Dew-covered Rhodiola rosea plants with thick green leaves and blooming greenish-yellow flowers, nestled among rocks

Exploring Rhodiola Rosea: A Natural Nootropic for Anxiety Relief

Rhodiola rosea, commonly known as Golden Root or Arctic Root, is natural nootropic supplement renowned for its adaptogenic properties, which help the body resist various stressors. This nootropic has gained considerable interest for its potential to alleviate anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

This blog analyses a scientific review of Rhodiola rosea, specifically focusing on a pilot study examining its effects on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

By exploring this study, we aim to shed light on whether Rhodiola rosea can be a viable natural alternative for managing anxiety symptoms. Have you ever wondered if a natural supplement could ease your daily stress and anxiety?


Table of Contents

  • Background
  • Study Overview
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion


Exploring Rhodiola Rosea: A Natural Nootropic for Anxiety Relief


A cluster of Rhodiola rosea plants growing by a stream, displaying vibrant green leaves and yellow flowers



Rhodiola rosea has a long history of use in traditional medicine across Russia, Scandinavia, and Tibet, where it was primarily utilized to combat fatigue, enhance endurance, and improve overall resilience against environmental stress.

In modern times, it has surged in popularity as a dietary supplement due to its purported benefits, which include boosting energy, enhancing mood, and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. The growing interest in natural remedies for mental health conditions has spotlighted Rhodiola rosea, making it a subject of various scientific investigations.

However, its effectiveness and safety continue to be scrutinized to validate these traditional claims.


Study Overview

The pilot study titled "A Pilot Study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax®) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)" was authored by Alexander Bystritsky, M.D., Lauren Kerwin, B.A., and Jamie D. Feusner, M.D., and published in the February 2008 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea, a natural nootropic, in alleviating symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

The researchers conducted an open-label study over ten weeks with ten participants, all diagnosed with GAD according to DSM-IV criteria. The participants were recruited from the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Program and received a daily dose of 340 mg of Rhodiola rosea extract.

The study utilized various assessment tools, including the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), the Four-Dimensional Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Clinical Global Impressions of Severity/Improvement Scale, to evaluate the outcomes.

The study focused on observing changes in anxiety symptoms and the overall safety and tolerability of Rhodiola rosea as a treatment option.




The study found that participants treated with Rhodiola rosea exhibited significant reductions in anxiety symptoms. Specifically, the study reported a notable decrease in mean Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) scores from baseline to endpoint, with an average reduction from 23.40 to 14.10 (t = 4.70, p = 0.001).

Additionally, 50% of the participants experienced at least a 50% reduction in their HARS scores, and 40% achieved remission criteria, scoring 1 or 2 on the Clinical Global Impressions of Improvement scale and an endpoint HARS score of 8 or below.

The study also highlighted mild to moderate adverse events, such as dizziness (20%) and dry mouth (40%), which did not lead to any discontinuation of treatment.



The findings from this pilot study suggest that Rhodiola rosea, a natural nootropic, may have significant anxiolytic effects. Participants showed a substantial reduction in anxiety symptoms, with HARS scores dropping from an average of 23.40 at baseline to 14.10 at the end of the study, a statistically significant improvement (t = 4.70, p = 0.001).

This aligns with existing knowledge about Rhodiola rosea's adaptogenic properties, which help the body cope with stress. However, this study's design has several limitations, including a small sample size and the absence of a placebo control group, which means that some observed effects could be due to the placebo effect.

Critically, the open-label nature of the study introduces bias, as both participants and researchers knew they were receiving the treatment.

Future research should include larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to confirm these findings and rule out placebo effects. Additionally, exploring the long-term effects and potential interactions with other medications would be valuable.

For practical applications, readers might consider Rhodiola rosea as a supplementary treatment for managing mild to moderate anxiety.

However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, particularly for individuals with pre-existing conditions or those taking other medications.



This study highlights the potential of Rhodiola rosea as a natural nootropic for reducing anxiety symptoms. While the results are promising, further research is necessary to fully understand its efficacy and safety.

We encourage readers to explore this nootropic and share their experiences or thoughts in the comments below.

Consider discussing Rhodiola rosea with your healthcare provider to see if it might be a suitable addition to your wellness regimen.


Learn more about the vitamins, minerals and natural nootropic plant extracts we use to give your brain a daily boost 

Back to blog

Explore nooroots

1 of 2