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How Is Rhodiola Rosea Used to Treat Anxiety?


Updated May 16, 2014

Rhodiola rosea may be effective for improving mood and alleviating depression.
M G Therin Weise/Photographer's Choice/RF


Rhodiola rosea, commonly known as golden root, rose root, or artic root, is a medicinal plant indigenous to Siberia that thrives in dry and cold arctic climates. The medicinal compounds of rhodiola rosea are derived from the root of the plant, and have been used to relieve occasional stress, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, and depressed mood. Rhodiola rosea is known as an adaptogen, meaning that it increases resistance to physical and emotional stress.

The natural medicine has been shown to stimulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine activity, and is believed to play a role in healthy emotional and neurological function.

How to Take Rhodiola Rosea:

Rhodiola rosea is typically taken in capsule form, but it is also available in other forms such as extracts and teas.

Dosage Guidelines:

You should read the product label for dosing instructions and consult a healthcare provider if necessary. The recommended adult dosage for capsule form of rhodiola rosea is 100 to 300 mg daily. There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of rhodiola rosea in children.

Who Shouldn’t Take Rhodiola Rosea:

Do not take rhodiola rosea if you are pregnant or nursing, or taking prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Medication Interactions:

You may experience drowsiness if you combine rhodiola rosea with benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Side Effects:

Side effects of rhodiola rosea are generally rare and mild to moderate. They may include headache, stomach upset, drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.

Associated Risks:

There are no known risks associated with rhodiola rosea, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production of herbs and supplements. Most herbs and supplements are not thoroughly tested, and there is no guarantee regarding the ingredients or safety of the products.

Other supplements for social anxiety disorder:


Bystritsky A, Kerwin L, Feusner, J. A pilot study of rhodiola rosea (rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(2):175-180.

Clarocet. Rhodiola Rosea. Accessed September 12, 2008.

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. Rhodiola Rosea: A Versatile Adaptogen. Accessed September 12, 2008.

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