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Rhodiola
rosea has become one of the most important adaptogenic plants used in modern
alternative clinical practices. Rhodiola rosea (also known as “Golden Root”)
has been used in Eastern Europe, Scandivania and Asia. There are several
benefits have been attributed to the intake of Rhodiola rosea root extracts.
These include stimulation of the central nervous system (Lazarova, Petkov, Markovska, Petkov, & Mosharrof, 1986), enhancement of
physical work performance (Aizov & Seifulla, 1998), increased muscle
strength (Brown, Gerbarg, & Ramazanov, 2002), suppression of
mental fatigue (Spasov, Wikman, Mandrikov, Mironova, & Neumoin, 2000) and prevention of
high altitude sickness (Kelly, 2001).
In addition, Rhodiola rosea also has been claimed to have anti-cancer ( (Udintsev
& Shakhov, 1991) and cardioprotective (Maslova, Kondrat’ev, Maslov, & Lishmanov, 1994) properties. Besides
that, due to its observed ability to offer resistance against a variety of
biological (Boon, Van Den, Wikman, & Wiegant, 2000) and physical
stressor (Darbinyan, et al., 2000) and also the absence
of any severe adverse effects (GS, 2001),
Rhodiola rosea has been categorized as an adaptogen.

Ishaque
et al., (Ishaque, Shamseer, Bukutu, & Vohra, 2012) stated that,
Rhodiola rosea referred to as an herb used to enhance physical and mental
performance.  A study conducted by Walker
et al., (Walker, Altobelli, Caprihan, & Robergs, 2007) mention that,
rhodiola rosea purported to improve resistance to stressors and to enhance
physical performance, potentially by improving adenosine triphosphate turnover.
However, when he studied the effect of Rhodiola rosea ingestion on human
skeletal muscle phosphocreatine recovery after exhaustive exercise in
resistance-trained men, the report shown that, there were no improvement in ATP
turnover during or immediately after exercise, time to exhaustion or perceived exertion.
Furthermore, Rhodiola rosea can modulate hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA)
axis activity as well as that of several neurotransmitters (Panossian, Wikman, & Sarris, 2010).

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In a
study conducted by (De Bock, Eijnde, Ramaekers, & Hespel , 2004), a single dose
Rhodiola rosea supplementation improved time to exhaustion by 3 percent on a
cycle ergometer, but there was no change with chronic supplementation of 4
weeks in physically active men. Furthermore, in a maximal strength that he
conducted, the reaction times and movement time did not change with the
supplementation either. Moreover, combination of Rhodiola rosea and Cordyceps
sinensis was also evaluated in two studies with cyclist and both studies showed
no significant effects on oxygen dynamics, various physiological measures or
cycling time to exhaustion (Colson, Wyatt, Johnston, FitzGerald, & Earnest , 2005)

Another
study conducted by Maniscalco et. Al. (2015), reported a case of a 68 years old
female patient with recurrent moderate depressive disorder with somatic
syndrome who developed vegetative syndrome, restlessness and trembling since
she began ingesting Rhodiola supplements in addition to paroxetine ( (Maniscalco,
Toffol, Giupponi, & Conca , 2015). These symptoms may
due to serotonergic syndrome (Maniscalco, Toffol, Giupponi, & Conca , 2015) which is possible
that concomitant use of Rhodiola rosea and selective SSRIs may lead to an
excess of serotonin in the CNS or in peripheral nervous system with subsequent
increased clinical risks. 

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