The health benefits of Rhodiola

The body’s ability to adapt successfully to stress is a hallmark of good health. Substances called adaptogens have a remarkable ability to help our bodies modulate the stress response and adapt effectively. Rhodiola is one of the most well-studied adaptogens, and its effects on human health are remarkable.


Rhodiola or golden root grows in some of the coldest regions of the world, including much of the Arctic, mountainous parts of Central Asia, and the Appalachian range in North America. It has also been found in Iceland, Scandinavia and mountainous regions in Europe.

Mountainous parts of the world typically face both extreme heat and extreme cold. Plants that are able to survive such harsh temperaments have unique adaptive qualities that benefit those who consume them.



Rhodiola contains a number of powerful antioxidants, and flavonoids. Its unique array of phytonutrients allows Rhodiola to adapt to stressful environmental conditions, and consuming it helps us modulate our ability to withstand daily stressors.

Rhodiola helps us adapt to stress by modulating stress hormone levels. When these levels rise too high, we can become edgy and anxious. Over time fatigue, lethargy and chronic disease result. Rhodiola prevents our stress hormones from going too high at inappropriate times. This allows our stress response system to remain strong and sensitive to the needs of our environment.



Scientists have found that Rhodiola enhances serotonin, dopamine and endorphin activity in the brain. Healthy serotonin levels are necessary to balance our mood and keep us calm and positive. Dopamine drives us towards accomplishing goals and enhances our self-esteem and confidence. Endorphins help us to feel good and lift our mood and spirits.

Rhodiola is known to help calm the emotions and to stimulate cognitive processes that improve memory and creative thinking. Several studies have shown that it improves associative thinking, speed of audio-visual perception and ability to perform complex calculations. Researchers have also found that it significantly reduced stress-induced fatigue after just two weeks of regular use.


Adaptogenic herbs such as Rhodiola enhance muscle glycogen synthesis. Glycogen is the stored sugar in muscle that gives the body greater endurance, enhancing performance during challenging workouts and competitions. Athletes are able to improve their strength, speed and endurance and perform at higher levels when they take adaptogenic herbs such as Rhodiola.

A 2010 study showed that Rhodiola supplementation improved the use of fatty acids as fuel during training sessions and enhanced athletic adaptation to stress. The herb lowered levels of lactate and skeletal muscle damage after exhausting exercise. This was due to its ability to improve circulation and modulate stress hormone secretion, both during and after the training sessions. Rhodiola is completely safe and approved for use by athletes in all major sports.



Rhodiola has also been shown to boost fat burning mechanisms. This is because it stimulates the enzyme adipose lipase that mobilises fatty acids as energy source. Rhodiola helps the body preserve sugar as stored energy in the form of glycogen and to burn fat as a primary energy source during times of rest and low-level activity. This metabolic shift is essential for healthy weight management and blood sugar stability.



All of us are affected by stress and toxins. Stress and excess toxins weaken the immune system, lead to fatigue, interfere with the digestive system, suppress cardiovascular function, impair cognitive function, and can even create additional internal toxins. It’s time we put a stop to this vicious cycle by attacking stress and toxins together.



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The health benefits of Rhodiola

Dr David Jockers
About The Author
- He is a functional nutritionist and corrective care chiropractor. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia and runs one of the hottest natural health websites.