Rhodiola for Anxiety: Research, Dosage and Product Reviews
Rhodiola rosea, it’s a traditional medicine that holds potential as another alternative form of treatment for anxiety.
Anxiety is an umbrella term for several disorders that result in symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, irritability and even physical deterioration.
Treatments such as anti-depressants, sedatives and mood stabilizers do assist in alleviating symptoms but unfortunately, these treatments often come with harmful side effects and can result in dependency and addiction.
Our Favorite Rhodiola Rosea Products to Reduce Anxiety:
Gaia Herbs Rhodiola Rosea Liquid Capsules
From the alpine regions of Serbia
CALM NOW Soothing Stress Support Supplements
Great combo supplement
Premium Pure Organic Rhodiola Powder
What is Rhodiola Rosea?
Rhodiola rosea is a medicinal plant that works as an adaptogen to help the body balance physical and environmental stress. It is also known by the terms golden root, arctic root, rhidola and even ‘Tundra’s Ginseng’. It is thought to stimulate the immune system and enhance memory and focus.
The plant grows in cold regions such as Scandinavia, Russia and the mountain regions of China where it is heralded as an antioxidant, anti-cancer herbal medicine. Rhodolia is rumoured to have been used by the Vikings as a stamina and strength enhancers, while Asian cultures have been using the herb to ward off viruses and even fight against certain types of cancer.
The rhodiola plant is yellow-green with yellow flower buds and comprises phenols, alkaloids and flavonoids. It’s a versatile plant that can be boiled or even eaten raw although it’s rumoured to have a very bitter taste – rather stick to the extract in supplement form.
As a medicinal herb, it is thought to be helpful in improving athletic performance and reducing recovery time after intense physical workouts. Conditions such as cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis have also been treated with rhodiola, as well as high cholesterol and liver damage.
Rhodiola can be combined safely with other supplements including ashwagandha and L-Theanine.
As a treatment for anxiety, rhodiola acts to decrease sympathetic nervous system activity. Anxiety is associated with increased sympathetic activity that leads to a faster pulse and breathing rate. Symptoms of anxiety such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat and shaking are can be reduced through rhodiola supplements.
In addition to decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity, rhodiola rosea also increases the parasympathetic nervous system activity – the opposite function of the above that works to slow the body’s processes in bouts of anxiety and panic.
Rhodiola increases serotonin, memory and focus. Serotonin deficiencies are often noted in anxiety conditions, with a lack of focus and memory often heightening the effect of anxiety. Rhodiola also helps shorten recovery time after exercise.
As a treatment for anxiety, rhodiola shortens the amount of time it takes to lower heart rate. Anxiety is linked to high heart rates and laboured breathing so rhodiola can help recover those symptoms.
What Does the Research say about Rhodiola for Anxiety?
A study on 10 participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) showed that 340mg of rhodolia extract administered over 10 weeks showed significant improvement in anxiety levels.
Assessments following treatment were made according to the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), the Four-Dimensional Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Clinical Global Impressions of Severity/Improvement Scale.
This study discusses rhodolia as an adaptogen and addresses its utility in improving sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, headaches and low energy levels. As an adaptogenic, rhodiola rosea influences the levels and activity of monoamines and opioid peptides. This means it can increase resistance to stressors and promote feel-good endorphins.
As an adrenal stress reliever, rhodiola is shown to prevent stressful activity in cardiac tissue. In animal studies it was shown to reduce arrhythmia resulting from stress-inducing factors. Rhodiola was found to improve focus and concentration in trial subjects with stress-related fatigue.
Rhodiola supplements have good results in improving mental performance and overall health.
What is the Recommended Rhodiola Dosage for Anxiety?
Rhodiola is available in various forms. It can be used in teas or taken as a supplement in pill, tablet and powder form. Liquid extracts are also available. A recommended starting dosage is 100mg in the morning before breakfast is eaten. If the body shows good tolerance to the initial dosage, increase the amount by a second 100mg dosage taken before lunch.
The dosage can be increased up to 400mg daily but be sure to keep track of changes in mood and the occurrence of panic attacks. The energizing components contained within rhodiola could cause negative interactions with anxiety and actually increase panic episodes when an overdose occurs.
Rhodiola rosea extracts include the compounds rosavin and salidroside. Salidroside is more stimulating and produces an energizing effect, while rosavin is calming and promotes peacefulness.
When selecting a rhodiola supplement, be sure to look at the percentage of each to determine if the product is best for energizing or calming. Typically, rhodiola rosea extract products will contain a minimum of 3% salidrosides.
High doses of rhodiola cause increased levels of beta waves in the brain. Multiple beta waves are associated with indicating anxiety to the brain, in which cause rhodiola can have an adverse intensifying effect on conditions such as anxiety and stress. High dosages may also result in nausea, fatigue and moodiness.
It is popular to take rhodiola supplements on a three-week schedule, followed by one week of abstinence from the supplement. This is thought to help guard against the development of a rhodiola tolerance which would negate the effects of rhodiola rosea treatments for anxiety.
Rhodiola rosea is most effective when not mixed with other stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. Avoid taking supplements within two hours of other stimulant intakes as this can lead to stress and feelings of unease and nervousness.
Rhodiola is also best avoided in the late afternoon and evening as it may cause insomnia or disrupt sleeping patterns.
What are the Recommended Rhodiola Products for Anxiety?
CALM NOW Soothing Stress Support Supplement
This supplement offers a great combination of 200mg rhodiola rosea extract and 200mg ashwagandha powder extract, in addition to essential B vitamins and zinc. The blend is specifically formulated to aid stress relief and promote positivity. The product is vegan friendly and good for:
● easing anxiety while increasing concentration and focus
● limiting the occurrence and severity of panic attacks
● naturally treating anxiety disorders including agoraphobia, GAD, panic disorders and ADHD
Other reviewers report positive effects following prolonged use of the supplement, even when used for children although it is recommended to contact your primary medical practitioner before giving supplements to children or people suffering from prior medical conditions.
NOW Rhodiola Rhodiola Rosea
Now capsules contain 3% standardized rhodiola extract. This is a good amount that will help the body adapt to stressful conditions. The product comes at a great price for a pack of two and helps promote a better and calmer mental state. This product:
● contains 500mg of rhodiola extract
● is non-GMO
● comes at a great price for 2 bottles
● alleviates bouts of anxiety and panic when taken regularly
These capsules hold a large quantity of rhodiola extract per capsule. If this is your first time using the supplement, try breaking the capsule in half and starting off with only 250mg per day before breakfast or lunch.
A large dose could prove ineffective and may complicate your anxiety or lead to worse insomnia if your body is not adapted to the supplement.
Gaia Herbs Rhodiola Rosea Liquid Phyto-Capsules
Gaia Herbs source rhodiola rosea from the alpine regions of Siberia. Each capsule contains 240mg of Siberian rhodiola root that is rumored to be the best kind available. These capsules can be taken twice daily once you are accustomed to the supplement and hold the following benefits:
● balance stress hormones and cortisol levels
● enhance mental performance and regulate cognitive functions
● reduce mood disorders
● liquid phyto-caps deliver more concentrated form of rhodiola
One user testified that rhodiola rosea helped overcome anxiety and social phobia when taken on a three week on, one week off cycle as mentioned above. Energy levels are also reported to be lifted with continued use of the supplement.
Rhodiola Rosea Supplement 600mg
NutraChamps offer a balanced capsule with 300mg of rhodiola rosea root extract. The product is free from fillers and additives. It is also free from gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish and dairy products, making it the ideal choice for people with allergies or medical conditions. These rhodiola capsules help:
● provide relief from brain fog and exhaustion
● support the immune system and general health
● enhance mental clarity and focus
Users describe NutraChamps rhodiola capsules as a potent form of stress relief that works well even with just one capsule taken daily. The supplement is effective for all-day energy and can safely be taken with other natural supplements such as ashwagandha and ginseng.
Premium Pure Organic Rhodiola Rosea Extract Powder
This is the powdered form of rhodiola rosea extract. The product has no fillers, artificial colours or flavours and is harvested in the Tibetan mountains. 1 serving scoop of powder contains 400mg of rhodiola extract, with the package containing 125 servings. This product:
● reduces fatigue and drowsiness
● combats symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress
● promotes better cognitive functioning
The powder makes it easy to administer smaller doses of the supplement and works effectively in reducing adrenal fatigue and anxiety attacks. The powder is reported to have a tea-like taste and can be added to water or juice.
Is Rhodiola Rosea for you?
Rhodiola rosea is a natural alternative to traditional anxiety treatment medications such as sedatives and anti-depressants. This herbal plant holds great potential to reduce fatigue and limit the frequency and intensity of panic and anxiety attacks.
Research supports the plant as being an adaptogen with mild to no side effects when administered in the correct quantities.
It works to slow the body’s processes by increasing the body’s parasympathetic nervous system activity in panic attacks. Rhodiola promotes serotonin and heightens memory and focus. It is also effective for other conditions such as high cholesterol, liver damage and even diabetes.
The supplement is safe for most adults excluding pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and people with prior medical conditions. A health care practitioner can be advised if there are any concerns with rhodiola rosea supplements.
If you suffer from anxiety and have found similar herbal supplements such as ashwagandha to be beneficial, it is definitely worth trying rhodiola rosea supplements in the morning or early afternoon for relief from panic attacks and stress.