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Rhodiola Rosea Extract

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History of Rhodiola Rosea

Adaptogens were discovered in 1947 by the Russian scientist Dr. Nicolai Lazarev, who in fact coined the name "adaptogen". Dr. Lazarev was also the mentor of Dr. Brekhman, who conducted extensive research on adaptogenic herbs. Dr Brekhman's first major focus was the now well known Panax Ginseng, also called Korean or Chinese Ginseng. This worked, but unfortunately it has a few drawbacks that have since become evident. It sometimes has side effects such as causing constipation and over-excitement which for some people is too stimulating. Dr. Brakhman soon moved on to other herbs and became recognized as the world's leading expert on adaptogens. Since then, hundreds of experimental and clinical studies on adaptogens have been done - most of them in Russia and Germany. Most of these studies have shown the outstanding stress-protective and immune system enhancing capacities of adaptogens.

You may be familiar with the names of what are now called "first-generation" adaptogens: Panax Ginseng, American Ginseng, and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng). But in this article I want to tell you about a unique adaptogen of the "second generation", Rhodiola rosea (Russian Rhodiola), which is a powerful anti-aging phyto supplement with adaptogenic and anti-stress activity. In Russia, Rhodiola rosea also known as "Golden root", has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. But before describing this unusual herb, let's say a few words about stress itself.

Botanical Source: Rhodiola Rosea

Plant Part Used: Root

Extract Solvents: Ethanol & Water

Main Components: Rosavins, Salidroside


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General Introduction:

Rhodiola contains a number of potentially active compounds,including phenylpropanoids (rosavin, rosin, rosarin),; phenylethanol derivatives (salidroside , tyrosol); flavonoids (rodiolin, rodionin, rodiosin, acetylrodalgin, tricin); monoterpenes (rosiridol, rosaridin); triterpenes (daucosterol, beta-sitosterol); and phenolic acids (chlorogenic, hydroxycinnamic, and gallic acids). The presence of rosavin distinguishes the species R. rosea from other rhodiolas, and many products are standardized to rosavin content to ensure that they contain the proper species.
There are numerous animal and test tube studies showing that rhodiola has both a stimulating and a sedating effect on the central nervous system (depending on intake amount); enhances physical endurance; improves thyroid, thymus, and adrenal function; protects the nervous system, heart, and liver; and has antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Structure Formula:

Physiological Function:

  • Anti-fatigue action
  • Improving mental performance
  • Antioxidants
  • Scientific and Clinical Studies:

    There are numerous animal and test tube studies shwoing that rhodiola has both a timulationg and a sedating effect on the central nervous system; enhances physical endurance; improves thyroid, thymus, and adrenal function; protects the nervous system, heart andliver; and has antioxidant and anticancer properties.

    According to the result of a research concerning physicalduration, the swimming time of mice was prolonged to 135-159% after intake of Rhodiola. Based on another research, intake of standardized Rhodiola Extract improve the physical condition, neuro-sports ability, mental condition and overall healthy sense of the students. The targets under treatment also felt improvement from tireness, insomnia, emothion instability and lack of original motives.


    Rhodiola has a more stimulating effect at lower amounts, and a more sedating effect at higher amounts. In medical treatment, the usual amounts take are 200 t0 600 mg pe day of a standardized extract to at least 3% rosavins and 0.8 to 1% salidroside. Rhodiola Extract is usually taken before meal. No side effects or interaction have been reported.

    Pharmacological activity - quality matters!

    There are products on the market that contain Rhodiola rosea. But unfortunately these products often have only limited or even no biological activity at all. Common reasons for these deficiencies are bad harvesting during the wrong season, harvesting from a climatic rigion not suitable for the plant or from a bad geographic area, harvesting wear species of the plant, also overdrying, or using an inferior extraction method. The manufacturing process also is a key factor in the preparation of a high quality adaptogenic extract, as is the selection of high quality raw materials using proper assay methods. The main active components of true Rhodiola rosea that are responsible for the extraordinary potency of Rhodiola rosea are cinnamol alcohol glycosides, especially ROSAVIN - cinnamyl-O-(6-O-L-arabinopyranosyl-D-glucopyranosid) and SALIDROSIDE . Quality Rhodiola rosea extract should contain at least 3% rosavins and 1% or less salidroside.

    Rhodiola rosea and immunity:

    Rhodiola rosea stimulates the immune system in two ways: FIRST - by specific direct stimulation of immune defence (stimulates one of the most important type of immune cells - Natural Killer Cells, NK-Cells seek and destroy the infected cells on our bodies). Rhodiola rosea normalises the immune system by improving T-cell immunity (7) Rhodiola has been shown to increase the body's resistance to toxins that may accumulate during infection development. SECOND - by making a person less susceptible to stress. Scientists found out that stress suppresses immunity and destroys our resistance to various forms of bacterial or virus attack. Due to the natural killer cell's effect on tumours Rhodiola rosea may enhance B cell immunity by preventing the suppression of B cell immunity, which can occur during stress. Being under stress, a great portion of the body's energy is expended for nothing. When we are chronically exposed to stress that continually robs energy from other systems. The general effect is a lowered immune response and decreased health.


    Rhodiola rosea : A Possible Plant Adaptogen (Gregory S. Kelly, ND) -------For detail, please click here!!


    Rhodiola rosea is a popular plant in traditional medical systems in Eastern Europe and Asia with a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression, enhancing work performance, eliminating fatigue, and preventing high altitude sickness. Rhodiola rosea has been categorized as an adaptogen by Russian researchers due to its observed ability to increase resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. Its claimed benefits include antidepressant, anticancer, cardioprotective, and central nervous system enhancement. Research also indicates great utility in asthenic conditions (decline in work performance, sleep difficulties, poor appetite, irritability, hypertension, headaches, and fatigue) developing subsequent to intense physical or intellectual strain. The adaptogenic, cardiopulmonary protective, and central nervous system activities of Rhodiola rosea have been attributed primarily to its ability to influence levels and activity of monoamines and opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins. (Altern Med Rev 2001;6(3):293-302)