10 Super Rhodiola rosea benefits and side effects

Rhodiola rosea for longevity
Rhodiola rosea benefits and side effects

The extracts of Rhodiola rosea have been in used due to its numerous benefits as a dietary supplement in healthy populations, including athletes, to boost the body’s natural resistance to both physical and behavior stresses for fighting fatigue and depression. Rhodiola rosea is also commonly known as Rhodiola, Roseroot, Rosenroot, Golden root, arctic root, and Orphin rose.

Rhodiola rosea is well known for its anti-stress and antiaging properties. Both the area as well as the rhizome are of great health benefits in traditional medicines. In this article, we shall review the different scientifically proven health benefits of Rhodiola rosea. We believe you would enjoy the information we present in this article; if so, do share with your friends and fans across the different social media platforms.

Can you eat Rhodiola leaves?

People often wonder if Rhodiola rosea is edible or not, considering it earlier main use in traditional medicine. The truth is that Rhodiola young leaves are edible and can be made into a salad, along with other vegetables. When eaten on its own, and fresh, Rhodiola can be slightly bitter. Most people however, take Rhodiola rosea products as capsule, or tablets. You can also eat Rhodiola at any time but not before bedtime, as Rhodiola exhibit slight stimulating effect. In Chinese medicine, Rhodiola rosea is known as Hong jing tian.

What are the Rhodiola rosea benefits?

Rhodiola rosea is fortified with several bioactive compounds such as sterols, glycosides, essential oil, fats, waxes, phenolics, including tannins and proteins. These compounds interact with disease pathogens to inhibit their growth and proliferations.

Rhodiola rosea for stress management

As a natural remedy, Rhodiola rosea offers strong protective role to your body. It acts as adaptogen to provide nonspecific resistance to physical, chemical and biological stresses. The bioactive compounds involved in this anti-stress properties of Rhodiola acts by engaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and several key mediators of stress responses, such as heat shock proteins, stress-activated c-JUN N-terminal protein kinase 1, Forkhead box O transcription factor, cortisol, nitric oxide, and beta-endorphin.

In a study by Xia et al, Rhodiola rosea extracts reduced serum levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone and corticosterone via the down-regulation of expression of c-FOS in the hypothalamus of rats subjected to stress. Salidroside, a predominant phenylpropanoid glycoside compound in Rhodiola rosea extract offers protection to the body against beta-amyloid peptide induced oxidative stress by inhibiting its mediated phosphorylation of JNK and p38 MAP kinase, but not ERK1/2. This also suggested that Rhodiola rosea could be used for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Rhodiola rosea for longevity

Like Spermidine, Rhodiola rosea may offer lifespan extension to man as well as other animals. This was made possible in studies involving fruit flies, worms, and yeast, where their lifespan were extended after the administration of Rhodiola rosea extract. This anti-aging effect was independent of the caloric restriction-related signaling pathways, including SIR2 proteins, insulin-like growth factor signaling , and the TOR in fruit flies, but dependent on diet composition, and expression of Msn2/Msn4 and Yap1 regulatory proteins.

Although these studies present a mouthwatering evidences of longevity effect of Rhodiola rosea, this lifespan extension effect is yet to be tested in mammals, nor undergone clinical trials. So until, human experiment proves the lifespan effect on human, we may not authoritatively state that Rhodiola can offer longevity effect to human. But since Rhodiola is beneficial for several health situations, it should still be taken for such purposes.

Rhodiola rosea protects and repairs your DNA

Rhodiola also offers protective role to your DNA. Most disease are as a result of DNA mutagenesis, which results in autoimmune diseases and aging of the body. Several factors results in DNA mutagenesis and destruction. One of such factors is oxidative stress.

The active compound, Salidroside, is a strong antioxidant that protects your DNA from damages due to excess free radical attack. It also repairs damaged mutated DNA.

According to Xuel Li et al, Salidroside activated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), a component of the base excision repair pathway, in mouse bone marrow HSCs as well as primary fibroblasts and human lymphoblast. They also that PARP-1 activation by Salidroside protects quiescent HSCs from oxidative stress-induced cycling in native animals and self-renewal defect in transplanted recipients, which was abrogated by genetic ablation or pharmacologic inhibition of PARP-1.

Rhodiola for cardiovascular functions

Rhodiola rosea may be the home remedy you have been looking for to treat your cardiovascular disease. Like avocado seed tea, which you can easily find around during its season, blue oyster mushroom, and spermidine supplement, Rhodiola is another therapeutic agent for treating heart related diseases such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, hypertension and others.
In order to exert its cardioprotective roles, salidroside inhibits the expression of vascular endothelial contractile factor, and promotes the expression of vascular endothelial relaxation factor by through the inhibition of the gene expression of HIF-alpha, ET-1, and NOS. Rhodiola rosea also inhibits the synthesis of AngII and ALD and promotes left ventricular remodeling.
In a situation of heart failure, salidroside can inhibit protein phosphorylation in PI3K/AKT/GSK3beta pathway, and protein expression of collagen-I and profilin-I in cardiac tissues of the heart failure, thus reducing the level of cardiac tissue fibrosis heart failure.
Rhodiola rosea can lower your cholesterol level
If you want to shed off some fats and remove bad cholesterol from your blood, then Rhodiola rosea root tea may be what you need to take on a regular basis. This is because Rhodiola root extract exhibits strong hypolipidemic activity, and may remove liver and belly fats much faster.

Rhodiola for diabetes

Aside possessing hypolipidemic activity, Rhodiola rosea also possess strong hypoglycemic activity, which makes it candidate for treating diabetes mellitus. In a study, the extract of Rhodiola rosea decreased malondialdehyde levels, while increasing superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities of the liver and kidney of diabetic rats.
Rhodiola rosea also increased insulin level, showing that Rhodiola improves diabetes through its antioxidant activity on the pancreatic beta cells, which are damaged by oxidative stress and free radicals. So, by scavenging free radicals and suppressing lipid peroxidation, Rhodiola improves diabetic condition, while lowering lipid and glucose levels through insulin secretion and glucose clearance.

Rhodiola rosea improves cognition

As part of its anti-stress and anti-depressant properties, Rhodiola rosea also involves in improvement of the mental resources and cognition. Studies proved that Rhodiola rosea alleviates symptoms mental stress and fatigue.
Taking Rhodiola roots tea may help in improving learning and memory, improve neurodegenerative disorders such as in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease and others.

Improves kidney functions

As a rich source of antioxidant, Rhodiola rosea offers protection to the kidney as well as the liver through it antioxidant activities against toxic compounds, which tend to destroy the hepatocytes and kidney cells. Both the liver and the kidney are being exposed to harmful compounds due to their roles in metabolism and excretion of unwanted substances, respectively.

Rhodiola improves fertility in women

Rhodiola rosea have long been used to enhance fertility and reproduction in women who are trying to conceive. Some said it is more potent than most orthodox medications, however, there fewer studies on this.
In a study conducted on stress-induced ovarian damage, infertility, and reproductive disorder in female rats, Rhodiola was shown to reduced the severity of stress-related oxidative and inflammatory damage in the ovarian tissue. It also antagonized the negative effect of stress on reproductive function. The study concluded that may be useful in the treatment of ovarian damage and reproductive dysfunction due to psychological stress. Rhodiola, snot apple, and fertility plant may have a synergistic improvement on women’s fertility, as both have been proved to restore damaged ovary and increase fertility rate.

Rhodiola rosea fights viruses

Rhodiola rosea may be an important antiviral agent due to the presence of antiviral bioactive compounds present in the root and area part extracts. Some flavonoids isolated from the roots of Rhodiola rosea have been shown to inhibit the activity of neuraminidases from Clostridium perfringens and influenza virus, and exert anti-influenza virus activities. The compounds also exhibited antiviral activities by inhibiting dengue virus multiplication through the regulation of the innate immune response genes, RIG-I, MDA5, and ISG, to promote an effective antiviral immune response.
Salidroside has also been reported to modulate the expression of antiviral cytokines, such as IFNγ, and TNFα, and inhibit the replication of coxsackievirus B3 perhaps through modulation of oxidative stress. Rhodiola rosea possesses therapeutic effect against several infectious diseases.

Rhodiola for cancer prevention

Rhodiola rosea also possess antiproliferative benefits against several cancer cells. The antiproliferative mechanism of Rhodiola rosea extract, in a study, was found to be attributed to ability of promoting cell apoptosis, arresting cell cycle in S phase as well as modulating the p53 signaling pathway via down-regulation of Bcl-2, cyclin D1 and CDK4 levels and up-regulation of p53 and Bax. In summary, the results illustrated the potential of RFE to be an excellent antioxidant and antiproliferative supplement which is related to the anticancer activity of black cohosh extracts.

The antiproliferation of Rhodiola rosea and its active component, salidroside may be through the activation of AMPK α, which in addition to regulating gluconeogenesis, acts as s an energy (AMP/ATP ratio) sensor to inhibit energy-consuming processes, including cellular proliferation, under energy deprivation in order to maximize chance of survival.

Rhodiola rosea side effects

There are relatively fewer side effects associated with Rhodiola rosea in comparison to its numerous health benefits. In some individuals, Rhodiola rosea does not exhibit any side effect, in some the side effects may be mild and uncommon. some of the possible side Rhodiola rosea side effects include Dizziness, increased blood pressure, and excessive saliva secretion. In some persons, it may be drying of the mouth.


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Jeong HJ, Ryu YB, Park SJ, Kim JH, Kwon HJ, Park KH, et al. Neuraminidase inhibitory activities of flavonols isolated from Rhodiola rosea roots and their in vitro anti-influenza viral activities. Bioorg Med Chem (2009) 17:6816–23.
Diwaker D, Mishra KP, Ganju L, Singh SB. Rhodiola inhibits dengue virus multiplication by inducing innate immune response genes RIG-I, MDA5 and ISG in human monocytes. Arch Virol (2014) 159:1975–86.

Panossian, Alexander & Georg, Wikman & Sarris, J. (2010). Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): Traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. 17. 481-93. 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.02.002.

Li, Y., Pham, V., Bui, M., Song, L., Wu, C., Walia, A., Uchio, E., Smith-Liu, F., & Zi, X. (2017). Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention. Current pharmacology reports3(6), 384–395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40495-017-0106-1.

Xia N, Li J, Wang H, Wang J, Wang Y. Schisandra chinensis and Rhodiola rosea exert an antistress effect on the HPA axis and reduce hypothalamic c-Fos expression in rats subjected to repeated stress. Exp Ther Med. 2016; 11:353–359.

Chen, Y., Tang, M., Yuan, S., Fu, S., Li, Y., Li, Y., Wang, Q., Cao, Y., Liu, L., & Zhang, Q. (2022). Rhodiola rosea: A Therapeutic Candidate on Cardiovascular Diseases. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2022, 1348795. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/1348795.

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