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You have heard about rose root and its energy-giving effect, which is supposed to help with mental and physical loss of strength, but you are not yet convinced of its effectiveness? If you would like to learn more about Rhodiola rosea, then you have come to the right place. We have summarised all the scientific correlations and the most important purchase criteria for you. Find out all the essential information about the Rhodiola rosea plant in our big rose root test 2021 and learn everything about its healing active ingredients for the right choice of your rose root product.




First of all, the most important things

  • Rose root is an arctic plant with dense, yellowish-red inflorescences and fleshy leaves. Its orange tuber, from which the Rhodiola Rosea extract is obtained, grows underground and gives off a rose-like scent when cut.
  • Rhodiola rosea extracts are used for stress-related mental and physical exhaustion, depression and to stabilise the nervous system. There are many other areas of application for rose root, but research is currently mainly focused on stress disorders.
  • The plant acts as an adaptogen. It supports the immune system, reduces inflammation and increases energy levels and stress tolerance.

Best Roseroot: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for rose root products

When buying rose root, you should pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By taking a critical look at the different aspects, you can take care of your body and make sure you don't give it anything it doesn't need. This in turn can save you a lot of money. Nevertheless, always make sure that the product is of high quality and certified accordingly.

Origin and quality

Rhodiola rosea, also called rose root or "golden" root, originates from the Nordic regions. It feels at home in cooler or even arctic regions. You will find Rhodiola Rosea near sea cliffs on rocky ground and recognise it by its fleshy blue-green leaves. This makes it a member of the family of the thick-leaved plants. The plant is particularly well known in the folk medicine of Scandinavia and Russia. The product range is large and pesticide-free processing is not always guaranteed for all preparations.

Therefore, make sure that your rose root product comes from a certified cultivation.

This will not only ensure sustainable product quality, but also long-term quality.

Processing

Rose root is mainly used in folk medicine and processed into medicines, extracts or tinctures. The active ingredients are extracted from the root. A very special method is spagyric. In this traditional natural healing method, the active ingredients are dissolved from the plant, separated and recombined. Rhodiola rosea is also used as a foodstuff. Its use as a spice or tea is particularly popular in its home countries. The rose root stem can be eaten raw or cooked. However, the tuber is usually mixed with other vegetables, as it has a slightly bitter taste. For rose root tea, the root pieces are cut into small pieces and boiled with a little water.

Ingredients

The rose root products on offer primarily contain extracts from the root of the rhodiola rosea plant. This contains a number of antioxidant compounds and organic acids. The amount of extract, often only a few milligrams, can vary in the product. In terms of content, two relevant ingredients can be listed:

  1. Salidroside
  2. Rosavine (Rosavin, Rosin, Rosarin)

Salidroside and rosavin in particular stand out here, as they are crucial for the effective action of the preparation. These ingredients can help the body to protect itself from free radicals and can cause an improvement in mental and physical performance during stress.

The dosage of the ingredients can be an excellent quality feature.

The products often have a mixing ratio of 3:1. Depending on the quality and origin of the plant, the quantity ratio can vary. A high dosage of ingredients can therefore also be an indicator of good quality. Other ingredients are essential oils and flavonoids.

Dosage

Rhodiola rosea products are of varying quality and contain varying amounts of rose root extract. If the intended effect is also taken into account, the dosage recommendations can differ greatly. The decisive factor is the concentration of the extract and the amount of the substances salidroside and rosavin. These determine the degree of effect. Dosages for Rhodiola Rosea:

Dosage Features
1% Rosavin: For extracts with only 1% Rosavin, dosages of 400 mg to 1000 mg daily have become established.
2% Rosavin: For extracts with 2% Rosavin, dosages of 200 mg to 500 mg daily are recommended.
3% Rosavin: For extracts with 3% Rosavin, dosages of 150 mg to 400 mg daily are recommended.
5% Rosavin: For extracts containing 5% Rosavin, dosages of about 100 mg to 300 mg daily are recommended.

The values mentioned are approximate values derived from experience. If the active substance is well tolerated or if the body weight is above average, the dosage can be adjusted accordingly.

Administration

Rose root can be taken in different ways, we have already shown you our favourites in our product test. We will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the different types below:

  • Tablets: Probably the most typical use for taking supplements are tablets. They have the advantage that they are quick, easy, precise and uncomplicated to take.
  • Capsules: Capsules are taken in the same way as tablets, but the protective shell of the capsule has the advantage that, on the one hand, external conditions such as light can be warded off and, on the other hand, they are odourless.
  • Powder: Taking rose root powder is rather untypical, but the powder has the advantage that it is absorbed more quickly and the dosage can be made more flexible.
  • Tea, tinctures and extracts: Rose root can also be taken in liquid form. These are dripped directly under the tongue or taken with a little water.

Even though some presentations are more widespread than others, the wide range of rose root products allows you to choose your preferred form.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about rose root answered in detail

We have summarised the current state of science so that you are fully informed about the effectiveness and use of rose root. The most important information is divided into individual sections and described in detail below.

What is rose root and how does it work?

Rose root is a plant that grows on sea cliffs in arctic cool climates. The natural stocks are very rare, which is why collecting it has been banned in some countries. The plant is deciduous with fleshy, thick and toothed leaves. Its flower is small, many-petalled and yellowish-red. The rose root gives off a rose-like scent when its underground orange tuber is cut, hence its name (1).

Rosenwurz

The rose root has a beautiful flowering blossom, but it is the underground tuber that gives off a rose-like scent that is used. (Image source: Walter Sturn / Unsplash)

Rose root is considered an adaptogenic medicinal plant. This means that its ingredients can influence certain physiological reactions and thus make the human organism more resistant. Among other things, it can influence the release of cortisol, the stress hormone (2). Furthermore, rose root is said to have antioxidant effects, which can lead to improved mental and physical performance. This is why rose root is often used in traditional medicine for the following illnesses (2):

Application Effect
Neurological diseases Typical neurological diseases are Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's or multiple sclerosis, in which chronic inflammation can cause neurological impairments. The component salidroside in particular is likely to have a neuroprotective effect. Rose root could thus be used to reduce inflammation levels or to inhibit oxidative stress (6). Accumulative studies have shown that rose root extract may have an active therapeutic effect on neurological damage. Nevertheless, some factors are uncertain, such as the effective dosage range of Rhodiola rosea to be confirmed (1).
Cardiovascular disease Rose root may also exert its effect on coronary heart disease or cerebral infarction. Intravenous application can provide inhibition of excessive inflammatory reactions and thus improve the microenvironment (1). Some clinical studies have already demonstrated positive effects of rose root on cardiovascular diseases. A significant improvement of cardiac function in myocardial infarction has already been scientifically confirmed (7). Nevertheless, there are still gaps in the research.
Diabetes Nowadays, diabetes is a worldwide problem where it is necessary to stabilise the insulin level. Rose root can help here by supporting the body's own defence system. The ingredient salidroside can, among other things, cause inhibition of various genes and thus achieve anti-inflammatory effects, and thus improve oral glucose tolerance (8). In addition, scientists have tested the effect of rose root on diabetic complications, and found therapeutic effects on complications such as neuropathic pain and osteoporosis. This study was tested on diabetic rats (1).
Depression Since rose root can relieve fatigue and lack of energy, studies also hope to find an effect on depression. It seems that in addition to reducing fatigue, rose root can also help improve well-being (9). So far, an effect of rose root on depression has not been clearly proven. However, this is also due to the fact that rose root has so far only been used in very small groups of test persons and thus cannot be generalised. Rose root, as a natural remedy, has clearly not yet moved into the focus of science (10).

When taking rose root, you may experience a reduction in fatigue or show an increased resistance to stress. This means that rose root can have a positive effect on your central nervous system (3, 4, 5).

When and for whom is it useful to take rose root?

Due to its assumed effect of increasing mental concentration, rose root is aimed at people who suffer from stress symptoms such as weakness or exhaustion. Rose root should only be taken by adults, and it is not recommended to take it during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The body can best absorb the active ingredients of the rose root product on an empty stomach in the morning.

In addition, the extracts can have a stimulating effect, which may be unwanted in the evening. In low to normal doses, rose root can be taken for short or medium periods.

Rosenwurz

Unlike many other supplements, rose root should not be taken in the evening. After all, rose root makes you feel more awake. (Image source: Alexandra Gorn / Unsplash)

There is not scientific evidence for all of its uses. The classic complaints that are treated with rose root in naturopathy or folk medicine are as follows (11):

  • stress-related mental or physical exhaustion
  • Stress
  • Stabilisation of the nervous system
  • mild depression and anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Chronic fatigue

In general, self-treatment is not recommended. Stress symptoms that occur should be clarified by a doctor and a possible treatment discussed.

What types of rose root are there?

Rose root is an active substance that is usually consumed in an already processed form. Therefore, it is more a question of the dosage form of the preparations. Basically, the products can be distinguished in liquid and solid form.

Type Description
Rose root in liquid form The liquid version of rose root can be taken in the form of teas, tinctures, extracts or drops.
Rose root in solid form solid alternatives are, for example, capsules or tablets that are simply swallowed and have no taste of their own. Rose root can also be purchased as a powder.

We have explained in more detail below which variant has which advantages and disadvantages for you.

Rose root tea, tincture, extracts or drops

There are various recipes for taking rose root in liquid form. Rose root drops are usually tasteless and are dropped directly under the tongue. However, to improve the taste of the drops, you can dilute them with water.

Advantages
  • good alternative for swallowing difficulties
  • tea has a high enjoyment factor
  • can be mixed in
Disadvantages
  • unpleasant taste
  • contains alcohol
  • dosage difficult with tea

Rose root capsules, tablets, powder

The use of rose root capsules or tablets is widespread. Here, an intake of 1-2 tablets per day is usually recommended.

Advantages
  • large selection
  • easy to take
  • exact dosage
  • in powder form very pure and natural
Disadvantages
  • not always tasteless
  • nothing for swallowing difficulties
  • dosing difficult with powder
  • powder has special taste

Whether in liquid or solid form, each product has advantages and disadvantages. It is important to pay attention to the ingredients and the correct intake.

How long can rose root be taken?

Rose root can be taken for a longer period of time, but it makes sense to consult your doctor. Human studies have examined daily doses of 100 to 1,800 mg and have not been able to derive any risk potential (11). Others claim that a daily dose of up to 555 mg is safe (5). Nevertheless, the amount of the recommended daily dose of rose root extract should not be exceeded (11). Since rose root needs time to develop its effects, it is usually taken for several months or at least weeks. The first results can be seen in some people after only one or two weeks (12).

What are the side effects of rose root?

Side effects are hardly known and have not yet been clearly identified. However, due to the standardisation of the root's ingredients, the following side effects can be concluded (1, 11, 12):

  • activating - difficult to fall asleep and irritability
  • may increase other substances (caffeine or other medicines)
  • occasional increase in heart rate
  • Hypersensitivity reaction
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness

Caution should be exercised when taking it at the same time as other herbal substances. Especially the effect of related plant substances such as ginseng, St. John's wort and Griffonia could be intensified by rose root and produce an interaction (13).

What alternatives are there to rose root?

There are many pharmaceutical alternatives. However, if you prefer to use herbal alternatives for restlessness or anxiety, calming medicines such as valerian, hops or lemon balm are recommended.

Rosenwurz

Lavender is said to have a calming and also stimulating effect - a paradox of its essential oil. (Image source: Vero Photoart / Unsplash)

If you are looking for an alternative that gives you more energy and makes you more efficient, plants like ginkgo and ashwagandha are a possible option. We have listed some alternatives below that are worth considering.

For calming

Valerian, hops or lemon balm are said to have a calming and sleep-promoting effect. When taken, it increases the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is important for the central nervous system, and reduces its reuptake. This in turn can lead to relaxation (14).

For anxiety and depressive moods

A good alternative to rose root is lavender. The natural extract of lavender, usually as lavender oil, can be used for states of restlessness and anxious mood. As long as the supplement is not overdosed, it is considered well-tolerated and is said to be able to provide long-term therapy. However, it can also take a few days for the full effect to set in. Inner restlessness can cause accompanying depressive symptoms, for which St. John's wort is often used as a herbal remedy. However, self-treatment should only be used for mild depression (15).

For mental exhaustion

In homeopathy, Kalium phosphoricum is used as the classic nerve remedy. It is said to be effective against mental exhaustion and overwork. If fatigue and lack of concentration are the main symptoms, then Acidum phosphoricum is given. This is said to counteract listlessness (16).

To increase energy

Ginkgo - Ginkgo Bilobe is also called "living fossil". The ginkgo plant is one of the oldest existing tree species and is native to China. The extract of the ginkgo plant supports blood circulation in the brain and can thus increase mental performance and promote cognitive functions (17). Ashwagandha - This plant is also called sleeping berry or winter cherry and comes from Ayurvedic teachings. Like rose root, it is an adaptogen. It is said to have an energy-increasing effect that has positive effects on anxiety and neurological diseases (11).

References (17)

1. Pu, W., Zhang, M., Bai, R., Sun, L., Li, W., Yu, Y., … Li, T. (2020). Anti-inflammatory effects of Rhodiola rosea L.: A review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 121, 109552. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109552
Source

2. Anghelescu IG, Edwards D, Seifritz E, Kasper S. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;22(4):242-252. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1417442. Epub 2018 Jan 11. PMID: 29325481.
Source

3. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80055-0. PMID: 11081987.
Source

4. European Medicines Agency (HMPC): EMA/HMPC/289537/2012 - Pflanzliche Stoffe und Zubereitungen: Zusammenfassung für die Öffentlichkeit: Rosenwurzwurzelstock. (06 2014)
Source

5. Kelly GS. Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Jun;6(3):293-302. PMID: 11410073.
Source

6. Nabavi SF, Braidy N, Orhan IE, Badiee A, Daglia M, Nabavi SM. Rhodiola rosea L. and Alzheimer's Disease: From Farm to Pharmacy. Phytother Res. 2016 Apr;30(4):532-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5569. Epub 2016 Jan 11. PMID: 27059687.
Source

7. Zhu, L., Wei, T., Gao, J. et al. The cardioprotective effect of salidroside against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury in rats by inhibiting apoptosis and inflammation. Apoptosis 20, 1433–1443 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10495-015-1174-5
Source

8. Mao, Y. (2017). Hypoglycemic and hypolipidaemic activities of polysaccharides from Rhodiola rosea in KKAy mice. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, 41(6), e13219. doi:10.1111/jfpp.13219
Source

9. Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmström C, Panossian A. Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(5):343-8. doi: 10.1080/08039480701643290. Erratum in: Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(6):503. PMID: 17990195.
Source

10. Mao JJ, Xie SX, Zee J, Soeller I, Li QS, Rockwell K, Amsterdam JD. Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PMID: 25837277; PMCID: PMC4385215.
Source

11. S. Klenow, K.P. Latté, U. Wegewitz, B. Dusemund, A. Pöting, K.E. Appel, R. Großklaus, R. Schumann, A. Lampen. Risikobewertung von Pflanzen und pflanzlichen Zubereitungen. 2012. 41-57
Source

12. Rhodiola rosea. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Oct;7(5):421-3. PMID: 12410627.
Source

13. Panossian, A. (2017). Understanding adaptogenic activity: specificity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1401(1), 49–64. doi:10.1111/nyas.13399
Source

14. Jarema M. Herbal drug treatment. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Nov;29 Suppl 1:93-104. PMID: 19029875.
Source

15. Final assessment report on Lavandula angustifolia Miller, aetheroleum and Lavandula angustifolia Miller, flos. EMA/HMPC/143183/2010. 27.03.2012
Source

16. Dean, M. E., Karsandas, R., Bland, J. M., Gooch, D., & MacPherson, H. (2012). Homeopathy for mental fatigue: lessons from a randomized, triple blind, placebo-controlled cross-over clinical trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-167
Source

17. Tarun Belwal, Lalit Giri, Amit Bahukhandi, Mohd. Tariq, Pushpa Kewlani, Indra D. Bhatt and Ranbeer S. Rawal. Ginkgo biloba. Elsevier Inc. 2018 Nov. 241-248
Source

Why you can trust me?

A scientific review
Pu, W., Zhang, M., Bai, R., Sun, L., Li, W., Yu, Y., … Li, T. (2020). Anti-inflammatory effects of Rhodiola rosea L.: A review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 121, 109552. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109552
Go to source
A scientific review
Anghelescu IG, Edwards D, Seifritz E, Kasper S. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;22(4):242-252. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1417442. Epub 2018 Jan 11. PMID: 29325481.
Go to source
Clinical trial
Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, Gabrielian E, Wikman G, Wagner H. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80055-0. PMID: 11081987.
Go to source
Assessment Report
European Medicines Agency (HMPC): EMA/HMPC/289537/2012 - Pflanzliche Stoffe und Zubereitungen: Zusammenfassung für die Öffentlichkeit: Rosenwurzwurzelstock. (06 2014)
Go to source
A scientific review
Kelly GS. Rhodiola rosea: a possible plant adaptogen. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Jun;6(3):293-302. PMID: 11410073.
Go to source
A scientific review
Nabavi SF, Braidy N, Orhan IE, Badiee A, Daglia M, Nabavi SM. Rhodiola rosea L. and Alzheimer's Disease: From Farm to Pharmacy. Phytother Res. 2016 Apr;30(4):532-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5569. Epub 2016 Jan 11. PMID: 27059687.
Go to source
A scientific Paper
Zhu, L., Wei, T., Gao, J. et al. The cardioprotective effect of salidroside against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury in rats by inhibiting apoptosis and inflammation. Apoptosis 20, 1433–1443 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10495-015-1174-5
Go to source
Scientific Journal
Mao, Y. (2017). Hypoglycemic and hypolipidaemic activities of polysaccharides from Rhodiola rosea in KKAy mice. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, 41(6), e13219. doi:10.1111/jfpp.13219
Go to source
A Clinical Trial
Darbinyan V, Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Malmström C, Panossian A. Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(5):343-8. doi: 10.1080/08039480701643290. Erratum in: Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(6):503. PMID: 17990195.
Go to source
A Clinical Trial
Mao JJ, Xie SX, Zee J, Soeller I, Li QS, Rockwell K, Amsterdam JD. Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PMID: 25837277; PMCID: PMC4385215.
Go to source
Assessment
S. Klenow, K.P. Latté, U. Wegewitz, B. Dusemund, A. Pöting, K.E. Appel, R. Großklaus, R. Schumann, A. Lampen. Risikobewertung von Pflanzen und pflanzlichen Zubereitungen. 2012. 41-57
Go to source
An Alternative Medical Review
Rhodiola rosea. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Oct;7(5):421-3. PMID: 12410627.
Go to source
A Scientific Review
Panossian, A. (2017). Understanding adaptogenic activity: specificity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1401(1), 49–64. doi:10.1111/nyas.13399
Go to source
A Scientific Review
Jarema M. Herbal drug treatment. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Nov;29 Suppl 1:93-104. PMID: 19029875.
Go to source
Assessment Report
Final assessment report on Lavandula angustifolia Miller, aetheroleum and Lavandula angustifolia Miller, flos. EMA/HMPC/143183/2010. 27.03.2012
Go to source
Scientific Article
Dean, M. E., Karsandas, R., Bland, J. M., Gooch, D., & MacPherson, H. (2012). Homeopathy for mental fatigue: lessons from a randomized, triple blind, placebo-controlled cross-over clinical trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-167
Go to source
Scientific Journal
Tarun Belwal, Lalit Giri, Amit Bahukhandi, Mohd. Tariq, Pushpa Kewlani, Indra D. Bhatt and Ranbeer S. Rawal. Ginkgo biloba. Elsevier Inc. 2018 Nov. 241-248
Go to source
Reviews