How Is Rhodiola Rosea Used to Treat Anxiety?

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

Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, rose root, or artic root, is a medicinal plant from Siberia that does well in dry and cold arctic climates.

The medicinal compounds of rhodiola rosea come from the root of the plant and have been used to help treat occasional stress, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, and depressed mood.

Rhodiola rosea has been classified by some researchers as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps to make you less prone to physical and emotional stress.

This natural medicine has been shown to stimulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine activity; the proper balance of these neurotransmitters is believed to be involved in healthy emotional and neurological functioning.

How to Take It

Rhodiola rosea is usually 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 about the proper dosage 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

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

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Article Sources
  • 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. Artic Root Monograph. Accessed December 23, 2015.
  • Khanum F, Bawa AS, Singh B. Rhodiola Rosea: A Versatile Adaptogen. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2005;4:55-62. Accessed December 23, 2015.
  • Sarris J, McIntyre E, Camfield DA. Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence. CNS Drugs 2013;27(4):301-19. doi: 10.1007/s40263-013-0059-9.