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How to Use 5 HTP With Rhodiola Rosea to Keep Serotonin for the Brain

author image Jaime Herndon
Jaime Herndon has been writing for health websites since 2009 and has guest-blogged on SheKnows. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and women's studies, she earned a Master of Science in clinical health psychology and a Master of Public Health in maternal-child health. Her interests include oncology, women's health and exercise science.
How to Use 5 HTP With Rhodiola Rosea to Keep Serotonin for the Brain
Depressed woman Photo Credit: Tay Jnr/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or a chemical in the brain, that is involved in sleep, mood, memory and muscle contraction, among other things. Low serotonin levels can lead to depression and fatigue, and though there are medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also called SSRIs, some supplements may also help maintain adequate levels of serotonin in the brain. Before using any supplements, talk with your doctor to make sure they are safe to consume.

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Step 1

Tell your doctor about your symptoms of low serotonin, like depression, sleep disturbances or fatigue. Ask whether 5-HTP and Rhodiola rosea may be beneficial for you, and whether they are safe for you to take. Even though they are natural substances, they can interact with medications and cause adverse effects.

Step 2

Take 50 mg of 5-HTP, one to three times daily, suggests the University of Maryland Medical Center. High doses of this supplement can be toxic, so ask your health-care provider what a safe dosage is for you, to reduce the likelihood of negative side effects and toxicity.

Step 3

Consume 200 to 600 mg daily of Rhodiola rosea. According to, Rhodiola rosea has been shown to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and it helps increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, which allows precursors to serotonin and other neurotransmitters to cross into the brain more easily.

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