- Rhodiola rosea is an herb with a centuries-long history of serving medicinal purposes.
- The flowering plant is believed to aid weight loss, reduce stress levels, increase energy, enhance athletic performance, and improve cognitive function.
- The best way to get the benefits of Rhodiola for weight loss is by taking a Rhodiola-based greens powder.
Obesity is a prevalent and costly health concern in the United States. From 2017 to 2020, the United States reported an obesity prevalence of over 40 percent, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. (Source)
Moreover, the United States spent an estimated 173 billion dollars on medical costs related to obesity in 2019. (Source)
The media will tell you that expensive weight loss products are the key to losing weight. However, the tools you need for weight loss might already be in your kitchen.
Rhodiola rosea is one of these helpful tools. An ancient herb, Rhodiola has served medicinal purposes for centuries. Today, it is believed to aid weight loss and provide a range of additional health benefits.
This article covers what you need to know about Rhodiola rosea and weight loss, from Rhodiola’s health benefits to the best ways to take Rhodiola rosea.
What Is Rhodiola Rosea?
Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant native to the mountainous regions of Northern Europe and Asia. It was traditionally used in Russia and Scandinavia to treat fatigue and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. (Source)
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen, an herb that improves the body’s ability to handle stress. Adaptogens can help the body bounce back from a stressful event and become more resilient to adversity. (Source)
Also referred to as the “golden root,” people have turned to Rhodiola rosea recently for its adaptogenic qualities and impressive list of potential health benefits.
This list of benefits includes but is not limited to reduced stress levels, increased energy, improved athletic performance, and improved cognitive function.
This is one of the reasons that Rhodiola has been included in supplements for brain fog and in energy supplements for chronic fatigue sufferers.
Some supposed benefits, however, are supported by more scientific evidence than others.
In the next section, we examine each claim in more detail.
Rhodiola And Weight Loss
Despite serving medicinal purposes for centuries, little research has been conducted on Rhodiola rosea extract and powder. Research on the connection between Rhodiola and weight loss is practically nonexistent.
Due to the limitations and gaps in current research, it is impossible to determine exactly if and how Rhodiola rosea affects weight loss.
That being said, there is evidence to suggest that Rhodiola can aid weight loss indirectly.
Let’s take a look at the weight loss-adjacent benefits Rhodiola rosea can provide:
1. Rhodiola May Help Burn Fat
Some research suggests Rhodiola rosea can help the body burn fat.
One study, for example, showed that Rhodiola possessed fat-burning and anti-obesity properties, both of which could aid weight loss. (Source)
However, more human research is needed to see the real-life effects of Rhodiola rosea on fat burning and confirm these findings.
2. Rhodiola Reduces Fatigue
Research suggests that Rhodiola rosea can reduce fatigue.
For example, one study showed that participants who took 400 mg of Rhodiola rosea daily experienced significant improvements in mood and energy levels after just one week. They reported improved mood and concentration as well as decreased levels of stress and fatigue. (Source)
While this benefit is not directly linked to weight loss, the hardest part about exercise is getting started.
Feeling less tired may motivate people to increase their movement throughout the day. Rhodiola rosea may also give people the energy they need to extend their exercise sessions.
3. Rhodiola Improves Exercise Performance
Rhodiola rosea has been linked to improved exercise performance.
One animal study showed, for example, that rats who were given Rhodiola extract had improved strength and muscle power during exercise. (Source)
Other studies showed that participants who took Rhodiola rosea reported feeling less physical exertion during exercise. (Source)
These studies suggest that Rhodiola rosea may help improve overall fitness levels.
This can aid weight loss by making exercise less strenuous, improving cardiovascular health, and promoting a more active lifestyle.
4. Rhodiola Reduces Stress
There is a strong link between chronically high cortisol levels and weight gain. (Source)
Regardless of whether weight gain is a result of stress-eating or the body’s physiological response to stress, reducing your stress levels may be vital for weight loss. (Source)
Luckily, plenty of research suggests that Rhodiola rosea can lower cortisol levels.
One study showed that taking 500 mg of Rhodiola lowered cortisol levels in participants after 21 days. (Source)
Another study had similar results, showing that participants who took a Rhodiola rosea supplement experienced less stress-related mental fatigue. (Source)
Managing your stress levels is vital for weight loss. Rhodiola can help prevent stress-related weight gain by keeping cortisol at healthy levels.
Other Health Benefits Of Rhodiola
Rhodiola rosea provides health benefits that are unrelated to weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of these perks.
1. Rhodiola Alleviates Depression Symptoms
Some research suggests that Rhodiola rosea may possess antidepressant properties that can alleviate some symptoms of depression.
For example, one study demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea supplementation had a similar effect on depression symptoms as the prescribed antidepressant Zoloft. (Source)
This finding suggests that Rhodiola rosea may serve as a supplemental treatment for depression. However, more human research is needed before making any conclusive claims.
2. Rhodiola Improves Cognitive Function
Animal research suggests that Rhodiola rosea may contain cognitive-boosting properties.
For example, a review of over 30 animal studies concluded that Rhodiola has the potential to enhance learning and memory retention. (Source)
Another study showed that Rhodiola both enhanced memory and had an antidepressant effect on its animal subjects. (Source)
These studies indicate that Rhodiola may boost cognitive function and serve as a supplemental treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
However, more human research is needed before confirming these findings.
How To Use Rhodiola For Weight Loss
There are a few different ways to use Rhodiola for weight loss. You can incorporate Rhodiola rosea into recipes or take a supplement that features Rhodiola as its main ingredient.
However, the best way to use Rhodiola for weight loss is by taking a Rhodiola-based greens powder supplement. This allows you to meet your daily Rhodiola needs while consuming other beneficial ingredients with detoxifying and fat-burning properties.
That being said, herbal supplements like Rhodiola rosea should be used as a supplemental weight loss aid, not as your sole solution to weight gain.
The best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight is through a proper diet and exercise. Without these things, Rhodiola can only help to an extent.
Safety And Side Effects
Rhodiola rosea is generally considered safe to consume and comes with many potential health benefits. However, it can potentially cause side effects in some people.
Because Rhodiola has a stimulating effect, it may cause some people to feel overstimulated or jittery. This side effect is more common when Rhodiola rosea is paired with other stimulating ingredients. Rhodiola may also cause mild digestive upset in some individuals.
In addition, because Rhodiola is not widely researched, its effect on medications are unknown. Talking to a healthcare professional before taking Rhodiola is best if you have a preexisting condition, are pregnant, or take medications.
Research suggests that Rhodiola is safe to consume in 300 to 600 mg daily doses. Some studies show that Rhodiola is effective in doses as low as 200 mg. It is best to talk to a healthcare professional to determine what dosage is best for you.
Rhodiola paired with other adaptogens like ashwagandha can increase its effectiveness.
Taking a greens powder with Ashwagandha and Rhodiola together can maximize your weight loss efforts.
If you are unsure when is the best time to take Rhodiola, you can safely take it any time of day. However, because it has a slightly stimulating effect, you may want to avoid taking it before bed.
Rhodiola rosea is an ancient herb with a surplus of potential health benefits. It may indirectly aid weight loss in addition to lowering stress levels, improving mood, increasing energy levels, promoting fat loss, enhancing exercise performance, reducing fatigue, and more.
These potential benefits of Rhodiola rosea make it a worthwhile addition to your wellness routine. The best way to incorporate Rhodiola rosea into your diet is by taking a Rhodiola-based greens powder supplement.
For this reason, we recommend Supergreen Tonik for your daily dose of Rhodiola rosea. It contains clinically-approved doses of Rhodiola extract and powder in every serving in addition to a blend of 38 superfoods, nutrients, probiotics, and adaptogens.
Supergreen Tonik is a great way to meet your Rhodiola needs while increasing your overall vitamin and nutrient intake. Its high-antioxidant contents and additional ingredients work alongside its 300 mg of Rhodiola rosea to promote healthy weight loss.
Lastly, Supergreen Tonik is third-party tested and free of deceiving proprietary blends, so you know exactly what you are getting in every scoop.
Kelly McGeehan is a freelance health and wellness writer based in Oahu, Hawaii. She’s a proud former Owl, graduating with her Master’s degree in English from Temple University. She is also a competitive runner with 15 years of mileage under her spikes. Kelly combines her background in healthcare, wellness, and fitness with her writing background to create content for various health-related businesses.
She brings a passion for holistic health to the keyboard and writes to inspire others to live happier, healthier lives. In her free time, you’ll find her reading on the beach or training for her next half marathon.