Rhodiola Rosea (5% Rosavins)
Rhodiola Rosea has been used in Russia traditional medicine for
centuries. Found in the polar regions of eastern Siberia, it has been used to
cope with the cold Siberian weather and stressful life. Known for its
adaptogenic activity, Rhodiola Rosea can help our bodies adapt to stress*. It
leads to an increase in the amount of basic b-endorphin in the blood plasma
which inhibits the hormonal changes indicative of stress. Rhodiola Rosea has
rejuvenative properties due to its ability to raise the efficiency of the
intracellular DNA repair mechanisms*. Although many other species of Rhodiola
exist, the majority of the research has been done on the Rhodiola Rosea species.
The main chemical compounds of Rhodiola Rosea that have been isolated and
studied in Rhodiola Rosea are Rosarin, Rosavin, Rosin and Salidroside. The most
important of all these are Rosavin and Salidroside.
NutraceuticsRx offers Siberian Rhodiola Rosea Extract manufactured according
to the original Russian Pharmacopoeia. A majority of the studies (pharmacology,
toxicology, and clinical trials) were done using product manufactured according
to the original Russian Pharmacopeia.
NutraceuticsRx uses only the absolute highest quality Siberian Rhodiola Rosea raw materials available,
manufactured by Polifenoles Naturales (Polinat S.A.). Polifenoles Naturales
("POLINAT") of the Canary Islands, Spain, was headed by the recently deceased
Dr. Zakir Ramazanov, a well-respected pioneer, scientist and leader in the
Dr. Ramazanov first encountered Rhodiola rosea in 1979 as a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan.
Dr. Ramazanov is the person that introduced Siberian Rhodiola
rosea to the North American marketplace, supporting this valuable dietary
supplement with his characteristically strong scientific documentation and
publications. Learning and informing ourselves about these Russian discoveries
on adaptogens couldn’t have been made possible without the outstanding help and
knowledge of Dr. Zakir Ramazanov. Dr. Ramazanov was one of the main scientists
that took part in the secret Russian studies on adaptogens. Through Dr.
Ramazanov we have been able to learn about the qualities of these incredible
natural substances, adaptogens.
NutraceuticsRx Rhodiola Rosea Research & Information:
Rhodiola rosea, also known as "golden root" or "roseroot"
belongs to the plant family Crassulaceae.1 R. rosea
grows primarily in dry sandy ground at high altitudes in the arctic areas of
Europe and Asia.2 The plant reaches a
height of 12 to 30 inches (70cm) and produces yellow blossoms. It is a perennial
with a thick rhizome, fragrant when cut. The Greek physician, Dioscorides, first
recorded medicinal applications of rodia riza in 77 C.E. in De Materia Medica.3
Linnaeus renamed it Rhodiola rosea referring to the rose-like attar (fragrance) of the fresh cut rootstock.4
For centuries, R. rosea has been used in the traditional medicine of Russia, Scandinavia, and other countries. Between
1748 and 1961 various medicinal applications of R. rosea appeared in the
scientific literature of Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, and
Iceland.2,4-12 Since 1961, more than 180 pharmacological, phytochemical and clinical studies have been
published. Although R. rosea has been extensively
studied as an adaptogen with various health-promoting effects, its properties
remain largely unknown in the West. In part this may be due to the fact that the
bulk of research has been published in Slavic and Scandinavian languages. This
review provides an introduction to some of the traditional uses of R. rosea,
its phytochemistry, scientific studies exploring its diverse physiological
effects, and its current and future medical applications.
NutraceuticsRx Rhodiola rosea in Traditional Medicine
Traditional folk medicine used R. rosea to increase physical endurance, work productivity,
longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue,
depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and
nervous system disorders. In mountain villages of the Republic of Georgia, a
bouquet of roots is still given to couples prior to marriage to enhance
fertility and assure the birth of healthy children.2
In Middle Asia, R. rosea tea was the most effective treatment for
cold and flu during severe Asian winters. Mongolian doctors prescribed it for
tuberculosis and cancer.13 For centuries, only family members knew where to harvest the wild "golden
roots" and the methods of extraction.2 Siberians secretly transported the herb down ancient trails to the
Caucasian Mountains where it was traded for Georgian wines, fruits, garlic, and
honey. Chinese emperors sent expeditions to Siberia to bring back the "golden
root" for medicinal preparations.
Linnaeus wrote of R. rosea as an astringent and for the treatment of
hernia, leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge), hysteria, and headache.4,7
In 1755 R. rosea was included in the first Swedish Pharmacopoeia.
Vikings used the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance.14
German researchers described the benefits of R. rosea for pain,
headache, scurvy, hemorrhoids, as a stimulant, and as an anti-inflammatory.15,16
In 1961, G.V. Krylov, a Russian botanist and taxonomist in the Department
of Botany at the Novosibirsk Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, led an
expedition to the cedar taiga in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia where
he located and identified the "golden root" as Rhodiola rosea.17 Extracts of the R. rosea root were found to contain powerful
adaptogens. Research revealed that it protected animals and humans from mental
and physical stress, toxins, and cold.2,17
The quest for new medicines to treat diseases such as cancer and
radiation sickness, and to enhance physical and mental performance, led to the
discovery of a group of phenylpropanoids that are specific to R. rosea.
(See Phytochemistry section below.)
Phytochemistry of Rhodiola rosea
The investigation of the phytochemistry of R. rosea root has
revealed the presence of six distinct groups of chemical compounds:
- Phenylpropanoids: rosavin, rosin, rosarin (specific to R. rosea);
- Phenylethanol derivatives: salidroside (rhodioloside), tyrosol;
- Flavanoids: rodiolin, rodionin, rodiosin, acetylrodalgin, tricin;
- Monoterpernes: rosiridol, rosaridin;
- Triterpenes: daucosterol, beta-sitosterol;
- Phenolic acids: chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic, gallic acids.
The standardization of R. rosea root
extracts has gone through two distinct phases. Initially, in the 1970s, the
compound responsible for its unique pharmacological properties was believed to
be salidroside (rhodioloside).2,23,24,26,27 Therefore, the
first generation of R. rosea tincture/extracts approved by the Russian
Pharmacopoeia Committee was standardized to a minimum of 0.8 percent salidroside
In late 1980s, demand for R. rosea-based
phytomedicines dramatically increased. The wild-crafted raw material was
over-harvested, resulting in a steady decline in the quality and effectiveness
of "Rhodiola" preparations. Scientific investigation revealed that other species of genus
(which also contained salidroside) were being substituted for R. rosea. While
some of these mixed batches were highly variable in quality, others had no
pharmacological effect. Logically, the suspicion arose that the salidroside
standard was inadequate. Based on comparative analysis, the obvious hypothesis
was that the original high potency product contained other active compounds
specific to R. rosea that had not yet been identified.
NutraceuticsRx Rhodiola rosea in Modern Medicine
Since 1969, R. rosea has
been included in official Russian medicine. The Pharmacological and
Pharmacopoeia Committee of the Soviet Ministry of Health recommended medicinal
use and industrial production of liquid R. rosea extract.
In 1975, the Soviet Ministry of Health approved and registered preparation No.
75/933/14 as a medicine and tonic, allowing large-scale production under the
name Rhodiola Extract Liquid, an alcohol-based extract (40 percent ethyl
alcohol). Medical and pharmacological texts describe its use as a stimulant for
asthenia (fatigue), for somatic and infectious illnesses, in psychiatric and
neurological conditions, and in healthy individuals to relieve fatigue and to
increase attention span, memory, and work productivity. The common dose is 5–10
drops 2–3 times a day, 15–30 minutes before eating for a period of 10–20 days.
In psychiatric disorders with fatigue, a starting dose of 10 drops 2–3 times a
day is gradually increased up to 30–40 drops for 1–2 months.
In Sweden R. rosea was recognized as an Herbal Medicinal Product in 1985 and has been described as an
antifatigue agent in the Textbook of Phytomedicine for Pharmacists.9
In the textbook of pharmacology for dispenser training in Sweden, R. rosea is
mentioned as a plant with a stimulant action. Also the Pharmaceutical Book
(Läkemedelsboken 97/98) mentions R. rosea as one of
the most commonly used psychostimulants in the group of officially registered
herbal medicinal products.11
In Denmark, R. rosea is
registered as a medical product in the category of botanical drugs. Registered
preparations are extensively used in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries to
increase mental work capacity during stress, as a psychostimulant, and as a
Side Effects and Contraindications:
rosea has very few side effects. Most users find that it improves their
mood, energy level, and mental clarity. Some individuals, particularly those who
tend to be anxious, may feel overly activated, jittery, or agitated. If this
occurs, then a smaller dose with very gradual increases may be needed. R.
rosea should be taken early in the day because it can interfere with sleep
or cause vivid dreams (not nightmares) during the first few weeks. It is
contraindicated in excited states. Because R. rosea has an activating
antidepressant effect, it should not be used in individuals with bipolar
disorder who are vulnerable to becoming manic when given antidepressants or
stimulants. Until this has been further studied, the authors advise
caution in patients with bipolar spectrum disorders. The herb does not appear to
interact with other medications, though it may have additive effects with other
stimulants. It is best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach 30 minutes before
breakfast and lunch. As with any herbal preparation, patients should inform
their primary healthcare practitioner when taking R. rosea.
Complete NutraceuticsRx Rhodiola Rosea Monograph & References List
NutraceuticsRx Siberian Rhodiola Rosea (5% Rosavins) Certificate Of Analysis .PDF