Rhodiola rosea L. has a long history of use in traditional medicine to stimulate the nervous system, treat stress-induced fatigue and depression, enhance physical performance and work productivity and treat gastrointestinal ailments and impotence. Apart from its well-established traditional use, a significant number of publications on the clinical efficacy of various R. rosea preparations can be found in the literature. The majority of these studies are related to the efficacy of R. rosea in terms of cognitive functions and mental performance, including various symptoms of life-stress, fatigue and burnout. The beneficial effects of this medicinal plant on enhancing physical performance have also been evaluated in professional athletes and non-trained individuals. Moreover, even though most evidence originates from pre-clinical trials, several clinical studies have additionally demonstrated the remediating effects of R. rosea on cardiovascular and reproductive health by addressing non-specific stress damage and reversing or healing the disrupted physiologies and disfunctions. Overall, in accordance with its aim, the results presented in this review provide an encouraging basis for the clinical efficacy of R. rosea preparations in managing various aspects of stress-induced conditions.
Keywords: Rhodiola rosea; adaptogen; clinical studies; golden root; medicinal plants; phytotherapy; roseroot; stress protection.