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4 Rhodiola Rosea Side Effects to Watch Out For (Explained)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: December 30, 2022
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Rhodiola Rosea is a high-altitude plant that is commonly used in dietary supplements and nootropics for improved mood and mental stamina.

But a nutritionist recently highlighted a few side effects associated with the bioactive compound in Rhodiola Crenulata and Rhodiola Algida.

So we decided to research the available scientific literature and studies to see what you might need to look out for.

It turns out that while it’s generally safe to take, there are some adverse interactions with certain medications to be aware of.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Rhodiola Rosea is a plant that grows in cold conditions at a high altitude in Europe and Asia, where it has long been used in traditional medicine, usually with mild recorded side effects.
  • It’s an increasingly common ingredient in nootropics, as it can help manage stress-related fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
  • Rhodiola supplements can have some adverse effects, especially for people on medication for mental health conditions.

Does Rhodiola Rosea Extract Have Side Effects? 

A woman having a severe headache, and side effects

Rhodiola Rosea extracts can produce some side effects like drowsiness, headaches, stomach upset, and even low blood pressure.

But it’s important to note that these effects mostly happen due to medical drug interactions.

It’s also important to know that this plant extract is also sometimes listed as golden root, rose root, or arctic root.

You’ll find it in different supplements for exercise performance and nootropics for cognitive function and even mild to moderate depression.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works and what health benefits it has.

What Does Rhodiola Do to the Body?

Rhodiola Rosea can have physical and mental performance effects on the body, and you’ll find it in workout supplements and nootropics [1].

It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, but modern scientific studies have also shown some interesting effects on the brain [2].

The possible plant adaptogen can have an effect on monoamines and opioid peptides.

And these can have a positive effect on mood, stress, and physical and mental fatigue.

However, what’s important to understand is that it can interact with medication for mental health.

“Rhodiola Rosea has been classified by some researchers as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants that help make the body less prone to physical and emotional stress.”
- Elena Klimenko, MD at

4 Adverse Reactions to Watch Out For 

Drowsy woman yawning while working in front of laptop

My nutritionist highlighted that on its own, Rhodiola is generally classed as safe to take with limited to no negative effects [3].

However, people who have generalized anxiety disorder or depression and are taking medication to treat these disorders should be aware of some potential effects.

And it’s vital to talk to your doctor before being exposed to the bioactive compounds of Rhodiola.

1. Drowsiness

People who take benzodiazepine for major depressive disorder could experience drowsiness as an interaction with Rhodiola [4].

And that can significantly counteract the benefits of health-related use.

2. Heart Rate

A person in bed having a problem with her heart rate

There is also evidence that it can have an impact on your heart rate [5].

While maintaining a lower heart rate during and after exercise can be a positive sign, even moderate doses could cause an interaction with other cardiac-related medication.

3. Low Blood Pressure

A systematic review of studies on Rhodiola also highlighted that it could lower blood pressure.

For people with high BP, that can be one of the important benefits of Rhodiola, but if you have low BP, then be careful with this ingredient [6].

4. Dry Mouth

This seems to be a less common effect you might experience with a Rhodiola supplement, and I couldn’t find clear scientific study results on this.

But my nutritionist highlighted that she had encountered a few people who said they seemed to have less saliva production.

This could also be an interaction with other similar supplements, as Rhodiola is often combined in a larger formula of herbs, vitamins, and amino acids.

Is There a Safe Dosage?

One mug of Rhodiola Rosea extract

Rhodiola Rosea has a safe dosage range of 50 mg to 600 mg per day [7].

This is based on studies that have involved Rhodiola extracts, with an acute dose being used for up to 12 weeks.

As with all herbal supplements, there is no official requirement to prove efficacy over a specific minimum and maximum time period.

But if you stick with that range, you shouldn’t have any major issues.

Unfortunately, there are no randomized clinical trials to show how much you could possibly take while on mental health medication.

This is one area where more research is needed.

Who Should Not Take Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract?

People who are taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, heart medications, or have significant immune system problems shouldn’t take Rhodiola Rosea without first consulting a doctor.

It doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be suitable, but you need to make sure that you won’t have adverse reactions.

And your doctor also needs to know that you’re taking all-natural nootropics or medicines in the form of a standardized extract that might make them adjust your drug dosage.


Is Rhodiola Rosea FDA Approved?

No, Rhodiola Rosea isn’t FDA-approved, but it also doesn’t require approval as a dietary supplement. At the same time, it’s classed as generally safe to take with limited known allergic reactions that could cause issues.

Is It OK to Take Rhodiola Every Day?

Yes, it’s OK to take Rhodiola extract every day, and many people do so for mental and athletic performance benefits. There are some negative effects of Rhodiola and other symptoms to watch out for, but they typically involve interactions with prescription medication.

Boost Your Mental Capacity With This Ancient Herb 

Rhodiola Rosea has been used for hundreds of years, and modern research results show that there is a definite link to mental as well as physical performance.

Our team at Total Shape has spent several months testing dozens of nootropics that contain Rhodiola, and we’ve come up with an ideal list of products for men and women:

Check out the test results we got and order your first supply to see how much of a difference it can make for your performance levels.


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