Rhodiola rosea

Name: Rhodiola rosea


Popular names: golden root, pink root.

RHODIOLA ROSE (Rhodiola rosea L.)Perennial herbaceous plant of the Crassulaceae family. The rhizome is thick, with thin adventitious roots, brownish, the color of bronze or antique gilding with a peculiar mother-of-pearl sheen. From this coloring comes the popular name “golden root”. The weight of a perennial rhizome can reach 500-800 g or more. Stems are numerous (up to 10-15 pcs.), rarely solitary, erect, unbranched, traditionally 10-40 cm high. Leaves sessile, oblong-ovate, elliptical or almost lanceolate, pointed, serrated-toothed in the upper part along the edge. Inflorescence corymbose, many-flowered. The flowers are unisexual, the sepals are yellow-green, the petals are yellow. In male flowers, the stamens are longer than the petals. The fruits are erect greenish leaflets. Blossoms in June – July, fruits ripen in July – August. Propagated vegetatively (by segments of rhizomes). Seed propagation is less important, but seed productivity is high – one generative shoot produces up to 900 seeds. It grows in the mountains of Altai, Eastern Siberia, the Urals, the Far East. More often, Rhodiola rosea is found scattered in the northeastern Altai in the bald belt at the boundaries of altitudes from 1500 to 2500 m above sea level, where you can find its massive thickets. So, in the Teletsky district, there are areas where there are up to 60 thousand copies of the golden root per 1 hectare. More than 1500 kg of rhizomes can be harvested from this area. In the conditions of central Europe, it gives two growing seasons. Moisture-demanding plant, needs abundant but flowing moisture, and is less demanding on heat and light. The plant is included in the Red Book of the RSFSR. The plant in its medicinal properties is not much inferior to ginseng. Rhodiola rosea has been used in Altai folk medicine for many centuries as a means of increasing mental and physical performance. From time immemorial people have been saying: “He who finds the golden root will be successful and healthy until the end of his days, he will live two centuries.”


The main medicinal raw materials are rhizomes with roots, which are harvested from the end of flowering to the end of the growing season of the plant. In order to ensure the restoration of thickets, repeated harvesting of rhizomes in the same place is permissible only after 10-15 years. Young plants with 1-2 stems are not subject to harvesting. Dug out rhizomes with roots are cleaned from the ground, washed in running water, cleaned of old, brown cork, rotten parts and laid out in the shade for drying. Then the rhizome is cut across into pieces 2-10 cm long and dried in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 ° C (drying in the sun is not allowed). The shelf life of raw materials is 3 years. The smell of raw materials is specific, somewhat reminiscent of the smell of a rose, the taste is bitter-astringent.


Rhodiola preparations have a pronounced stimulating property, significantly increase the volume of dynamic and static work. Especially noticeably increases efficiency when using products on the background of fatigue and when performing hard work. At the same time, Rhodiola rosea normalizes metabolic processes, contributes to the economical use of energy resources and their rapid resynthesis, improves energy metabolism in muscles and the brain due to oxidative processes associated with phosphorylation, the earlier use of not only carbohydrates, but also lipids as oxidation substrates. Preparations Rhodiola has a stimulating effect on the mental performance of a person, somewhat improves memory and attention.


Underground part. The alcoholic extract is used as a stimulant of the central nervous system, in asthenic and neurasthenic conditions, increased fatigue, reduced work capacity, vegetative-vascular dystonia, and in functional diseases of the nervous system. The stimulating effect is superior to Eleutherococcus. In Tibetan medicine – for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. In Mongolian medicine – for pulmonary tuberculosis, bone fractures, skin diseases; as antipyretic, tonic; externally (in the form of lotions, ointments) – for the treatment of wounds. In folk medicine, decoction, tincture – for metro- and menorrhagia, diarrhea, fevers, headaches, scurvy, to relieve fatigue and increase efficiency, for respiratory infections, for gout (as a diuretic), diabetes mellitus, scrofula, diseases of the stomach, anemia, pulmonary tuberculosis, liver diseases, toothache, impotence. Outwardly (poultices, lotions) – with conjunctivitis, abscesses, skin rashes; for lubricating the gums – with pyorrhea. Juice – wound cleansing; with jaundice. Aerial part. Decoction, lotions – with trachoma.


Rhodiola liquid extract (Extractum Rhodiolae fluidum) is taken 5-10 drops 2-3 times every day 15-30 minutes before meals. The course of treatment is 10-20 days. In psychiatric practice, it is prescribed starting with 10 drops 2-3 times every day, then the dose is gradually increased to 30-40 drops per dose. The duration of treatment is 1-2 months. The extract is stored in a cool, dark place.♦ Tincture of rhizomes with Rhodiola roots: 50 g of crushed raw materials are poured into 500 ml of 40% alcohol and infused for 2 weeks in a dark, warm place. Take 20-30 drops 3 times every day 30 minutes before meals. Persons prone to high blood pressure in the first week of treatment should take 5 drops 3 times every day. With a favorable course of treatment, the dose is increased to 10 drops per dose.♦ Infusion of rhizomes with Rhodiola roots: 10 g of crushed raw materials are poured into 200 ml of boiling water, infused for 4 hours, then filtered. Take 1/2 cup 2-3 times every day. CONTRAINDICATIONS AND POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: pronounced agitation, hypertensive crisis, feverish conditions. When signs of agitation, insomnia and headache appear, Rhodiola products are discontinued.


The underground part is used in the food industry for the manufacture of non-alcoholic tonic drinks. It is used for tanning leather and dyeing fabrics. The aerial part is eaten like a salad.


Rhodiola prefers fertile, light-textured soils, as the roots rot on heavy clayey and highly waterlogged soils and the rhizome grows weakly. It is propagated by segments of rhizomes with roots, with 2-3 renewal buds (rhizome division is carried out in April or at the end of July) and sowing seeds. Seeds are sown superficially in early spring, seedlings are planted in a permanent place at the age of 2 years. The rhizome is not buried, the renewal buds should be at the level of the soil. Care during the growing season of plants comes down to loosening the soil and weeding weeds. Good results are obtained by top dressing with slurry, previously fermented for 5-6 days and diluted with water by 3-4 times. The yield of underground organs under natural growing conditions is approximately 270 kg / ha. The mass of one root is up to 100 g (sometimes up to 2 kg).

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