Rhodiola for Depression

Andrew Weill reports on studies suggesting that Rosavin, made from Rhodiola rosea, may be helpful in sustaining mood.


Herb Reduces Depression, May Extend Life

Rhodiola rosea is not a widely known botanical remedy, but perhaps it should be. Several recent studies have revealed that the herbal extract of this yellow-flowered, Arctic mountain plant may have multiple health benefits. A study published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, reporting on people with mild-to-moderate depression, showed that patients who took a Rhodiola extract known as SHR-5 (sold under the trade name Arctic Root) reported fewer symptoms than those who took a placebo. And a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine revealed that fruit flies that ate a diet rich with Rhodiola lived an average of 10 percent longer than those that ate three other herbs known for their life-extension properties.

As usual, these modern findings come long after indigenous people have already determined the plant’s value. Russians and Scandinavians have used it for centuries to combat stress and depression.

See also NYBC entry on Rosavin, a Rhodiola rosea extract produced by Ameriden.