Rhodiola Rosea is among the most well-studied and effective natural nootropics. It is a perennial flowering plant that grows on sea cliffs and mountains in cold regions of the world. Supplementation may provide notable decrease to fatigue, and notable improvement to focus and mood, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on humans:
Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. In 2015, this study found that Rhodiola, "although less effective than sertraline, [Rhodiola] may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate depression". Participants used 340 mg of 1.95% salidroside extract (~7 mg salidroside) daily for 12 weeks.
Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea extract WS® 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms--results of an open-label study. In 2012, this study found that Rhodiola "is safe and effective in improving life-stress symptoms to a clinically relevant degree". Participants used 400 mg of WS-1375 extract (>4 mg salidroside) daily for 4 weeks.
The influence of adaptogens on ultraweak biophoton emission: a pilot-experiment. In 2009, this study found that "after supplementation, a significant decrease concerning the experienced level of fatigue in the Rhodiola group was observed". Participants used 288 mg of 2.3% salidroside extract (~7 mg salidroside) daily for 1 week.
Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. In 2007, this study found that Rhodiola "shows anti-depressive potency in patients with mild to moderate depression". Participants used 340 to 680 mg of SHR-5 extract (>3 to >7 mg salidroside) daily for 6 weeks. The higher dose was more effective.
Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. In 2004, this study found that Rhodiola "can improve endurance exercise capacity in young healthy volunteers". Participants used 200 mg of 1% salidroside extract (~3 mg salidroside) once or daily for 4 weeks. Both time periods were effective.
A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. In 2003, this study found that Rhodiola had "a pronounced antifatigue effect". Participants used 370 to 555 mg of 2.4% salidroside extract (~9 to ~13 mg salidroside) once. The higher dose was not more effective.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. In 2000, this study found that "the most significant improvement in the [Rhodiola] group was seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro-motoric tests ... [and] the self-assessment of the general well-being was also significantly better". Participants used 100 mg of SHR-5 extract (>1 mg salidroside) daily for 3 weeks.
- Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. In 2000, this study found that Rhodiola "can reduce general fatigue under certain stressful conditions". Participants used 170 mg of 2.6% salidroside extract (~4 mg salidroside) daily for 2 weeks.
Not all studies of Rhodiola Rosea have demonstrated nootropic effect.
- Rhodiola rosea for mental and physical fatigue in nursing students: a randomized controlled trial. In 2014, this study found that "among nursing students on shift work, a 42-day course of [Rhodiola] compared with placebo worsened fatigue". Participants used 364 to 546 mg of 2.8% rosavin extract (unknown salidroside) daily for 6 weeks.
An explanation for this result, in contrast to other studies, may be that rosavin is not a bioactive. Salidroside and tyrosine are the bioactives in Rhodiola Rosea, according to this study:
- Comparative study of Rhodiola preparations on behavioral despair of rats. In 2008, this animal study found that "Rhodioloside [salidroside], and tyrosol were identified as active principles of the extract, whereas rosavin, rosarin, rosin, cinnamic alcohol, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid were inactive".
To summarize, supplementation of Rhodiola Rosea extract at a dosage of at least 1 mg salidroside daily was consistently effective across eleven tests in eight studies. Supplementation at an unknown dosage of salidroside was not effective across two tests in one study.
When selecting a Rhodiola Rosea supplement, look for one that provides servings of at least 1 mg salidroside, such as 100 mg of an extract standardized to at least 1% salidroside. Preferably choose a Rhodiola Rosea supplement that provides servings of between 6 and 8 mg salidroside, such as 600 to 800 mg of an extract standardized to at least 1% salidroside, or 300 to 400 mg of an extract standardized to at least 2% salidroside. These parameters may provide the greatest potential for nootropic effect.
Based on these and other studies, Thrivous developed a nootropic dietary supplement for daily use. A single serving (two capsules) of Clarity contains 300 mg of a 2% salidroside extract of Rhodiola Rosea, or at least 6 mg salidroside. Accordingly, daily supplementation of Clarity may provide notable decrease to fatigue and notable improvement to focus and mood. So what are you waiting for? Talk to your doctor about starting Clarity today!