Rhodiola is an herb scientifically known as Rhodiola rosea or Sedum Rhodiola and more commonly known as golden root, rose root, and arctic root. It is a plant which is part of the Crassulaceae family and grows in the arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and Alaska.

Rhodiola is known to treat a wide variety of medical conditions and has been used for thousands of years. It is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical and environmental stress. It is used to increase energy levels, stamina, strength and mental capacity. Rhodiola is known to help with athletic performance, to improve sexual function and is most commonly used for treatment of depression, anxiety, and several cardiac disorders. Moreover, this herb is known to enhance immunity and therefore is used in the treatment of cancer, tuberculosis and diabetes. It is known to strength the nervous system as it helps in preventing colds and flus, signs of aging, and liver damage. Scientific studies have shown it to be effective in improving mood, alleviating depression and anxiety, as well as reducing fatigue.

The applicable part of the Rhodiola plant is the root which contains more than 30 compounds. The phenylpropanoid glycoside is said to be responsible for the stimulant or adaptogenic effects along with the rhodionside, rhodioloside A-E, rhodiolin, rosin, rosavin, rosarin, rosiridin, rosiridol, rhodalgin, acetylrhoalgin and lotaustalin. The tannins gallic acid, caffeic acid, cholorgenic acid and flavanoids are responsible for the antioxidant activity of this herb. Other beneficial compounds found in Rhodiola include cyanoglycoides, monoterpenes, triterpenes and phenlyethanoids.

Rhodiola is said to be a safe, and only minor side effects may include dizziness and a dry mouth. It is not known to interact with other supplements, drugs, foods, lab testing, diseases or medical conditions.  To learn more about Rhodiola and whether it will be beneficial for you, speak to your naturopathic doctor.