Rhodiola Rosea – History and Health Benefits of the Golden Root

Today, most of the supplements that you see in the market seem to have some properties of being an adaptogen. Starting from chocolates to functional elixirs and even beyond, today, supplements on the herbs are very easier to find than ever. One of those adaptogen supplements that you will find commonly is Rhodiola Rosea – a flowering plant which is used as an adaptogen. The roots of the plant are used to fight stress, boost energy, increase physical performance, and for many other purposes.

Also, commonly known as the arctic root, golden root, and king’s crown, the plant has been used in the traditional Chinese, Greek, and Japanese medicine for centuries now. In fact, its origins may be found in the 1st century AD. The plant is a powerhouse that one should keep in his/her herb arsenal.

History of Rhodiola Rosea

The herb gets its modern name after being discovered by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in the year 1725. It was first recommended to the people as a treatment for hysteria, hernia, vaginal discharge, and headache. Fifty years later after its discovery, the herb found its place in the first Swedish Pharmacopeia – a complete listing of all the medical preparations including the supplements.

Before being discovered in 1725, the herb was used as a medicine in ancient China, Japan, Greece, and even Russia. Studies have found the that the herb has been first documented in 77AD by the Greek physicians in their classic medicinal text the De Matera Medica.

It is believed that around the 13th century BCE, the herb Rhodiola Rosea traveled more than 2000 miles from the Caucasus Mountains in Russia to ancient Greece. Then it went to other parts of Asia, thanks to the trading expeditions of the Greeks. When it reached Central Asia, it was used as a tea and brewed for treatment of flu and the common cold. The Mongolian physicians also prescribed the herb for cancer and tuberculosis.

Traditional uses of the herb and health benefits

Native to Siberia, the herb has a long and enduring history as an effective adaptogen. As per the records, it was first used by the Vikings to increase endurance and physical strength. They were also used by the Chinese emperors for their medical benefits. There is evidence that the Chinese sent expeditions to find and bring back this wonder root and used it in various medicines.

There was a popular saying in Siberia which said, “People who consumed Rhodiola Rosea every day would live for at least a 100 years,” in fact, the herb is still given to the newlyweds to ensure fertility and for the birth of healthy children. It is perhaps the most closely guarded secret in many Siberian and Scandinavian family.

Benefits of the herb

It’s an adaptogen

Rhodiola Rosea is considered as a 2nd generation adaptogen which is extremely beneficial and potent. It contains a phytochemical called salidroside – a compound which is known to relieve stress and anxiety effectively. It also balances the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone that causes stress and anxiety when there is an imbalance of the hormones in the body. Rhodiola also repairs exhausted and burnt out adrenals, making it highly effective to combat stress, fatigue, anxiety, and worry.


The herb has been extensively researched for its benefits on aging and longevity. Studies suggest that some of the active compounds found in the herb help the herb to have anti-aging properties that also provide longevity. Rhodiola helps in protecting the cells from premature aging even when they are exposed to oxidative stress caused due to the free radicals in the body. It is also believed to boost your mental performance.

There you go, here’s everything you need to know about the Golden or Arctic root. If you stay in the UK and want to get hands on this herb, all you need to do is run an internet search on Rhodiola Rosea UK, and you will find the places where you can buy Rhodiola Rosea UK.