Rhodiola rosea (hong jing tian, 紅 景 天),
Rhodiola Rosea benefits and side effects. December 15, 2011 zhion@zhoin.com
Rhodiola rosea has been used in traditional medicine as a means to stimulate the nervous system, decrease depression and fatigue for centuries in
Eastern Europe and Asia. It is also used to help prevent high altitude sickness. Rhodiola rosea is believed to offer many different kinds of health
benefits, it is known as "golden root". Rhodiola rosea is a plant in the Crassulaceae family, it has separate female and male plants.

Rhodiola rosea is classified as an adaptogen; adaptogen is an agent increases in power of resistance against multiple stressors and helps the body
to reassume homeostasis. Rhodiola rosea has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. Rhodiola rosea
promotes the release of certain neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of well-being, as well as regulating hormone production in response to
stress including oxidative damage by free radicals. Rhodiola rosea also appears to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to
neurotransmitter precursors, aiding and even increasing their beneficial effects.  Rhodiola rosea has been studied extensively in the last few years
and this herb may have multiple health benefits.

According to Wikipedia, Rhodiola rosea contains a variety of active ingredients including rosavins (rosavin, rosarin and rosin), rhodioloside and
tyrosol. These phytochemicals are specific to Rhodiola extracts, while Rhodiola also contains popular antioxidants including proanthocyanidins,
quercetin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid and kaempferol. These phytochemicals are important to Rhodiola's effects. Many animal studies have
suggested the board spectrum of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea, there are only a few clinical studies supporting the health benefit-claims.
Rhodiola rosea may offer benefits to liver; it has been used to protect the liver in traditional medicine for years. The
effect of a liquid extract from Rhodiola rosea on the functional state of rat liver with experimental toxic hepatitis was
studied. It was found that the Rhodiola rosea extract produced a hepatoprotective effect, as manifested by normalized
activity of aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase, normalized content of medium-molecular-weight
peptides, urea, and bilirubin, and reduced activity of alanine aminotransferase and glutathione-S-transferase in the
blood plasma of rats with the toxic hepatitis model. [A14] Liver injury of rats was injured with repetitive administration of
carbon tetrachloride. This liver damage elevated levels of hydroxyproline and malondialdehyde in the liver. The rats
were then fed with an aqueous extract from the root of Rhodiola sachalinensis (another specie of Rhodiola) at
dosages of 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg throughout the carbon tetrachloride treatment for 28 days. The Rhodiola extract
reduced the levels of hydroxyproline and malondialdehyde. The extracts inhibited hepatic stellate cell activation, which
is a major step for collagen accumulation during liver injury. These data suggest that Rhodiola sachalinensis extracts
protect the liver from repetitive injury induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats. [A15]

The use of Rhodiola rosea in recommended doses typically generates no side effects, unlike traditional stimulants that
posses addiction, tolerance and abuse potential, produce a negative effect on sleep structure, and cause rebound
hypersomnolence or "come down" effects. [1] According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
irritability and insomnia are the side effects of rhodiola. Further, Rhodiola inhibits CYP3A4 and can affect the
intracellular concentration of drugs metabolized by this enzyme. Rhodiola was shown to inhibit P-Gp activity and can
interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs

Rhodiola rosea Dosage
The dosage forms of Rhodiola rosea extract include capsules and tablets. Tinctures are also available. The content is
standardized to 3 percent rosavins and 0.8–1 percent salidroside. D1

Dosage of 200 mg three times daily has been suggested. No side effects were reported for dosage in the range of
340-680 mg daily, in a study of depression. D1

1. A Panossian, H. Wagner Stimulating effect of adaptogens: an overview with particular reference to their efficacy
following single dose administration Phytother Res. 2005 Oct;19(10):819-38. [A1] Pogorelyi Ve et al, Eksp Klin
Farmakol. 2002 Jul-Aug;65(4):19-22]. [A2] Spasov AA et al, Phytomedicine. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9] [A3] Razina TG et al,
Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2000 Sep-Oct;63(5):59-61].[A4] Salikhova RA et al, Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter. 1997 Oct-Dec;(4):22-4]
[A5] Bocharova OA Urol Nefrol (Mosk). 1995 Mar-Apr;(2):46-7.][A6] Bock K et al, Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004
Jun;14(3):298-307] [A7] Abidov M et al, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2003 Dec;136(6):585-7.] [A8] Darbinyan V et al
Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71].[A9] Wing SL et al, Wilderness Environ Med. 2003 Spring;14(1):9-16] [A9]
Maimeskulova LA et al, Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2000 Jul-Aug;63(4):29-31] [A10] Lishmanov luB et al, Biull Eksp Biol Med.
1993 Aug;116(8):175-6.] [A11] Lishmanov luB et al, Eksp Klin Farmakol. 1997 May-Jun;60(3):34-6]. [A12] Zhongguo
Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998 Feb;23(2):104-6] [A13] Maslova LV et al, Eksp Klin Farmakol. 1994 Nov-Dec;57(6):61-3.]
[A14] Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2002 Nov-Dec;65(6):57-9] [A15] J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Feb;84(2-3):143-8.] D1 Wikipedia.
org. December 15, 2011
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Rhodiola benefits people from brain damage. Rhodiola Rosea Extract prevented ischemic brain damage
development. In a study, a course of the drug administration of at a dose of 700 mg/kg arrested the
development of hyper- and hypoperfusion in cerebral circulation, weakened the postischemic hyperglycemic
reaction, lowered oxygen extraction by cerebral tissues, suppressed lactate acidosis, promoted pyruvate
participation in metabolic processes inhibits edema swelling, prevented the "calcium paradox" development, and
decreaseed manifestations of the lipid peroxidation processes. [A1] Rhodiola Rosea works as an adaptogen
and may benefits on cognitive functions. The stimulating and normalizing effect of 20-day adminstration of
Rhodiola rosea extract SHR-5 in foreign students gave a significant result during a stressful examination

Rhodiola rosea may benefit people suffered from cancers. Mice was inoculated with metastasing Lewis lung
carcinoma. Rhodiola rosea extracts potentiated the antitumor and antimetastatic effects of cyclophosphan
(cyclophosphamide) [A3] The effect of the Rhodiola rosea extracts on chromosome aberrations, production of
cells with micronuclei and unscheduled DNA synthesis in bone marrow cells of mice  was studied under action of
mutagens cyclophosphamide and N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU). Rhodiola rosea extracts were found to reduce
significantly the yield of cells with the chromosome aberrations and micronuclei induced by cyclophosphamide in
vivo, inhibited unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by NMU in vitro. Rhodiola rosea extracts are anti-mutagens
due to ability to raise the efficiency of the intracell DNA repair mechanisms. [A4] Oral administration of Rhodiola
rosea extract to a small group of patents with superficial bladder carcinoma improved the characteristics of the
urothelial tissue integration, parameters of leukocyte integrins and T-cell immunity. [A5]

High Altitude Sickness, Hpoxia and Endurance
Rhodiola rosea may benefit people suffered from high altitude sickness. Rhodiola rosea has been used to
stimulate the nervous system and fatigue for centuries in Eastern Europe and Asia. It has been used as remedy
for high altitude sickness. Rhodiola rosea may benefit people with hypoxia. The effects of  Rhodiola on hypoxia
and oxidative stress at a simulated altitude of 4600 m, using 15 volunteers were studied. The volunteers
received 3 separate 60-minute hypoxic exposures by breathing 13.6% oxygen at an ambient barometric
pressure of 633 mm Hg (simulating the partial pressure of oxygen at 4600 m elevation). Each subject received,
in random order, treatments of a 7-day supply of placebo or Rhodiola rosca. Hypoxia-induced oxidative stress
was observed in the control group only. Rhodiola rosea appeared not to increase oxidative stress and may
decrease free radical formation after hypoxic exposure compared with the control. [A9]
The effect of acute and 4-week Rhodiola rosea intake on physical capacity, muscle strength, speed of limb movement, reaction time, and attention
was investigated in a double blind placebo-controlled randomized study. Subjects were fed either with Rhodiola rosea (R, 200-mg Rhodiola rosea
extract containing 3% rosavin + 1% salidroside plus 500 mg starch) or placebo. After the study, it was concluded that acute Rhodiola rosea intake
could improve endurance exercise capacity in young healthy volunteers. [A6] The effects of oral treatment with extracts from Rhodiola rosea
(dosage 50 mg/kg) and Rhodiola crenulata (dosage 50 mg/kg) roots on the duration of exhaustive swimming and ATP content in mitochondria of
skeletal muscles was studied in rats. Treatment with Rhodiola rosea extract significantly (by 24.6%) prolonged the duration of exhaustive swimming
in comparison with control rats and rats treated with Rhodiola crenullata. Rhodiola rosea extract activated the synthesis or resynthesis of ATP in
mitochondria and stimulated reparative energy processes after intense exercise. [A7] The effect of repeated low-dose treatment with a standardized
extract SHR/5 of rhizome Rhodiola rosea L, on fatigue during night duty among a group of physicians was investigated. They expressed the total
mental performance as Fatigue Index. They tested the complex perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions, such as associative thinking, short-term
memory, calculation and ability of concentration, and speed of audio-visual perception as to reflect the overall level of mental fatigue. They found
that there was a statistically significant improvement in these tests in the treatment group. They didn't find any side-effect. They concluded that
Rhodiola rosea L could reduce general fatigue under certain stressful conditions. [A8] Thus, Rhodiola rosea is very likely to have benefits on
endurance and/or mental capability.

Cardiac Conditions
Rhodiola may benefit people suffered from certain types of cardiac  and glucose-level conditions.
Prophylactic administration of plant adaptogen preparations based on extracts from rhodiola, eleutherococcus, leuzea, and ginseng, produced a
pronounced antiarrhythmic effect on the model of adrenal arrhythmia in animals was reported. [A9] A course injection of Rhodiola rosea extract for
eight days was demonstrated to increase the resistance of experimental animals to adrenalin- or CaCl2-induced arrhythmias. The antiarrhythmic
effect of Rhodiola injection course was believed to be associated with the induction of opioid peptides biosynthesis. [A10]

A course of oral administration of Rhodiola rosea extract in a dose of 3.5 mg/kg prevented reperfusion decrease in contraction amplitude of the
isolated perfused rat heart. Rhodiola rosea extract also prevented the reduction of coronary flow and development of contracture in the
postischemic period. The protective effect of Rhodiola might probably be connected with increase in the level of endogenous opioid peptides. [A11]
Rhodiola capsules significantly decreased the oxygen consumption of myocardium and oxygen consumption index in anesthetic dogs, decreased
the coronary artery resistance without any major effect on the coronary artery blood flow. The capsules was also able to blood pressure and heart
rate. [A12]

The effect of course of administration of Rhodiola rosea extract on the pattern of stress-induced cardiac damage was studied.
99mTc-pyrophosphate accumulation in the heart was used as the parameter for the progress in the study.Rhodiola rosea was found to prevent
stress-induced cardiac damage and the adaptogen prevented lower adrenal catecholamines during stress. Thus, the antistressor and
cardioprotective effects of Rhodiola rosea are associated with limited adrenergic effect on the heart. [A13]