Rhodiola rosea, also known as arctic root, roseroot, or golden root, is an herb known as an "adaptogen". Such an herb helps you adapt to various stresses while causing little or no side effects. The dose you take will depend on considerations such as what you are using it for, and the form of the herb you are taking.
Rhodiola has been used for centuries in Asia and Eastern Europe. Its traditional use has been as a tonic to boost physical and mental performance, a stimulant for the nervous system, and a remedy for depression, stress and fatigue. The herb is reputed to enhance general health, athletic performance, memory, attention span, and sex drive. [ref 1,2,3] However, there have only been a few human studies supporting any of these claims.
According to E.M. Olsson et al of the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University in Sweden, a daily dose of a standardized preparation of Rhodiola rosea roots containing 576 mg of extract was effective in countering fatigue and increasing mental performance. [ref 4 ] Also, V. Darbinyan et al of the Department of Neurology at Armenian State Medical University showed that people suffering mild to moderate depression benefit from a daily dose range containing 340 to 680 mg of extract. [ref 2,6]
Preparations of herbs can be standardized as to their content of active ingredients. Clinical trials have used standardized products containing 2 to 3% rosavin and 0.8 to 1% salidroside. If you wish to take Rhodiola for fatigue, low energy or mild depression, you might try starting with a daily dose of 100 mg of the product for a week, then increasing the dosage by 100 mg each week, until you are taking 400 mg daily, as suggested by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. [ref 3]
Although clinical doses are typically in the range of 200 to 600 mg of Rhodiola extract a day [ref 1], establishing a recommended dose for Rhodiola rosea has been difficult, in light of the scarcity of human studies. Research studies have looked into a variety of health claims made for the herb, using different doses and preparations, with mixed results. [ref 5] Fortunately, few side effects have been reported, and those have generally consisted of mild to moderate levels of dizziness and dry mouth. [ref 3]