Rhodiola  (Golden Root)

Latin:  Rhodiola rosea (sacra)

Family:  Crassulaceae

Parts Used:  

Taste/Energetics:  Cooling, drying

Properties:  Antioxidant. immunostimulant, adaptogen, antidepressant, anxiolytic, stimulant, astringent

Actions:  This is one of the most stimulating adaptogens available to us and is very helpful for increasing energy, stamina, memory, cognitive acuity and improving our response to stress.  It helps bolster the immune system so that we can fight off illness better.   This is an herb that grows low to the ground in Northern European countries such as Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia.  It has long been used as a folk tonic in those countries and it has now been assayed by researchers who have discovered a number of constituents (such as rosin and salidroside) that have tonic properties.

Because it is so stimulating I tend to think of it as useful for the heavy, lethargic type  with fatigue, trouble concentrating, mentally foggy who feel depressed.  Rhodiola lifts, strengthens and gets a person motivated without the boom and bust effect of a normal stimulant such as coffee.

Dosage:  If you try this as a decoction, you likely will never try it again.  It is one of the most bitter and astringent herbs you can take as a tea.   As a decoction, 2-4 tsp to one pint of water decocted for 40 minutes.   I recommend it primarily in tincture form 1-2 ml to 2 x/day.   In capsule form 1-2 gram up to 2x/day.  Take before 5 pm to avoid potential of overstimulation at night.

Contraindications:  It is not generally good for the wired, excitable type with insomnia who feels burnt out.   For some it can induce excessive feelings of restlessness, stimulation and make it hard to get to sleep.

Further Reading:

Rhodiola monograph  by Jon Keyes