiola also has potent abilities to regulate brain chemicals and reduce depressive feelings. A study was conducted to compare the effects of Rhodiola with a placebo. In this study, 57 people suffering from depression were given either Rhodiola with sertraline or a placebo for 3 months.
Results showed that Rhodiola and sertraline both are effective for reducing depression. Rhodiola supplements were better tolerated and showed minimum side effects than other antidepressant drugs.
According to another study, consumption of Rhodiola extract for 10 weeks resulted in decreased anxiety symptoms and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Score (HARS).
How Does it Work?
Researchers found Rhodiola supplements help the body relieve stress and anxiety in a variety of ways.
Boost Serotonin Levels
Rhodiola seems to have the potential to improve serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that help reduce stress and anxiety and boost mood and happiness.
May Decrease the Activity of Sympathetic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system is associated with fight and flight reactions and is stimulated by the amygdala. Increased SNS activity is directly or indirectly associated with symptoms of anxiety. Rhodiola help decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and help relieve stress and anxiety.
Increase Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity
Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system slows down the body's responses and reduces feelings of anxiety. Consumption of Rhodiola stimulates PSNS and reduces depression and anxiety.
May Relieve Fatigue
Disturbed sleep, stress, and anxiety are the contributing factors leading to mental and physical fatigue. With potent adaptogenic abilities, Rhodiola helps relieve anxiety and reduce fatigue.
According to a study, 100 individuals suffering from fatigue were instructed to use 400mg of Rhodiola for 10 weeks. Results showed that consumption of this herb effectively reduces stress, and fatigue and improves mood.
Improve Brain Health
A peaceful sleep, healthy diet, and physical activity are key to a healthy mental state. Rhodiola help improves memory and learning abilities which in turn boosts health.
The study showed that a single dose of Rhodiola is effective for relieving depression, improving cognition, and combating mood disorders.
May Improve Athletic Performance
Rhodiola rosea possesses antioxidant and anxiolytic activities which help reduce stress and physical and mental fatigue. Various animal studies showed that this amazing herb is able to improve muscle strength and performance.
According to a study, consumption of Rhodiola decreased the reaction time and reduced response time in a healthy individual.
May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the inability to produce or respond to insulin hormone leading to raised blood sugar levels. Studies revealed that Rhodiola may improve blood sugar levels and manage diabetes.
Salidroside, a compound present in Rhodiola has the potential to fight against diabetes and reduce the complications like diabetic nephropathy.
More human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of Rhodiola on diabetes in humans.
Rhodiola may lower blood sugar levels and should be taken after consulting with your health care professional.
Can Prevent Cancer
A bioactive compound in Rhodiola known as salidroside is known to possess potent anticancer properties. Various laboratory and animal studies showed that Rhodiola may restrict the growth of certain types of cancer including lung, bladder, stomach, and colon cancer.
Help in Stress-Induced Eating Disorder
Salidroside, a biologically active compound present in Rhodiola rosea was investigated for its effects on binge eating/eating disorders. According to an animal study, consumption of dried extract of Rhodiola rosea with 3.12% salidroside can help improve eating disorders.
Dosage of Rhodiola Supplements
There is no standard dosage for this herb, however, in most studies, 100-600 mg of this herb has been used for 12 weeks.
For stress, anxiety, and fatigue a dosage of 400-600 mg is considered effective without causing adverse effects.
Possible Risks and Side Effects
Rhodiola supplements are safe to use for 6-12 weeks and there is no consistent information regarding its consumption for an extended period of time. Some people may experience some side effects like headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and excessive saliva.
These supplements may interact with some medications like antidiabetics, antihypertensive, and immunosuppressants. Rhodiola may lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and taking these supplements with medications can decrease blood pressure and sugar to dangerous levels.
This amazing herb can boost the immune system and consuming these supplements can worsen autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
There is not enough information about the safety of Rhodiola rosea for pregnant and lactating women and it is suggested to avoid its use in pregnancy and lactation.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes in various parts of the world. Studies revealed that Rhodiola improves the body’s ability to better manage stressful situations. It helps relieve stress and anxiety, depression, and physical and mental fatigue. In addition, Rhodiola also helps manage diabetes, prevent cancer, boost brain health and improve exercise performance.
It may interact with some drugs and these supplements should be used after consulting with your physician.
Here you can see Vorst’s Stress Relieving formula Containing Rhodiola Rosea.