Rhodiola rosea has a long history of use in Europe as a treatment for fatigue and stress and to enhance mental and physical performance. Drugs.com, a site that provides information compiled from various medical databases, reports research has shown it might also help treat depression. Suggested dosage guidelines have been established, but you should work with a doctor experienced in using herbal medicine for guidance on the appropriate dosage for your needs and safe usage. Check with your doctor before using rhodiola or any natural supplement.
General Dosage Guidelines
Rhodiola has been used in dosages of 200 to 600 mg daily, according to Drugs.com. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center notes a common daily dosage of rhodiola is 170 to 185 mg daily. In certain instances of one-time use, however, such as before a sporting event, two to three times that dose may be suggested.
In clinical trials, rhodiola has been used to treat depression in doses of 340 mg to 680 mg daily. These studies, however, have not gone on longer than 12 weeks, meaning you cannot know what effects the supplement might have when used for longer than this at this dosage, or any dosage. If you have an interest in experimenting with rhodiola use for depression, you should only do so under the supervision of your doctor.
Use in Specific Populations
While rhodiola appears as a generally safe supplement, formal research has not been conducted regarding safe use in certain populations. For this reason, if you are pregnant or nursing or have severe liver or kidney disease, you should not use rhodiola. You should also refrain from giving it to children without consulting with your pediatrician first.
Other Considerations for Use
Available research on rhodiola indicates it is a generally safe nontoxic herb. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes possible side effects include irritability and insomnia and that it could potentially affect the activities of CYP3A4 and P-Gp, enzymes used in the breakdown of certain drugs in the body. For this reason, consulting with your doctor before use takes on extra importance if you currently take any medications.