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Rhodiola rosea as a nootropic


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#1 lecithin

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:54 AM


Hi guys,

I've been taking Now Foods 500 mg Rhodiola Rosea, 2x in the morning and 0-2x in the afternoon.

Everything I've read says it's great for combating stress, fatigue, depression, but studies also show potential efficacy as a nootropic.

I have experience with study aids from piracetam / hydergine to adderall, ritalin, adrafinil, vyvanse, etc. Stimulants are more effective than any other study aid I've tried (in the short run for immediate effects, mental clarity and drive), with piracetam being great with moderate-long term payoff (increased feeling of mental capacity (placebo confidence?), lower anxiety).

I've been trying Rhodiola without any other nootropic supplements. While I do notice increased mood / drive / lowered anxiety, I can't tell any other effect on memory recall. Nor do I feel increased mental clarity. Anyone had any luck using this as an adderall alternative?

I'd love to mix Rhodiola with a stimulant but I'm worried about the MAOI characteristics of Rhodiola mixed with amphetamine, serotonin syndrome sounds like a hell of a bad time.

Have you guys had any luck with Rhodiola as a study aid? Cheers ~

#2 Phreak

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:59 PM

Hi guys,

I've been taking Now Foods 500 mg Rhodiola Rosea, 2x in the morning and 0-2x in the afternoon.

Everything I've read says it's great for combating stress, fatigue, depression, but studies also show potential efficacy as a nootropic.

I have experience with study aids from piracetam / hydergine to adderall, ritalin, adrafinil, vyvanse, etc. Stimulants are more effective than any other study aid I've tried (in the short run for immediate effects, mental clarity and drive), with piracetam being great with moderate-long term payoff (increased feeling of mental capacity (placebo confidence?), lower anxiety).

I've been trying Rhodiola without any other nootropic supplements. While I do notice increased mood / drive / lowered anxiety, I can't tell any other effect on memory recall. Nor do I feel increased mental clarity. Anyone had any luck using this as an adderall alternative?

I'd love to mix Rhodiola with a stimulant but I'm worried about the MAOI characteristics of Rhodiola mixed with amphetamine, serotonin syndrome sounds like a hell of a bad time.

Have you guys had any luck with Rhodiola as a study aid? Cheers ~


I've heard good things about Rhodiola, but never in conjunction with memory; more just - like you said - to do with mood, mental drive and clarity. I don't take it myself due to the MAOI qualities so I can't really comment on it much more. Lots of people on here use it, though, and talk of it very positively, especially in conjunction with a carefully formulated stack.

However, what I really AM interested in is how on earth you got ahold of Vyvanse?? I am not a particular fan of stimulants (although I don't deny their extreme effectiveness) because I often find that I get nasty "comedowns" off them.

Despite this, I have always been very interested in Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine - Wikipedia link) ever since I heard of it. I would absolutely love to be able to try this med, but it's so rare I have not found a way to get near it! Would you be able to enlighten me as to how you managed to get your hands on this "wonder drug"?* :)


* it may not be so for you; but for me - any drug that I read about that I haven't tried and like the sound of is a potential "wonder drug"
:~

Edited by Phreak, 07 May 2009 - 01:00 PM.


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#3 bryce126

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:35 PM

I've been taking LEF's Rhodiola Extract for about 20 days now and haven't really noticed much at one capsule/day. I may increase just to experiment, but as of yet, nothing spectacular.

#4 bran319

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

2grams of Rho a day? Good grief.

#5 Imagination

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:20 PM

Heard amazing things about it and thought I had to try it..didn't notice a thing, even at high doses, tried different brands too.

#6 Phreak

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:03 PM

2grams of Rho a day? Good grief.


What should the dosage be? I've gotten my hands on the Viridian brand Rhodiola Rosea [standardized root extract: 1% rosavins, 1% salidrozid, 40% polyphenols] and was planning to take 1 capsule (350mg) in the morning, and the same in the evening...? Sound good?

TBH, it was an impulse buy when I was in the store. I saw it there; remembered I had heard good stuff; knew Viridian was a good brand and just bought it. I don't reeeaaaallly know what it's used for though, so any enlightening would be great :)

I'm obviously going to go and do my research on the forum and elsewhere now (I just came back from the shop) but any other recommended info from subjective use or other would still be helpful... ;)

#7 lecithin

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:20 PM

Phreak: I got a prescription for Vyvanse 70 mg. I've cycled through almost every stimulant medication in college (except desoxyn) and last time I went to my psyc he threw me a 3 month gift card for vyvanse! They're trying to get everyone hooked with 90 days of free medication (worth 450 USD, they give you a debit card to give to pharmacist).

As for effects, lasts (for me) about 9-12 hours with 1-2 hours come up and 2-5 hour come down. The come down is REALLY bad though, it's not a harsh come down like from an instant release amphetamine, but a dampening of mood and spirit that won't go away. I've suffered depression, and coming down on vyvanse is like getting stuck in a 2-5 hour window into my past-- antisocial, no motivation, don't want to do anything, sit around and watch tv, really sad, etc etc.

Best way to fix that i've found is to do an hour of cardio exercise when you're coming down, it's miserable but you feel normal afterwards. Also splitting the pill 50 mg morning 20 mg noon gives a smoother come down. I've used 5-htp when coming down too, and theanine to keep a stable mood.

Vyvanse is OK, but addy xr is still my best friend.

Bran319: be more helpful. Why do you think my dose is too much? On the back of the Now Rhodiola extract 500 mg pills container dosage is 1-2 pills. I didn't think I was going overboard with rhodiola, what dose do you think is best?

#8 ChristianS

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:10 PM

Phreak: I got a prescription for Vyvanse 70 mg. I've cycled through almost every stimulant medication in college (except desoxyn) and last time I went to my psyc he threw me a 3 month gift card for vyvanse! They're trying to get everyone hooked with 90 days of free medication (worth 450 USD, they give you a debit card to give to pharmacist).

As for effects, lasts (for me) about 9-12 hours with 1-2 hours come up and 2-5 hour come down. The come down is REALLY bad though, it's not a harsh come down like from an instant release amphetamine, but a dampening of mood and spirit that won't go away. I've suffered depression, and coming down on vyvanse is like getting stuck in a 2-5 hour window into my past-- antisocial, no motivation, don't want to do anything, sit around and watch tv, really sad, etc etc.

Best way to fix that i've found is to do an hour of cardio exercise when you're coming down, it's miserable but you feel normal afterwards. Also splitting the pill 50 mg morning 20 mg noon gives a smoother come down. I've used 5-htp when coming down too, and theanine to keep a stable mood.

Vyvanse is OK, but addy xr is still my best friend.

Bran319: be more helpful. Why do you think my dose is too much? On the back of the Now Rhodiola extract 500 mg pills container dosage is 1-2 pills. I didn't think I was going overboard with rhodiola, what dose do you think is best?



Just found this:
Says that its NOT a MAOI

http://www.goodhealt...es/rosavin5.htm

#9 Imagination

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:19 PM

I was really excited about trying this after hearing so many good things, tried it, noticed nothing, so put it down to a poor brand, tried another reputable brand and nothing again, even at high doses.

#10 ChristianS

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:19 AM

I think I noticed a slight improvement in the erectile function, But but - to early to say as for now.

Maybe placebo, allthough not the reason I was taking it.

Otherwise I cant tell anything, as for now I just experienced good creative results with Centro, not even sure that Piracetam has any effect, but then again how can you tell?

Overall, I just feel a lot better.
Better because of a brighter mind, and better because of more energy.

#11 Animal

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:58 PM

I think I noticed a slight improvement in the erectile function, But but - to early to say as for now.

Maybe placebo, allthough not the reason I was taking it.

Otherwise I cant tell anything, as for now I just experienced good creative results with Centro, not even sure that Piracetam has any effect, but then again how can you tell?

Overall, I just feel a lot better.
Better because of a brighter mind, and better because of more energy.


What's Centro?

#12 Imagination

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:16 PM

Didn't notice a thing taking it, tried several different reputable brands too.

#13 j03

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:44 PM

I didn't have much luck with the Now brand. I felt nothing on it. I think it was New Chapter's Rhodiola Rosea I took, and it blew me away! I haven't had luck with any Now nootropic though. L-theanine didn't do anything for me, neither did the Now tyrosine. However, the Natural Factors l-theanine worked extremely well, and so did the Natural Factor's tyrosine. I recently started Now ashwaganda, and should have known better - i am feeling nothing from this either.

#14 ultranaut

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:27 AM

I've mixed rhodiola with adderall, I did not notice anything unusual. If it is a MAOI I think it is probably an extremely weak one.

#15 pycnogenol

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:54 PM

What's Centro?


Centrophenoxine

Edited by pycnogenol, 17 September 2009 - 04:55 PM.


#16 acantelopepope

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:46 PM

I use Biotest Rhodiola, standardized at 15% rosavins, which is the highest concentration that I know of by far. It lifts my mood, increases my energy, helps me sleep better... all subjective, of course, but I am very confident about those effects. Link: http://www.tmuscle.c...o.do?id=2262627

#17 mdma

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:25 PM

I just received my Rhodiola and taking it now for the second day. Do you guys take this one with or without food? Mine are 250 mg from LifeLink, a correct dosage would be something around 1 or two times a day i guess?

RR was by far the cheapest nootropic ive ever came across thats for sure, reading all the reviews around here it sure sounds like best results for its price.

Edited by mdma, 17 October 2009 - 03:26 PM.


#18 abelard lindsay

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:53 AM

Anecdotally, I will say that I have a curious thing that happens when I take Rhodiola. Besides the good mood and anxiety lowering effects. Often times after taking it, random memories from my childhood or 10 years ago will come to me spontaneously. I'm not trying to remember them, they'll just show up. What's also interesting is they are mainly neutral or slightly pleasant memories. This has happened to me a number of times pretty reliably. The effect seems to be increased when combined with Piracetam. I have a very good memory generally so maybe this is just a result of my particular brain chemistry. Has anyone else experienced this?
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#19 Invariant

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 10:29 AM

Anecdotally, I will say that I have a curious thing that happens when I take Rhodiola. Besides the good mood and anxiety lowering effects. Often times after taking it, random memories from my childhood or 10 years ago will come to me spontaneously. I'm not trying to remember them, they'll just show up. What's also interesting is they are mainly neutral or slightly pleasant memories. This has happened to me a number of times pretty reliably. The effect seems to be increased when combined with Piracetam. I have a very good memory generally so maybe this is just a result of my particular brain chemistry. Has anyone else experienced this?


I've never tried rhodiola, but that happens to me after using bacopa monieri for a while. Very pleasant experience. Does anyone know if there is some common mechanism to these two herbs that could cause this?

#20 matthias7

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:33 PM

What's Centro?


Centrophenoxine

This ain't Rhodiola. I've tried it briefly - for herbal stuff it was amazing, lots of energy. It will depend on the quantity and extraction technique.

There's an 18:1 extraction process, thus 1g at 18:1 would be 18g of root. The amount of this stuff in your cap affects its potency (obviously)

Basically I suspect that different suppliers have different potency.

#21 matthias7

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:40 PM

It is suspected of MAO but not proven. Personally my very brief trial with it was a great success and I'd over look the 'rumours'.

If it is MAO it will be weak - the fact there's no hard evidence is evidence IMO. If you start getting thumping headaches then it would be the first suspect and you'd have to stop it.

I used liquorice to quit massive caffeine intake but although I used solid extract I don't think it was that effective, well I quit caffeine so it worked. Rhodiola was probably a better route.

#22 mdma

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 04:48 AM

Seriously Rhodiola pretty much became the best friend of Piracetam as i kind of trust this one for cognitive results. Also the fact that when i burp it taste like roses really helped my decision of keeping it in my routine.(not a joke)

Edited by mdma, 31 December 2009 - 04:50 AM.


#23 Chaos Theory

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

I just decided I'm going to give Rhodiola another try. Maybe the stuff I got from BN over a year ago wasn't a good batch or something. I seemed to get no effect from it @300-600mg doses.

Is there any truth to the claim that it needs to be cycled?

Some substances do, and some don't. I don't know how that statement is made when the MOA of Rhodiola isn't exactly known.

#24 meursault

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:13 PM

ajnast4r said that a successful run with rhodiola for a while eventually resulted in permanent tolerance

#25 superdopa

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:53 PM

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar 18;122(2):397-401. Epub 2009 Jan 9.
Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots.
van Diermen D, Marston A, Bravo J, Reist M, Carrupt PA, Hostettmann K.

Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
AIM OF THE STUDY: Rhodiola rosea L. (Crassulaceae) is traditionally used in Eastern Europe and Asia to stimulate the nervous system, enhance physical and mental performance, treat fatigue, psychological stress and depression. In order to investigate the influence of Rhodiola rosea L. roots on mood disorders, three extracts were tested against monoamine oxidases (MAOs A and B) in a microtitre plate bioassay. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methanol and water extracts gave the highest inhibitory activity against MAOs. Twelve compounds were then isolated by bioassay-guided fractionation using chromatographic methods. The structures were determined by 1H, 13C NMR and HR-MS. RESULTS: The methanol and water extracts exhibited respectively inhibitions of 92.5% and 84.3% on MAO A and 81.8% and 88.9% on MAO B, at a concentration of 100 microg/ml. The most active compound (rosiridin) presented an inhibition over 80% on MAO B at a concentration of 10(-5) M (pIC50=5.38+/-0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The present investigation demonstrates that Rhodiola rosea L. roots have potent anti-depressant activity by inhibiting MAO A and may also find application in the control of senile dementia by their inhibition of MAO B.

Seems there's no doubt it has MAO-A and B inhibiting qualities, granted this is an in vitro study. Also, regarding that link posted earlier, I was under the impression st. john's wort was an SSRI not an MAOI. Not to mention they didn't post any references.

#26 someidiot

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 04:18 AM

ajnast4r said that a successful run with rhodiola for a while eventually resulted in permanent tolerance



In the holistic community, Rhodolia is propagated as an adaptogenic, which supposedly NORMALIZES one's 'unbalanced' system; perhaps this is why Rho loses it's effectiveness.

It may be a good idea to cycle this herb for overall maintenance i suppose...

...personally i did the rho thing about 9 months ago. Took 1 100mg 1% standardized each of the actives from solaray brand. I got a massive headache. I believe i was supplementing with some L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine for some several days prior though.

I purchased Rho back then for adrenal fatigue; however, i recently heard of its MAO A/B properties and figured why not. I popped 2 100mgs of the aforementioned brand on friday and bingo. Mood lift, focus, motivation, and sustainable energy-not in a manic way-which i am quite prone to when i take other ergogenic substances (which is interesting because Rho is contraindicated in bipolar disorder...i'm not bipolar though...at least i dont think..). Keep your % of actives low because at high doses it can get a little sedating...albeit in a woozy, happy way; i guess good for a night stargazing whilst listening to music. By the way, i believe it accumulates in the body--so if you find you do a Rho binge, you will not need as much the next day. My last dose was yesterday around 12pm; it is 11pm today and I do not feel the need to take it.

Anyhow, it has only been 3 days for me. So who knows. But seriously I just had to post about this herb, though i may feel its effects more because my body has not been exposed to too much drugs/supplementation besides caffeine, ephedra/drine; and recently l-tyrosine.

#27 Thorsten2

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:01 PM

A great herb, mixes excellently with bacopa and piracetam. I find it is best taken on an empty stomach. Also less is more in my case as I prefer the stimulating, motivational effects as opposed to the sedation (although this can be nice if I'm having a lazy day chilling).
Amazed at the rosavin content that acantelopepope has found...12%!! I think mine is 3%. What effects do you get from that acantelopepope? Is it quite sedating?

#28 someidiot

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:54 PM

A great herb, mixes excellently with bacopa and piracetam. I find it is best taken on an empty stomach. Also less is more in my case as I prefer the stimulating, motivational effects as opposed to the sedation (although this can be nice if I'm having a lazy day chilling).
Amazed at the rosavin content that acantelopepope has found...12%!! I think mine is 3%. What effects do you get from that acantelopepope? Is it quite sedating?



i think the less actives, the better. The ratio between the 2 actives in Rho matter too. It might be best to keep rosavin content slightly higher then salisoside content for stim/moto effect. I first took a 1:1 ratio, now I am taking 3:1 ratio rosavin/salisoside; i wouldn't deter anymore than that. However the 1:1 ratio is quite interesting in large amounts. Once you get over that 'hump' of sedation, then it is a nice mix of energy without the racing of thoughts that I usually get on stims.

#29 prophets

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:06 PM

anyone have a view on the life extending mechanisms behind Rhodiola Rosea? is it predicated on better functioning mitochondria...

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17990971

Rhodiola: a promising anti-aging Chinese herb.

Jafari M, Felgner JS, Bussel II, Hutchili T, Khodayari B, Rose MR, Vince-Cruz C, Mueller LD.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. mjafari@uci.edu

Using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we investigated the effects of Rhodiola on life-span. Rhodiola is a plant root used in traditional Chinese medicine that may increase an organism's resistance to stress. It has been proposed that Rhodiola can extend longevity and improve health span by alleviating oxidative stress. Rhodiola supplied every other day at 30 mg/mL significantly increased the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster. When comparing the distribution of deaths between Rhodiola-supplemented and control flies, Rhodiola-fed flies exhibited decelerated aging. Although the observed extension in lifespan was associated with statistically insignificant reductions in fecundity, correcting for a possible dietary restriction effect still did not eliminate the difference between supplemented and control flies, nor does the effect of Rhodiola depend on dietary manipulation, strongly suggesting that Rhodiola is not a mere dietary restriction mimetic. Although this study does not reveal the causal mechanism behind the effect of Rhodiola, it does suggest that the supplement is worthy of continued investigation, unlike the other Chinese herbals, Lu Duo Wei (LDW), Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (BZYQT), San Zhi Pian (SZP, Three Imperial Mushrooms), Hong Jing Tian (Rhodiola) that were evaluated in this study.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/18536978

Plant adaptogens increase lifespan and stress resistance in C. elegans.
Wiegant FA, Surinova S, Ytsma E, Langelaar-Makkinje M, Wikman G, Post JA.

Department of Biology, Cellular Architecture & Dynamics, Institute of Biomembranes, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. f.a.c.wiegant@uu.nl
Extracts of plant adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus senticosus (or Acanthopanax senticosus) and Rhodiola rosea can increase stress resistance in several model systems. We now show that both extracts also increase the mean lifespan of the nematode C. elegans in a dose-dependent way. In at least four independent experiments, 250 microg/ml Eleutherococcus (SHE-3) and 10-25 microg/ml Rhodiola (SHR-5) significantly increased life span between 10 and 20% (P < 0.001), increased the maximum lifespan with 2-3 days and postponed the moment when the first individuals in a population die, suggesting a modulation of the ageing process. With higher concentrations, less effect was observed, whereas at the highest concentrations tested (2500 microg/ml Eleutherococcus and 250 microg/ml Rhodiola) a lifespan shortening effect was observed of 15-25% (P < 0.001). Both adaptogen extracts were also able to increase stress resistance in C. elegans: against a relatively short heat shock (35 degrees C during 3 h) as well as chronic heat treatment at 26 degrees C. An increase against chronic oxidative stress conditions was observed in mev-1 mutants, and during exposure of the wild type nematode to paraquat (10 mM) or UV stress, be it less efficiently. Concerning the mode of action: both adaptogens induce translocation of the DAF-16 transcription factor from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, suggesting a reprogramming of transcriptional activities favoring the synthesis of proteins involved in stress resistance (such as the chaperone HSP-16) and longevity. Based on these observations, it is suggested that adaptogens are experienced as mild stressors at the lifespan-enhancing concentrations and thereby induce increased stress resistance and a longer lifespan.


The Genescient guys seem to be in the pro-Rhodiola Rosea camp. It piques my interest.

Edited by prophets, 25 January 2010 - 09:07 PM.

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#30 someidiot

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

A great herb, mixes excellently with bacopa and piracetam. I find it is best taken on an empty stomach. Also less is more in my case as I prefer the stimulating, motivational effects as opposed to the sedation (although this can be nice if I'm having a lazy day chilling).
Amazed at the rosavin content that acantelopepope has found...12%!! I think mine is 3%. What effects do you get from that acantelopepope? Is it quite sedating?


i wonder what attributions the rosavins and salisozides are responsible for; i wonder what each active would do in isolation.




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