Golden root, Rhodiola rosea in Latin, is a stalky plant with yellow flowers that grows in cold regions of the world like the Arctic, Russia, the mountains of Central Asia and the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia, Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland.
Golden root is used to improve mood and alleviete depression. It may improve stamina by reducing fatigue and improving mental and physical performance. It may also reduce or prevent altitude sickness. It has been used for senturies by Russians, Vikings, and the Sami people to cope with cold Siberian climates and a stressful life.
Golden root has been categorized by herbalists, similarily to Asian ginseng, as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that increase the body's resistance to mental and physical stressors.
Today, golden root is used by some to treat fatigue, boost energy, and ease the symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia.
Golden root, or Rhodiola rosea, is available in capsule form.
Golden Root and Your Health
Rhodiola rosea probably gets its medicinal properties from the compounds rosavin, rosarin, and rosin, which are not found in other Rhodiola species. Other probably active ingredients include salidroside, p-tyrosol, rhodioniside, rhodiolin and rosiridin.
The effects of Rhodiola rosea are attributed to its influence on opioid peptides and endorphins, and also its ability to optimize serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters involved in depression) levels.
Most studies on the herb are from Slavic and Scandinavian countries, and their results show Rhodiola rosea to be better than placebos at improving performance, easing fatigue, and boosting energy. The claim that golden root can prevent stress-related diseases has yet to be scientifically proven.
Golden Root Side Effects
Golden root has not been shown to have many or strong side effects. Irritability and insomnia may be possible for people taking high dosages of golden root extract.
The herb has no known drug or herb interactions, but you should use caution when deciding to take golden root and talk to your doctor first, especially it you are taking other medications or supplements.
The safety of this herb in all populations has yet to be studied, so the young, the elderly, and pregnant and nursing women should take caution and talk to their doctor before taking golden root supplements.