Intro - Get attention, Show authenticity, Be honest
What the world knows about Rhodiola - current state of research, how it’s being used
Ancient knowledge and modern history of Rhodiola
Types of Rhodiola - there are hundreds
How Rhodiola works - in simple terms as well as more detailed perspective on the systems being affected by Rhodiola
Ways to use - dosage, capsules vs tinctures, daily vs occasionally, restrictions if any
Future of Rhodiola - our own perspective on the beauty of Adaptogens (refer to guide) and on the Rhodiola magic
Flow Origin Rhodiola - describe our product (journey?), link to the Journey post on our website.
More thoughts about holistic approach to our health and life - invite reader to be a part of our growing family
Extra: Clinical Case Studies
Rhodiola is an extraordinary medicinal plant. It was one of the plants considered a “military secret” by the Russians during the Soviet regime. This plant’s qualities have been the object of extensive studies.
How do I start?
story - my story
story - soviet research story (brekhman etc)
story - vedic, ancient, chiniese
describe the potency of Rhodiola metaphorically - like in the adaptogen guide
describe Rhodiola as a root, where it grows, what it does to a human body
Intro from [Ramazanov’s report]
Did you know?
How it’s being used today and why we don’t hear much about it
Before looking at the exciting history let’s look at the current state of research
Geographical Distribution and Taxonomy
Ancient - Vedic, myths, asia - rituals, beliefs, names
Modern - soviet competition/military research, leaking to us, modern day research studies all over the world
Phytochemistry, or ingridients, of Rhodiola
Types, potency, names
Processes in the body
Reflection of the processes in the body onto us - how do we define the difference in our mood due to Rhodiola effect
Intro to Effects
Pharmacological and Clinical Studies
Effects upon the Central Nervous System
Effects on Physical Work Capacity
Adaptogenic, Anti-Stress, and Neuroendocrine Effects
Endocrine and Reproductive Effects
Antioxidant and Anti-carcinogenic Effects
Toxicity, Side Effects and Contraindications
Ways to use - capsules vs tinctures
Dosage and restrictions in dosage
Daily or occasionally?
Future [from Ramazanov’s report]
Future of Rhodiola - if it’s not going to be suppressed by big pharma then we will see the rise and I invite you to ride the wave
Bigger perspective in terms of adaptogenic family - and link to the guide after
Flow Origin Rhodiola
production and harvesting?
link to post
Invite reader to be a part of our growing family - holistic approach to life, to present moment, to the now, by shifting our perception which are based on the rigid beliefs we’re not revisting.
Start from health and if you are reading this you prbably do.
I invite you to read this eBook I wrote on that.
HerbalGram. 2002; 56:48 American Botanical Council
Clinical Case Studies
The following cases are representative examples of the many clinical situations in which Rhodiola roseamay be beneficial. Although the presentation of individual cases does not carry the weight of double-blind placebo-controlled trials, the authors hope that these samples from their larger case series may help to generate interest and funding for future controlled clinical trials to explore the medical applications of this multipotent medicinal herb. Note that in some cases the patients served as their own controls by discontinuing R. rosea, relapsing, and then improving upon resumption of treatment.
Ms. W., a 45-year-old writer, never quite finished her doctoral thesis. A “block” prevented her from completing any manuscripts for publication. Seven years of psychotherapy did not alleviate the problem. After “drifting” for years and being terrified of taking any more prescription antidepressants, she tried 100 mg extract of R. rosea (Rosavinª, a preparation standardized to 1 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin, Ameriden International, Fallbrook, CA) twice a day. Although she had not considered herself to be depressed (and did not meet criteria for dysthymic disorder), within 6 weeks she experienced a new sense of enthusiasm and increased productivity. She became able to complete writing projects and to feel happy with herself. She was well for over two years on R. rosea. However, feeling recovered and happily married, she decided on her own to stop the herbal medicine and gradually relapsed over 6 months. Upon resuming the R. rosea, she again improved with full recovery.
Ms. P., a 50-year-old computer analyst, complained of constant fatigue, dragging herself out of bed every morning, and dreading encounters at work. Because she was highly sensitive to side effects of any psychotropic medication, she began with one pinch (equivalent to about 50 mg) of R. rosea extract (Rosavinª) in her morning tea. Within a few days her fatigue was gone. She had the energy and confidence to deal more effectively with the inevitable conflicts at work.
Ms. B., a 45-year-old mental health professional, had refractory depression and fibromyalgia for 5 years. Her symptoms were completely unresponsive to multiple trials of psychotropic medication. She had a partial response to the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft¨, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRI), but this was not adequate for her to do more than carry out her daily job. The addition of 600 mg/day R. rosea extract (Rosavinª) enabled her to return to normal enjoyment and full productivity in life. It took about 2 months to see these effects. After 6 months, the patient began to doubt that she needed the R. rosea and discontinued it on her own, only to relapse over the next 3 weeks. Upon reinstitution of the R. rosea, she returned to full remission and remains well 2 years later on sertraline and R. rosea.
Mr. S., a 74-year-old man, had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 10 years. Despite conventional treatment with pramipexole (Mirapex¨), levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet¨), donepezil (Aricept¨), and rivastigmine (Exelon¨) for motoric and cognitive deficits, he was functioning poorly. He spent most of the day sitting in a chair, rarely speaking or initiating any activities. His wife, a practicing neurologist, carefully observed his clinical status and reported that within one week of starting 300 mg R. rosea extract (Rosavinª) twice daily he began to recover with marked progressive improvements in his abilities to think, speak, read, and initiate independent activities. Because of some residual cognitive impairment, galanthus (Galanthus spp., Amaryllidaceae) an herbal extract (customized formula by Ameriden International containing 100 mg R. rosea, 200 mg galanthus, and 50 mg plant cell-derived vitamin C) was added with consequent additional improvement.
Ms. A., an athletic 62-year-old Oriental woman, was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma of one breast. She began chemotherapy but suffered extreme fatigue and suppression of her white and red blood cell counts to the point where, despite conventional treatment adjuvants, the chemotherapy regimen had to be repeatedly interrupted. A trial of 150 mg R. rosea extract (Rosavinª) twice daily restored her energy and completely normalized her white and red blood cell counts, allowing completion of chemotherapy. Four months after mastectomy and chemotherapy, Ms. A. resumed her usual rigorous martial arts practice.
This plant grows at altitudes between 11,000 to 18,000 feet above sea level. Its yellow flowers smell similar to roses and that’s where it gets its name “rosea”. It is a type of plant that grows in inhospitable places (where living isn’t very easy), and perhaps that is why it developed natural compounds having qualities that increase cellular energy and that make it possible to survive.
Chiniese emperors organized special expeditions to Siberia to bring “Golden Root”. The Chinese considered rhodiola a source of well-being and enhanced sexual performance
The Vikings depended on the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance
In Siberia to this day, it is said that people who drink Rhodiola rosea tea will live to be more than 100. The herb still is given to newlyweds to assure fertility and the birth of healthy children. For centuries the details of how and where to harvest the wild root were a closely guarded secret among members of certain Siberian families, who would transport Rhodiola rosea down ancient trails in the Altai and Caucasus mountains and trade it for Georgian wine, fruit, and honey.
Ancient Greeks used Rhodiola rosea. In 77 A.D., the Greek physician Dioscorides documented the medical applications of the plant, which he then called rodia riza, in his classic medical text De Materia Medica.
Huge body of research. Studies of Rhodiola rosea currently are under way in Russia, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, the United States, Sweden, Norway, Japan, and China, among other countries.
Has a long history of use in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Russia as a rejuvenative tonic
Unique non-specific action, as all Adaptogens
Increases mood, motivation. It increases the body’s resistance to various sicknesses, stressful conditions and to emotional depression.
Non-toxic, non-addictive. Even in high doses the rhodiola didn’t have toxic or adverse secondary effects.
Soviet Union considered it a military secret. Much of the existing research was conducted by Soviet scientists during the Cold War, with the findings concealed in classified documents.
Grows at high altitudes - rare, bloom for several days,etc
Flowers smell similar to roses
Work on a cellular level
An article in Time magazine that boasted about how it was “the natural antidepressant of the future.”
I’m here to tell you about the magnificence of Rhodiola. I desire to share the knowledge about the beautiful changes this plant can bring into the world through each of you… by influencing your own perception of the world which, just yesterday, you might have been interpreting in a different way…and my intention is to wrap all of that into authenticity, clarity, and love…because these are charachterictics of better world. Rhodiola, and its family - Adaptogens, has the capacity to balance our racing lives and bring us back to the present moment…where our life resides.
It’s not a coincidence that I’m writing about Rhodiola. I assure you that I didn’t just find something to sell and write about it as a part of marketing process. This is my attempt to open the gates for you into the world of healthy life balance. It’s yours job to walk into these gates…but adaptogens, and Rhodiola in particular, can help to guide your body by balancing it.
I consider it as a part of my purpose which, in short, is about making the world a better place. So, I’m happy and grateful for the opportunity to share this knowledge with those who might find it useful for their personal growth and evolution.
Rhodiola rosea, also known as “golden root” or “roseroot” belongs to the plant family Crassulaceae. R. rosea grows primarily in dry sandy ground at high altitudes in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia.
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.
Linnaeus renamed it Rhodiola rosea referring to the rose-like attar (fragrance) of the fresh cut rootstock.
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.
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.
Various American psychiatrists have started using rhodiola rosea to treat their patients with depression. The main advantage that the psychiatrists have seen in using this adaptogen is that rhodiola rosea controls depression while also helping the person to avoid gaining weight, like many other anti-depressant medications cause. In fact, the rhodiola helped the people slim down while controlling their severe stress conditions.
Today, with growing number of health practitioners who shift their focus to more holistic approach, Rhodiola Rosea is being used widely to alleviate a broad range of health problems.
It’s prescribed as a supporting element for all kinds of medicinal preparates because R.rosea is famous for its enhacing properties which increase the desired effect.
The reason why we don’t hear much about Rhodiola and other members of adaptogens is simply because of conditioned public opinion that we should look for direct solution to the problem instead of making effort to prevent a problem in the first place.
It’s beautiful that in the last years more and more individuals recognize that the problem lays in our lifestyle and perception of this world instead of unconsciously follwoing the principles of living in our society. These principles are conditioned by many factors including meadia, big pharma, governments, parents and friends. This approach has led to a more limited perception of life which is about quick-health-fix after we burned ourselves in the day-to-day race pursuing something that we don’t even have an interest, or passion, about.
The key is in our ability to ask questions which we forgot to ask. The key is not in the new/better/super medical solutions but in our ability to break free from the “corridor-of-life” as it’s promoted by those who build those corridors.
In case of Rhodiola we have to understand that it’s not a quick fix because this is a gift of nature and nature doesn’t need to rush anywher. Yet, in nature’s own pace everything is in harmony and everything is accomplished.
Rhodiola, with its outstanding ability to help us balance ourselves physically and mentally, is our teacher. It’s a clue that we obviously miss something running through life. We understand that when we experience a different state of mind which is about balance and harmony. R.rosea can be our reminder that we go in the wrong direction with our lives and it can demonstrate it to you in the most comprehasible way - by helping you body inteligence to return back to balance.
Ultimately, this is not something that majority of population can resonate with exactly because most of us are trapped in the way of thinking we are conditioned to live within.
Let’s help ourselves and our planet to break free from that. And I suggest Rhodiola, and all family of adaptogens, as a most natural way to help us with that.
Rhodiola is one of the most researched herbs on the planet. Scientific research has been initiated in the Soviet Union as an effort to reinforce an advantage of soviet soldiers, athletes, and workers.
Later, fruits of this research have become the foundation for the rest of the world.
Studies and results
[From Ramazanov’s Report]
While Rhodiola as a genus may have originated in the mountainous regions of Southwest China and the Himalayas, botanists have established that various species of the genus Rhodiola naturally display a circumpolar distribution in mountainous regions in the higher latitudes and elevations of the Northern Hemisphere. In Central and Northern Asia, the genus is distributed from the Altai Mountains across Mongolia into many parts of Siberia.
According to Hegi, its distribution in Europe extends from Iceland and the British Isles across Scandinavia as far south as the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathian Mountains and other mountainous Balkan regions. Several varieties of Rhodiola species have also been identified across Alaska, Canada, and the northern mountains of the continental United States.
In fact, the world database of botanical literature shows many citations identifying a broad range of species of the genus Rhodiola, in some cases including R. rosea, in many diverse locations in northern latitudes (see Table 1).
The current taxonomical status of the genus Rhodiola has become quite complex. Before World War II, some taxonomists separated different species of Rhodiola into an independent genus, belonging to the subfamily Sedoidae.
Then Rhodiola was reclassified as a subgenus of the larger genus Sedum, which contained about 10 species. In 1963 Hegi identified more than 50 species of Rhodiola and re-established them as a separate genus. Due to their morphological similarities, they form a distinct Rhodiola group.
There are still differing opinions among specialists about which new species should or should not be included in the genus Rhodiola. The rationale and defining criteria for the boundaries of the genus remain somewhat controversial. This is not, in itself, necessarily counterproductive, since the acquisition of botanical knowledge inevitably stimulates new understanding and insight, creating the need for revised systems of classification.
In the case of R. rosea, however, this taxonomic ambiguity may have unexpected and potentially negative consequences. Popularizing a phytomedicinal plant like R. rosea can create confusion when the public is offered a variety of “Rhodiola” products using the general plant family name instead of the full botanical name of the particular species. For example, products called “Rhodiola spp., Tibetan Rhodiola or Indian Rhodiola” may incorrectly imply equivalence with R. rosea extract. Because of significant species-dependent variation in phytochemistry and pharmacology, the use of “Rhodiola” as a general term is inaccurate and misleading. The correct identification of all Rhodiola species according to precise and generally accepted botanical, phytochemical, and genetic taxonomic criteria is not merely an abstract intellectual exercise. It is critical for both scientific and phytopharmacological accuracy, as well as for product labeling for the public. Consumers may need professional guidance to avoid purchasing ineffective brands, particularly those that do not provide full information, including the complete botanical name of the plant species. Companies may change their suppliers over time. Therefore, consumers should periodically check independent sources of product evaluation, as well as requesting information about quality control and content from manufacturers.
The pharmacological and medicinal properties of Rhodiola are speciesdependent phenomena. Of all the Rhodiola species, R. rosea has been the predominant subject of phytochemical, animal, and human studies.
Table 2 compares the research record of R. rosea with all other species of the genus Rhodiola. Approximately 51 percent of all animal studies and 94 percent of all human studies conducted on plants in the genus Rhodiola are on the species R. rosea. Only R. rosea has passed extensive toxicological studies and has been certified safe for both animals and humans.
The adaptogen rhodiola has a very old story that includes Chinese emperors ordering special expeditions for what they called the “golden root” or “arctic root”. The Chinese considered rhodiola a source of well-being and enhanced sexual performance. The use of this plant is documented in the oldest Chinese medical texts, where it was used to fight all types of illnesses.
[from Ramazanov’s report]
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.
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. For centuries, only family members knew where to harvest the wild “golden roots” and the methods of extraction.
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
In 1755 R. rosea was included in the first Swedish Pharmacopoeia. Vikings used the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance.
German researchers described the benefits of R. rosea for pain, headache, scurvy, hemorrhoids, as a stimulant, and as an anti-inflammatory.
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. 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.
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.)
In 1947, a scientist from the Academy of Russian Sciences named Lasarev reported for the first time that this plant, from the Siberian region, had extracts that helped increase the body’s resistance to different environmental stress factors.
The Russian studies on rhodiola rosea showed that it had an increased level of therapeutic (curative) activity. Even in high doses the rhodiola didn’t have toxic or adverse secondary effects. However, it did reveal that it increases the body’s resistance to various sicknesses, stressful conditions and to emotional depression.
[from Ramazanov’s report]
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. 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.
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 general strengthener.
[from Ramazanov’s report]
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). 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 content.
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 Rhodiola (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.
There are more than 200 varieties of the generic rhodiola, but the variety called rhodiola rosea is the only one that has special qualities as an adaptogen. The active agents of rhodiola rosea were identified as rosavin, rosin, rosarin and salidroside. Real rhodiola rosea contains verifiable potencies of these natural compounds that give it its qualities.
[from Ramazanov’s report]
Specific compounds set Rhodiola rosea apart from other Rhodiola species
After more than a decade of research, Kurkin and colleagues presented evidence in 1986 that the chemical composition of R. rosea root is, in fact, different from the other species of genus Rhodiola. Using newly developed methods of analysis, Dubichev and colleagues demonstrated that R. rosea root contains three cinnamyl-alcohol-vicianosides — rosavin, rosin and rosarin — that are specific to this species. The term rosavins can be used to include rosavin, rosin, and rosarin (see chemical figures).
It became evident that salidroside is present in all chemically analyzed plants in the genus Rhodiola, and in a wide variety of species outside the genus.
The term salidroside is derived from Salix, the genus name for the willows. Salidroside was first isolated in 1926 from Salix triandra L. (Salicaceae). Since then it has been detected in Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (Ericaceae) and in Rhododendron (plants not belonging to the genus Rhodiola) in concentrations that can be higher than levels found in Rhodiola species, including R. rosea. Therefore, salidroside alone is not a useful marker compound for differentiating true R. rosea from other Rhodiola species; nor should it be used as the only marker compound for the standardization of R. rosea root extracts.
According to the revised 1989 Soviet Pharmacopeia, the extracts of R. rosea — primarily in the form of water/alcohol tinctures or dried root extract — are now standardized for both rosavins and salidroside. Although rosavins are now the accepted marker for genetically pure R. rosea (and its extracts), they are not necessarily the only pharmacologically active ingredients responsible for the efficacy observed in clinical studies. In fact, precise identification of the compounds responsible for the numerous health benefits of R. rosea remains to be confirmed.
R. rosea extracts used in most human clinical studies were standardized to minimum 3 percent rosavins and 0.8–1 percent salidroside because the naturally occurring ratio of these compounds in R. rosea root is approximately 3:1.
The traditional use of R. rosea as a tonic in Siberian and Russian medicine stimulated extensive research leading to identification of R. rosea as an adaptogen, a substance that nonspecifically increases the resistance of an organism and does not disturb normal biological parameters. Studies in cell cultures, animals, and humans have revealed antifatigue, anti-stress, antihypoxic (protection against damaging effects of oxygen deprivation), anticancer, antioxidant, immune enhancing and sexual stimulating effects.
Since the Russian and Bulgarian literature is so extensive, this discussion will highlight seminal studies and major reviews. The authors were fortunate to gain access to original reviews, articles, and doctoral theses. This overview relies heavily on monographs and peer-reviewed publications. The research data contained in these documents is helpful in understanding recent human studies in normal and pathological conditions.
The systematic study of pharmacological effects of R. rosea, begun in 1965, found that small and medium doses had a simulating effect, such as lengthening the time mice swim and remain on vertical perches to the limit of their abilities. In contrast, larger doses were found to have more sedative effects. Small doses increased the bioelectrical activity of the brain, presumably by direct effects on the brainstem ascending and descending reticular formation. Further studies showed that medium range doses, unlike tranquilizers, enhanced the development of conditioned avoidance reflexes in rats and facilitated learning based on emotionally positive reinforcement.
Overall, in small and medium doses, R. rosea stimulated norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and nicotinic cholinergic effects in the central nervous system (CNS). It also enhanced the effects of these neurotransmitters on the brain by increasing the permeability of the blood brain barrier to precursors of DA and 5-HT.
In comparing studies of R. rosea, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mey., Araliaceae), meclofenoxate (centrophenoxine), piracetam, citicholine, and other nootropics (substances that enhance cognition, protect the brain, and have low toxicity and few side effects), Petkov and colleagues noted that all of these agents enhance learning and memory in animal models and increase 5-HT levels in the frontal cerebral cortex.
Diagram 1 illustrates the possible effects of R. rosea on neurotransmitters in multiple neuronal pathways.
Starting in the brain stem, R. rosea promotes release of NE, 5-HT, and DA in ascending pathways that activate the cerebral cortex and the limbic system. Consequently, the cognitive (thinking, analyzing, evaluating, calculating, and planning) functions of the cerebral cortex and the attention, memory, and learning functions of the prefrontal and frontal cortex are enhanced. Other neuronal systems also contribute to the many aspects of memory: encoding, sorting, storage, and retrieval.
For example, the cholinergic system uses the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Ach) and contributes to memory function via pathways ascending from the memory storage systems of the limbic system to various areas of the cerebral cortex (memory retrieval). Agents that block Ach suppress the activity of these ascending pathways and interfere with memory. R. rosea reverses this blockade. The deterioration of these systems with age results in ageassociated memory loss. R. rosea may prevent or ameliorate some age related dysfunction in these neuronal systems.
As an antioxidant, R. rosea may help protect the nervous system from oxidative damage by free radicals.
Stress interferes with memory functions and, over time, causes deterioration in memory systems. In addition to enhancing cognitive functions, learning, and memory by stimulating NE, DA, 5-HT, and Ach neuronal systems, R. rosea may exert positive effects on memory and cognition by improving resistance to physical and emotional stress. Thus, the dual action of cognitive stimulation and emotional calming creates benefits for both immediate cognitive and memory performance and for the long-term preservation of brain functions.
The psychostimulant effects of R. rosea were studied in 53 healthy subjects and 412 patients with neuroses and asthenic syndromes (of both functional and organic origin). Symptoms of asthenia (fatigue, decline in work capacity, trouble falling asleep, poor appetite, irritability, and headaches) responded favorably to R. rosea 50 mg three times a day. Treatment durations ranged from 10 days to 4 months. The asthenic states included both psychiatric and physical causes, for example, following influenza or other illness.
In an open study of 128 patients aged 17–55 years, R. rosea alleviated fatigue, irritability, distractibility, headache, weakness and other vegetative symptoms in 64 percent of cases. Improvement was assessed by psychological testing and work productivity.
In 1869 Beard coined the term “neurasthenia” to include various forms of nervous asthenia. Controversy over this term has centered on the overlap of symptomatology and co-morbidity with other conditions (e.g., depression, neuroses, somatoform disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome). Although this diagnosis has fallen out of favor in the United States and no longer appears in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV), it is still widely used throughout the world. Neurasthenia is defined by the World Health Organization in the International Classification of Diseases as:
• either, persistent and distressing feelings of exhaustion after minor mental effort, or persistent and distressing feelings of fatigue after minor physical effort;
• accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: muscular aches or pains; dizziness; tension headaches; sleep disturbance; inability to relax; and irritability;
• inability to recover through rest, relaxation or enjoyment;
• does not occur in the presence of organic mental disorders, affective disorders or panic or generalized anxiety disorder.
In an open study 27 healthy students, physicians, and scientists aged 19–46 years were given 10 drops of R. rosea tincture (equivalent to 100–150 mg R. rosea extract) once or twice a day for 2–3 weeks, beginning several days before intense intellectual work, such as final exams. The extract improved the amount and quality of work and in all cases prevented asthenic decompensation (loss of work capacity due to fatigue).
A series of studies using a proofreading test showed that a one-time dose of R. rosea did not significantly increase the number of symbols corrected, but very significantly decreased the percent of errors made, particularly over an 8-hour period.
Positive results found in the studies of proofreading tests were based on 300 mg/day or more. In medical treatments the usual doses are 200–600 mg/day. R. rosea increased intellectual capacity (particularly by improving perception and processing of information) to a greater degree than an extract of eleuthero, also called Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus Rupr. et Max., Araliaceae).
The decrease in physical and mental performance of physicians on prolonged night call is well known. Low dose (170 mg/day) R. rosea extract was given to 56 young healthy physicians on night call. The effect was measured as total mental performance calculated as “Fatigue Index.” The tests reflected an overall level of mental fatigue involving complex cognitive functions, such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation, concentration, and speed of audio-visual perception. These parameters were tested before and after night duty during three periods of two weeks each in a double-blind crossover trial. A statistically significant improvement in mental performance tests was observed in the treatment group (R. rosea) during the first two-week period. However, at 6 weeks the effect appeared to be lost. No side effects were reported. These results suggest that R. rosea extract can reduce fatigue under certain stressful conditions for some period of time. Possible reasons for the loss of efficacy over time may be the low dose used, the crossover design, or the overall length of night duty with increased fatigue by weeks 5 and 6.
Spasov and colleagues compared 100 mg/day R. rosea extract (SHR-5, Swedish Herbal Institute, Goteborg, Sweden; standardized to 3 percent rosavin and 0.8 percent salidroside) with placebo in a double blind 20-day study of 60 Indian medical students studying in Russia during their final exam period. Despite the low dosage, investigators found significant improvements in general well being, physical fitness, mental fatigue, final exam grades, and coordination, but not in some aspects of cognitive functioning in students taking R. rosea extract compared to placebo.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 60 foreign students at a Russian high school, administration of a R. rosea extract (660 mg/day of a preparation named Rodaxon) resulted in an increase in physical (velergometric) work capacity, coordination, kinesthetic sensitivity, and general well being along with a decrease in psychic fatigue and situational anxiety. Unfortunately, this study provides no information on the amount of R. rosea in the Rodaxon preparation, which is commercialy unavailable.
R. rosea was beneficial in posttraumatic and vascular lesions of the brain. It was especially effective in combination with piracetam for patients with marked cognitive dysfunction. However, it did not reduce manic symptoms and could worsen paranoid states. In one study of more clearly depressed patients, R. rosea in combination with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) produced significant improvement in the majority of cases and decreased side effects of the TCAs. Ultimately, some of these patients were able to respond to R. rosea alone.
Antipsychotic medications used in large doses over many years to treat schizophrenic patients sometimes affect the dopaminergic nerves in the basal ganglia, the same nerves that are damaged in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. When these nerves are compromised, patients develop a constellation of “Parkinsonian” symptoms, including stiffness, tremors, bradykinesia (slowed movements), and others. Anticholinergic medications have been used to relieve these symptoms when they are caused by antipsychotic medication; however, they sometimes fail to help. In schizophrenic patients whose anticholinergic medications had failed to relieve Parkinsonian symptoms, R. rosea was found to be of benefit.
R. rosea may affect emotional tone by influencing neurotransmitter monoamine levels (NE, DA, 5- HT) in nerve tracts involved in the regulation of mood, anxiety, and emotion in the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain. The stimulation of nicotinic cholinergic activity in the emotional circuits of the limbic system (in the temporal lobe) may also contribute to these effects. Alterations in monoamine levels underlie this complex spectrum of psychotropic activity: stimulating, tranquilizing, anti-stress, and antidepressant.
The authors have found that R. rosea can help patients with depressive syndromes, mental and physical fatigue (secondary to psychiatric and medical conditions), memory loss and cognitive dysfunction from a variety of causes, sexual dysfunction, and menopausal related disorders. Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg have successfully treated more than 150 individuals with R. rosea extract (3 percent rosavin and 1 percent salidroside) and have supervised the treatment of more than 100 additional cases (See Case Studies).
A number of studies have shown that R. rosea increased physical work capacity and dramatically shortened the recovery time between bouts
of high intensity exercise. These studies included normal individuals exposed to maximal work on a bicycle ergometer and Olympic-level cross country skiers and biathletes.
In one study, 52 men (18–24 years of age) were given one dose of either 15 drops of R. rosea extract, 2 ml eleuthero, or 1 ml of a 1 percent solution piridrol (a stimulating
psychotropic similar to methylphenidate). Fifteen drops of R. rosea extract is approximately equivalent to 150 mg of dry encapsulated root extract standardized to 3 percent rosavin and 1 percent salidroside. After 30 minutes, they pedaled an electric bicycle ergometer to produce a precise amount of work-induced baseline fatigue. After a 5-minute rest they performed further work to determine the maximal duration of work they could accomplish at a specific intensity. During the second period of work, R. rosea drops, eleuthero extract, and piridrol increased work capacity by 9
percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent respectively (p<0.04) compared to placebo controls. Recovery was defined by the time of normalization of heart rate and arterial pressure. During the recovery period, at 10 minutes, the pulse slowed by a factor of 2.5 (67 beats per minute) in the R. rosea group versus 1.9 (87 beats per minute) in the control group. During the 3-day total recovery period, subjects given piridrol complained of insomnia, excitability, and irritability; whereas those given R. rosea had no adverse side effects and no complaints.
Endurance is the capacity to maintain work despite fatigue. Forty-two master level competitive skiers (20–25 years of age) took either R. rosea extract or placebo 30–60 minutes before training races (30 km) and a biathlon (20 km race on skis carrying a rifle and shooting targets at stops). Athletes given R. rosea had statistically significant increased shooting accuracy, less arm tremor and better coordination. Thirty minutes after work performance, the heart rate in the R. rosea group was 104–106 percent of baseline, versus 128.7 percent in the placebo group (p<0.02). R. rosea improved recovery time, strength, endurance, cardiovascular measures, and coordination.
Adaptogens differ from other stimulants during forced, exhaustive muscular work. With classical stimulants the initial increase in work-capacity is followed by a period of substantially decreased (markedly below average) work-capacity. Repeated use of CNS stimulants depletes brain catecholamines and decreases conditioned reflexes. In contrast, with extracts of R. rosea, the initial increase in work-capacity is followed by a lesser diminution, such that the work-capacity continues to be above average.
Animal studies suggest mechanisms that may be involved in these effects. R. rosea increased essential energy metabolites, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate in the muscle and brain mitochondria in mice made to swim to their limit. It may also enhance the ammonia reassimilation and energy metabolism of the cell by increasing ATP, ribonucleic acid (RNA), protein and amino acid synthesis. In animal studies R. rosea increased metabolism of fats twice as much as eleuthero and improved energy metabolism in the brain during intensive muscular workloads.
In their classic 1968 paper, Soviet pharmacologists Brekhman and Dardymov surveyed the literature on 189 medicinal plants and identified five (including R. rosea) that met the three defining criteria for an adaptogen:
• An adaptogen should be innocuous and cause minimal disturbance of the normal physiological functions of an organism;
• The action of an adaptogen should be nonspecific (i.e., it should increase resistance to adverse influences of a wide range of harmful factors of physical, chemical, and biological nature);
• An adaptogen may possess normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the preceding pathological changes (i.e., if a body parameter is high, the adaptogen brings it down towards normal; if a parameter is low, the adaptogen brings it up towards normal).
The forced swimming test, used by Russian scientists to measure nonspecific resistance to stress, was later named after Porsolt who assigned specific parameters such as water temperature and the dimensions of the glass cylinder in which a mouse or rat was forced to swim to exhaustion (about 15 minutes). After an initial period of vigorous activity, the rodent adopts a characteristic immobile posture, making only the minimal movements necessary to stay afloat.
The validity of the Porsolt swim test and its relationship to depression have been discussed extensively and it subsequently became a screening test for antidepressant agents by pharmaceutical companies. Although different laboratories have made minor technical modifications, the fundamentals of the test remain the same.
Adaptogens and antidepressants increase the amount of time the animal is able to keep swimming actively. Panossian and colleagues propose to update the definition of adaptogen by highlighting more specific biochemical actions as metabolic regulators.
The wide range of medical benefits and physiological actions may be based on the effects of adaptogens on regulatory systems found in many organs and tissues (e.g., immune, hormonal, CNS, cardiovascular, muscular, etc.). They hypothesize that adaptogens reduce damage from stressors by altering the reactivity of the organism’s defense system, including the hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) and the efferent sympatho-adrenal system (SAS).
A recent study showed that R. rosea and eleuthero protected the embryos of fresh water snails (Lymnaea stagnalis) from a variety of environmental stressors. Enhancement in resistance was studied by applying phyto-adaptogen extracts for a period of 20 hours to 3-day old L. stagnalis larvae. Subsequently the larvae were exposed to the following highly toxic environmental stressors: a physical stress (heat shock: 43 degrees C for 4 minutes); an oxidative stress (superoxide radicals induced by menadione 600 microM for 2 hours); and heavy metal-induced stress (copper 50 microM for 1 hour or cadmium 20 microM for 1 hour). Both eleuthero and R. rosea strongly protected snail embryos from lethal heat shock, from the adverse effects of menadione-induced superoxide radicals, and from toxic exposure to heavy metals (copper and cadmium). Although the degree to which resistance was enhanced depended on the type of stressor applied, these results confirm the definition of phyto-adaptogens as being universal enhancers of non-specific resistance against different kinds of stress conditions.
The mechanisms of nonspecific resistance are not entirely clear, but probably involve improvements in cellular energy metabolism, based in part on ATP (as discussed above). In higher animals and humans, nonspecific resistance may also be enhanced by improvements in the neurological mechanisms of dealing with stress (catecholamines, serotonin, and endorphins). The serotonin system is necessary for the stress response reaction, adaptation to new environmental conditions, and tolerance of hypoxia. Numerous stressors decrease serotonin in the hypothalamus. Theoretically, the ability of R. rosea to increase the nonspecific resistance of animals may be related to its capacity to increase serotonin in the hypothalamus and midbrain.
Additional research showed that an intact hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and participation of the gonads and thymus were necessary for this antistress effect. Furthermore, R. rosea reduces the activation of several components of the stress response system. For example, it modestly increased serum beta-endorphins that protected rats against subsequent stress induced excess endorphin elevation.
In addition, R. rosea moderates the release of opioid peptides that occurs as part of the pituitary adrenal axis response to stress. This reduced release protects against sudden excess opioid and catecholamine
(NE and DA) levels, (which interfere with normal brain functions and can lead to heart damage), while allowing a more moderate release that increases stress tolerance without damaging the central nervous system or the cardiovascular system (see Diagram 2). R. rosea extracts also protect the brain and heart by reducing the secretion of corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) under stress.
Neuroendocrine animal studies showed that R. rosea, like other adaptogens, enhanced thyroid function without causing hyperthyroidism.
In addition, the thymus gland functioned better and was protected from the involution that occurs with aging. The adrenal glands functioned with better reserve and without the kind of hypertrophy caused by other psychostimulants.
Egg maturation was enhanced in rats and an anabolic effect in males (increase muscle building and gonad strengthening similar to effects of low dose testosterone) was observed in a number of species. Administration of rhodosin (extract of R. rosea for intravenous, intramuscular, or peritoneal injection) to sexually mature female mice over a period of 4 weeks prolonged menstruation from 1.3 days (control) to 2.8 days (rhodosin treated), reduced the resting period from 3.8 days (control) to 2.2 days (rhodosin treated), and increased the relative number of estrous days from 29 percent to 56 percent. In the majority of rhodosin treated animals, the number of growing follicles, the oocyte volumes, the accumulation of RNA in oocyte cytoplasm, the proliferation of the lining and glandular cells of the uterine horns, and the preparation of uterine mucosa for fertilization all increased. In sexually mature mice rhodosin increased the mean weight of the uterine horns from 39.6+4.11 mg to 59.5+1.59 mg and the mean weight of the ovaries from 6.4+0. 65 mg to 9.1+0.45 mg. However, the administration of rhodosin to sexually immature female white mice for 3 weeks did not affect sexual maturation, the onset of estrus, the weight of
ovaries or uterine horns, or the maturation of follicles. Thus, it is probable that the estrogenic effects of R. rosea preparations depend upon a specific hormonal milieu.
These pre-clinical investigations led to a study of R. rosea extract in women suffering from amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycles). Forty women with amenorrhea were given R. rosea (either 100 mg R. rosea extract orally twice a day for 2 weeks, or 1 ml rhodosin intramuscularly for 10 days). In some subjects the treatment cycle was repeated 2–4 times. Normal menses was restored in 25 women, 11 of whom became pregnant. In those with normal menses, the mean length of the uterine cavity increased from 5.5 cm to 7.0 cm (normal) after R. rosea treatment.
One of the authors (Dr. Brown) has treated in his practice several women who had failed to conceive with standard fertility drugs, and who become pregnant within several months of beginning R. rosea extract. These preliminary clinical observations warrant controlled follow-up clinical trials. Using the in vitro estrogen receptor competition assay, Patricia Eagon, Ph.D., (personal communication, December 2001) recently found that R. rosea extract showed strong estrogen binding properties that require further characterization.
In an open study, 26 out of 35 men with erectile dysfunction and/or premature ejaculation (of 1–20 years duration) responded to R. rosea (150–200 mg/day for 3 months) with substantially improved sexual function, normalization of prostatic fluid, and an increase in 17-ketosteroids in urine.
Cardioprotective effects of R. rosea include: prevention of stress induced cardiac damage, decreased myocardial catecholamines and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels; and reduced adrenal catecholamine release (see Figure 2). Furthermore, R.rosea activation of mu-opiate receptors in heart muscle prevented reperfusion arrhythmias in animal hearts. This effect could be blocked by naloxone injection (known to inhibit mu-opiate receptors), thus confirming that the anti-arrhythmic effect of R. rosea is associated with the mu-opiate receptors in myocardial (heart) muscle.
In a series of joint Swedish and Russian double-blind randomized placebo-controlled studies, 10 healthy but sedentary men (ages 20–31 years) were evaluated. Twenty percent of the subjects had average physical work capacity as measured by Power Work Capacity (PWC-170) and 80 percent had below average PWC-170, indicating a low level of physical training (PWC-170 is a calculation based on the amount of work performed by a man if his heart rate reaches 170 beats per minute, bpm). A sequence of complex 1- to 7-day trials compared the effects of an adaptogen formula, a mixture of monoand polyphenolic adaptogens (MMPA). Each tablet contained the following ingredients: 3 mg rhodioloside from R.rosea root extract, 50 mg; 3 mg total sum of isofraxidine-, syringine-, and syringaresinoie-glycosides from eleuthero root extract, 100 mg; and 4 mg schizandrine and gamma-schizandrine from schisandra (Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill., Lamiaceae) fruit extract, 150 mg.
During the 7-day adaptogen trial, subjects were given 3 capsules (containing a total of 150 mg R. rosea) twice a day on days 1–3; 4 capsules (200 mg R. rosea) twice a day on days 4–6, and 4 capsules once on day 7. The mean increase in physical work capacity was 28 percent with dosed physical loads in subjects treated with the adaptogen formula. Thus, sedentary subjects given the adaptogen were able to perform in the lower level of trained athletes without any exercise training. Their heart rate variability and inotropic (strength of heart muscle contractility) functions improved.
Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic inputs to the heart were enhanced such that the heart showed increased reserves under stress of greater intensity. The autonomic nervous system controls automatic or involuntary functions of the body. It has two components: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nerves (see Diagram 2). The sympathetic nervous system is the “fight-or-flight” system that helps the organism respond to stress (e.g., by increasing heart rate, respiratory rate, and muscle tone). The parasympathetic nervous system conserves and restores energy (e.g., by slowing the heart rate, respiratory rate, and metabolism). By enhancing the functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, R. rosea enables the organism to put out more energy during stress while at the same time maintaining higher energy reserves. One of the challenges presented by research on a multi-ingredient formula is that it is not usually possible to attribute the results to the activity of any one single herbal component. However, the results of this study are consistent with results of other research conducted solely on R. rosea monopreparations.
R. rosea is rich in phenolic compounds, known to have strong antioxidant properties.
Animal studies have shown that R. rosea decreases toxicity from cyclophosphamide, rubomycin, and adriamycin (anti-cancer drugs), while it enhances their anticarcinogenic effects.
Udintsev and Schakhov studied the effect of R. rosea root extract (RRRE), a tincture manufactured according to the Russian Pharmacopoeia standards (minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin), on tumor cells (transplanted into mice) and normal bone marrow cells in two mouse cancer models. One group of mice with Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) and another group with Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) were first treated with 100 mg/kg cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy agent) that suppressed tumor growth to 31–39 percent and limited 3LL metastases to 18 percent, while also reducing the number of normal bone marrow cells, leucocytes and myelokariocytes, to 40–50 percent and 20–25 percent of normal respectively. In comparison RRRE, 0.5 mg/kg/day given orally 2–8 days after tumors had been transplanted, suppressed growth of both tumors by 19–27 percent and 3LL metastases 16 percent. However, in contrast to cyclophosphamide, RRRE caused no reduction in normal bone marrow cells. In animals given both RRRE and cyclophosphamide, the RRRE increased the antimetastatic effect of cyclophosphamide by 36 percent (p<0.05). RRRE also increased the number of leukocytes by 30 percent and myelokariocytes by 16–18 percent.
In another mouse tumor model, Udintsev and colleagues showed that RRRE (minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin) increased the antitumor effect of the drug adriamycin while substantially reducing its liver toxicity. Many chemotherapy agents are hematotoxic (reduces the number of normal blood cell precursors in bone marrow) or hepatotoxic (causes damage to the liver). These serious side effects were significantly ameliorated by RRRE. Thus, the research suggests that RRRE can both enhance tumor inhibition by chemotherapeutic drugs while alleviating dangerous side effects.
Substances that reduce the incidence of chromosomal aberrations are termed antimutagenic. Salikhova and colleagues found that in mice injected with cyclophosphamide, RRRE (minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin) had antimutagenic effects.
Compared to placebo controls, RRRE reduced the development of chromosomal aberrations by 50 percent and reduced the incidence of cells with micronuclei by more than 50 percent. RRRE also increased indices of DNA repair in bone marrow cells after exposure to the mutagen N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU).
In a small pilot study of 12 patients with superficial bladder carcinoma (TIG1-2), treatment with RRRE (minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin) improved parameters of leukocyte integrines and T-cell immunity. The average frequency of relapse was reduced, but did not reach statistical significance. Larger placebo-controlled studies of R. rosea extracts to augment tumor inhibition and reduce toxic effects of chemotherapy agents are needed.
[from Ramazanov’s report]
R. rosea has a very low level of toxicity.
Overall, R. 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.
More scientific research is needed to confirm the preventive and curative benefits of R. rosea.
Controlled studies are warranted to explore its use in antidepressant augmentation, attention deficit disorder, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, protection against arrhythmias, sports performance, aviation and space medicine (enhancing physical and mental performance while reducing stress reactions), endocrine disorders (infertility, premenstrual disorder, menopause), sexual dysfunction, disorders of the stress response system (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and post traumatic stress disorder), and enhancement of chemotherapy/radiation with amelioration of toxicity.
In the course of evolution, R. rosea has adapted to the harsh conditions of high altitude (extreme cold, low oxygen, little rainfall, and intense irradiation from the sun) by producing a group of powerful protective compounds that have diverse beneficial effects in animals and humans.
One is struck by the versatility of R. rosea, from its description in Greek medicine, 2000 years ago to its use by 20th century cosmonauts.
It is time for modern research, using controlled clinical trials, to develop the potential medical applications of this unique phyto-adaptogen.