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Top 5 Rhodiola Benefits – But Is Rhodiola Safe?

Rhodiola has been used for centuries throughout northern climates due to its potent health benefits. This plant traditionally grows in mountainous areas in Russia, Asia, and eastern Europe.

As an adaptogen, rhodiola herb helps the body adapt to outside threats such as stress and illness by supporting the immune system and cognitive function. An adaptogen is a substance – usually an herb – that stabilizes the body’s physiological process. They support the immune system, ward off illness, and make the body more resilient to stress.

Some of the potential benefits include:

The active compounds of Rhodiola are mainly concentrated in the rhizome. The rhizome is a thick horizontal stem that lies below the ground, the roots grow out of the rhizome. The chemical constituents which are responsible for rhodiola’s effect include salidroside, rosin, rosavin and p-tyrosol. The rhodiola family contains hundreds of species but rhodiola rosea has been found to be most beneficial to humans.

The adaptogenic actions of rhodiola are mainly due to its ability to influence the Central Nervous System (CNS), anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. When compared to other adaptogens, rhodiola has higher adaptogen activity.

To enjoy these rhodiola benefits, you have a few options at your disposal including extracts, powers, and capsules. But is rhodiola safe? Let’s take a look.

Top 5 Rhodiola Herb Benefits

Rhodiola for Stress Relief

When presented with stress, our bodies produce cortisol. Small amounts of this hormone are essential to survival but too much cortisol over extended periods of time leads to chronic stress and puts our bodies into a toxic environment.

Long-term exposure to cortisol (and stress) can cause heart conditions, hair loss, weight gain, ulcers, and other health conditions. Rhodiola supplements can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce the negative effects of chronic stress.

Cognitive Function and Mental Health

Studies show that rhodiola is a viable natural herbal remedy for feeling down, unmotivated, or inability to focus.

Based on animal research and secondary information, rhodiola may improve mood by regulating the activity of neurotransmitters. It works by stimulating the brain’s dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters which are the brain’s “reward” centers. This leads to increased focus, contentedness, cognitive function, and improved mood.

Rhodiola also inhibits Monoamine oxidase which normally degrades neurotransmitters and its inhibition leads to higher neurotransmitter levels (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine). People taking MAO inhibitors should not take rhodiola since it can lead to a hypertensive crisis.

Boosts Fat Burning

There’s no magic pill to help you lose weight. Getting in shape takes work and dedication. However, rhodiola can help boost your body’s fat-burning potential when combined with regular diet and exercise.

Rhodiola contains a compound called rosavin which can help your body burn up stored fat in troublesome areas like the midsection. Rhodiola extracts are usually standardized to contain either rosavin, salidrosides or both. The rosavin contributes to fat burning by activating a enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase. This is probably the most sought-after of all the rhodiola benefits. While rhodiola can certainly aid weight loss, you’ll still need to change certain lifestyle habits.

Increased Energy and Stamina

Not only can rhodiola help burn stubborn fat, but it can also increase overall energy and improve workouts. The plant does this by increasing your red blood cell count. This means that more oxygen gets to your muscles much faster. In fact, Vikings used to drink cups full of rhodiola before going into battle.

Rhodiola is great for athletes and regular folks alike because it helps boost energy, increasing your general work performance and endurance. This powerful plant can also help reduce adrenal fatigue which can make you feel chronically tired.


Rhodiola supplements can reduce symptoms of aging in a few ways. Boosting your red blood cell count means oxygen can transport throughout your body faster. This is not only great for your muscles but also excellent for your skin.

Aging and longevity studies are hard to do on humans due to our long lifespan. The C. elegans worm has been used in aging studies and rhodiola was found to increase it’s lifespan. Rhodiola activated genes inside the worm which are involved in stress resistance and longevity. It induced a transcription factor called DAF-16, which up regulates genes involved in lifespan extension.

Cortisol also plays a big part in the aging process. Ever wonder why individuals exposed to trauma seem to age much quicker than others? Cortisol. This pesky hormone does a number on your skin, hair, heart, and nearly every part of the body. Fortunately, rhodiola can help inhibit the body’s production of cortisol leading to anti-aging benefits.

Is Rhodiola Safe?

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of rhodiola, it’s important to ask: “Is rhodiola safe?”

Rhodiola is generally considered safe. It’s usually recommended to take once a week break every month from using adaptogens since continuous use can cause the body to be overstimulated. Rhodiola can be stimulating at low doses and calming at doses above 250 mg. Since we all express receptors differently in our bodies, rhodiola can have different effects among people. Most people can feel its cognitive effects immediately which makes rhodiola and adaptogenic herbs different from vitamins or supplements.

As mentioned before, people taking MAO inhibitors should not take rhodiola since it can lead to a hypertensive crisis, which can be life threatening.

Women who are pregnant should not take rhodiola. Keep in mind that this potent herb stimulates your immune system and thyroid. As a result, rhodiola could be unsafe for individuals with autoimmune disorders or on thyroid medication. Since it can lower blood glucose levels, diabetics may want to avoid rhodiola.

As with all supplements that boost energy, individuals prone to insomnia or acute anxiety should use caution when taking rhodiola.

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All of our products at Raydian Herbs are designed by a physician and pharmacist with the goal of enhancing lives. Our Calm Focus contains a combination of ashwagandha, rhodiola, and lemon balm to help with cognitive performance* and decrease fatigue*. You can shop Calm Focus now on Amazon Prime!

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