Last Updated December 20th, 2021
What is roseroot?
Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) also known as “golden root” is a plant species that has been widely investigated for various medicinal properties. These include relieving fatigue, improved memory and better mental performance. It is also believed to be effective in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and even heart diseases. Different researches have also found the plant quite promising as a medicine for other ailments.
The rhizomes and roots of the roseroot plant are the primary parts that have the said medicinal properties and have been used in the ancient medicines of Asian regions since centuries. In such medicines the herb was commonly used to boost the physical and mental performance of elderly people or people just recovering from sickness.
Is Roseroot same as Rhodiola?
Genus Rhodiola has over 200 species and amongst all of them hardly 20 different species are used in traditional medicine. Particularly the species Rhodiola rosea is called “roseroot” and has been studied for its efficacy in curing physical and psychological conditions.
The latest studies have found that the roseroot herb contains a wide variety of compounds that are biologically active and might be related to different pharmacological actions leading to better physiological and mental health. The plant commonly grows in colder regions of the world, often in the hills and higher altitudes.
In folk medicine, it has been used to cope with the altitude sickness and the cold Siberian or Arctic climate for centuries. However, according to FDA the health claims made by the roseroot herb supplements might not be true and FDA has not approved the efficacy or safety of these supplements.
What is there in Roseroot?
The R. rosea root contains around 140 different chemical compounds and they vary greatly depending on the region of growth as well as the climate. According to studies, the amount of the different bio-actives present also varies according to the process of extraction and the form in which the root is used.
The R.rosea root extract is mainly rich in phenolic compounds including flavonoids and tannins. Rosavins are specifically present in this species. Salidrosides are the other mention-worthy components found in these roots. The particular rose-like flavour of the Roseroot comes from its 0.5% essential oil content.
The claimed medicinal properties of Roseroot are essentially contributed by the bioactive components present in it. To understand its efficacy, we should look into these individual compounds in a bit more detail.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients with variable phenolic structures and have been a major interest of research in recent years because of their versatile health benefits. These compounds are naturally produced by plants to protect against environmental and physiological stress. In humans, they have been found to promote health and prevent diseases.
Flavonoids possess anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties and some studies have linked intake of flavonoids with better cardiovascular health. These bio-actives can also be helpful for patients with type 2 diabetes and the prevention of neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
Rosavins are phenylpropanoids and they are the main active phytochemicals present in R.rosea. However, studies are inconclusive regarding the mechanism of action of these compounds. According to some studies, Rosavins might need to be combined with some other compounds to show potential results particularly elated to mental and psychological benefits. In addition, they also support healthy mental stress levels. They have also been linked with effective weight loss triggered by breaking down of the adipose tissues.
This is the more powerful component believed to impart the anti-depressant and anti-anxiety benefits of roseroot along with Rosavins. Some studies point that salidroside might have adaptogenic properties, which helps the body to adapt to different physical or psychological drawbacks related to stress. It may also support nerve health by promoting the natural repairing process of nerves.
The compound is also believed to have the power to regulate the release of specific neurotransmitters that might be related to better stress management and cognitive functions. It might also protect the body from oxidative stress and promote bone health.
The health benefits of roseroot
May help to boosts Energy – One of the major health benefits of roseroot plant noted so far is its ability to boost energy and vigor, which made it an effective medicine for the treatment of weakness in the ancient herbal medicine. The adaptogenic property of roseroot is believed to reduce fatigue and energize the body. However, there is a lack of established studies to prove the same.
Helpful for reducing stress – Stress has become a part of our daily life and a natural, side effect free supplement that helps to reduce stress, roseroot can be just the thing we all need in our life. It is believed to have components that help the body to manage stress in a more effective way and reduce the damages that can be caused in the mental as well as physical levels due to stress. It is also claimed to help the body in adopting with altitude sickness or higher levels of physiological stress.
Helps with depression – One of the highly talked about benefits of roseroot plant is its effectiveness in the treatment of depression. It has been found that some components present in roseroot have the ability to stimulate serotonin and dopamine activities, which are directly related to mood swings and depression. Roseroot helps to promote a proper balance between these neurotransmitters and provide healthy neurological and emotional functions. However, studies have shown that overconsumption of the same might induce drowsiness. Hence, sticking by the right dose is essential to reap the benefits without suffering the side effects.
It might help in better cognitive function – Some studies claim that roseroot herb can improve focus and concentration thus promoting better cognitive functions. The power of the herb to maintain a balance of the neurotransmitters and alleviate mood might have a direct impact on improving cognitive functions and abilities. On the other hand, some active bio-molecules present in this herb might be helpful to nourish the brain cells or prevent oxidative stress on them. This will help in controlling neural degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
It can be helpful in weight loss – Certain compounds present in roseroot might be helpful to burn the adipose tissue or the fat cells. It has been observed, when combined with exercise, roseroot supplements give better results compared to exercise alone. This herb is supposed to be effective for burning midsection fat and can make your weight loss goals easy to achieve by removing the excess calories.
Promotes better cardiovascular health – Roseroot contains flavonoids which are being studied for their effectiveness in promoting better cardiovascular health. So, the consumption of rosewood might be actually helpful to improve cardiovascular health which in turn can be effective to control high blood pressure and other conditions related to it.
May help to control diabetes—Diabetes is the other common disease that might be controlled with the help of the roseroot herb. Reduced insulin sensitivity is the major cause of diabetes in people. This herb might be effective to lower blood sugar levels by improving the transportation of glucose into the cells.
Might have anticancer properties – Roseroot has been found to fight off certain types of cancer cells. Early research suggests that Rhodiola rosea might provide some notable benefits in bladder cancer. However, it did not reduce the chance of a relapse. In-vitro studies have shown it inhibits the growth of bladder, breast, colon and liver cancer cells.
Might treat premature ejaculation – Some studies have pointed out that R. rosea might be effective in treating premature ejaculation to some extent.
Rhodiola rosea for long has been linked with many miraculous health benefits and according to many it is a super food that can actually help in a better, disease free life. However, it is important to note that none of the benefits of this herb has been established through human trials; hence the actual efficacy of the supplement still lies under question.
Side effects and safety
Taking Roseroot by mouth for a short span of time is probably safe. Safety about long term use of the same is not known. Some of the adverse effects Rhodiola consumption might cause include,
- Dry mouth or excessive production of saliva
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty in sleeping
Diabetes – Roseroot extract or supplement might increase the risk of reducing blood sugar levels quickly particularly in patients with diabetes, leading to severe life risk. So, if you are already taking medications for diabetes or insulin, consult your doctor before taking roseroot.
Blood Pressure – Rhodiola might reduce blood pressure and maybe harmful to people who already have low blood pressure. If you have ever suffered from low blood pressure, it is advised not to take it without consulting a healthcare professional.
Autoimmune diseases – Roseroot might be helpful to stimulate the immunity system of the body, which in case of people with autoimmune diseases might turn out fatal.
Pregnancy and lactation – Enough study has not been done to conclude if taking roseroot during pregnancy or lactation is safe. So, if you are pregnant or nursing, it is best to avoid taking roseroot to be on the safe side.
The dose for roseroot varies depending on different factors. Starting from the age of the person taking it to his/her body weight, physical condition all needs to be considered before deciding the dose. Currently, there are no sufficiently established studies that can dictate the best and exact dose of this herb to reap maximum benefits for no to minimum side effects.
Normally, taking rhodolia twice a day for not more than 6 to 12 weeks has been found safe. However, if you are planning to include it in your daily routine it is important that you consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional first. Always keep an eye for the right dosage as mentioned in the label of the product.
What people are saying about roseroot effectiveness
It is important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of any roseroot product will naturally depend on the quality of the formula and any other additives or supplements added to it. It is also important to note that the process of extraction of the roseroot bio-actives can also have a significant role in the potency of the product. So, when you are purchasing a roseroot product always check out for quality and the percentage of roseroot bio-actives as mentioned in the product label.
According to obtained data, in general, people have found consumption of roseroot helpful. While most people have reported positively for its efficacy in reducing depression, the reviews for effectiveness in reducing fatigue and anxiety are mixed. While it has worked for many, some have reported side effects as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does roseroot extract work?
It has worked for many, helping to cope with depression, anxiety and fatigue. There are some preliminary studies that indicate some beneficial effects of this herb in balancing neurotransmitters. However, so far there are no conclusive human trials to prove the same.
How long should I take it?
It can be said that taking roseroot twice daily in measured dosage for 6 to 12 weeks is probably safe. The long term effects of taking the same have not been established through any study. It is suggested to consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional to decide the best course for you.
Can I take it along with my other medications?
There has been no information about interaction of rhodiola with other medications. However, as this herb is known for reducing blood sugar as well as blood pressure levels hence consuming it along with medications for these conditions might result in a quick drop in blood sugar or pressure. So, if you are taking medication or injection for diabetes or blood pressure, take roseroot with caution. If you are under any regular medication always consult your doctor first before taking roseroot.
Can roseroot help with my anxiety?
Roseroot has shown some promising results in helping with anxiety, but till date no studies have established its effectiveness in anxiety treatment with certainty. Consult your healthcare professional first if you are planning to replace your anxiety medication with roseroot.
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