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Rhodiola Rosea Worsens Fatigue


I read the title of this study and was expecting more good news for Rhodiola Rosea as a nootropic and adaptogenic supplement. The results were surprising.

Rhodiola Rosea for Mental and Physical Fatigue in Nursing Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

"A total of 48 participants were randomized to R. rosea (n = 24) or placebo (n = 24). The mean change in scores on the Vitality-subscale was significantly different between the study groups at day 42 in favor of placebo. The mean change in scores on the VAS-F was also significantly difference between study groups at day 42 in favour of placebo. Total number of adverse events did not differ between R. rosea and placebo groups."

"This study indicates that among nursing students on shift work, a 42-day course of R. Rosea compared with placebo worsened fatigue; however, the results should be interpreted with caution."


Interesting, the experiment didnt seem too shabby

I've tried it once a few years ago, didnt notice any effects, maybe it was me or the quality of the product


Pb Andy,

Yes, I can personally attest to weird fatigue and residual anxiety on rhodiola which is perhaps dose and extract dependant (salisarose vs rosavins).

Out of curiosity, as a fellow nootraveller, what is your take on rhodiola's little sister bacopa? What nootropic regimen are you on now?

Apologies for going off topic but afaik pm don't work on this site


I don't fare well on bacopa. It fatigues and demotivates me in the morning, like my dopamine levels are super low. The caveat is that when I take it at night, it really is the best anti-anxiety/chill-mode herb I've found, and my sleep is always the deepest on it. But the groggy effect I feel the next day is too much, it lasts the whole day and no amount of tyrosine/caffeine fixes it.

So, haven't had much luck with herbal nootropics. I may try rhodiola again but for something that's not standardized to rosavins, and ashwagandha is on my list too.

My current supplement regimen varies but right now:

Black organic coffee in morning/before workout (Plazma/creatine for workout)
Mix of B6/B12, DHA, Uridine, CDP-choline, GPC, Huperzine-A
100mg caffeine/200mg l-theanine pill before work (3:30 PM)
Elitepro Minerals before bed

Brain Candy is nice every now and then in the morning for a good pick me up, but I found two studies that suggest that chronic low-to-moderate caffeine consumption could be a negative for learning/memory:

Caffeine alters proliferation of neuronal precursors in the adult hippocampus

Inhibitory effects of caffeine on hippocampal neurogenesis and function.

I've done the 23andme/promethease test, two main things I've found is I have the poor methylation gene and have to keep my homocysteine levels in check (another knock on excessive caffeine as it can raise homocysteine levels).


What does NAC do for you?


My nail-biting tendencies are very much decreased when I take NAC. I also take it for a bunch of purported health reasons that I don't particularly notice, but there seems to be a substantial amount of studies that back its use.


Looks like a good Brain Support mix you have right there PB Andy. I support the motion with regard to Bacopa, the hangover feeling outweighs the chill potential. Plus it made me soooo slow and unmotivated, and even negatively affected my gym sessions. I sent the remainder of my supply to my mum who is on her annual leave lol.

I do well on dopaminergics, so my stack up until now included hefty doses of tyrosine and ephedrine. Of course, this is not a viable long term approach, but I invite you to add 20 mg of Eph to your caffeinated brain candy and let me know what you think :wink:

Recently, I developed a more Hyman-esque perspective (check out the Ultra Mind solution, you won't be disappointed). That means focusing on nutrients, so tyrosine is still in (occasionally), and so is decaf brain candy even though I now tend to lean towards Alpha-GPC pre workout. I found that a good mitochondrial stack gives me bags of energy and improves my focus:

Magnesium Malate
CoQ10+ Coconut oil (thanks BBB!)

That and a low dose of berberine plus theanine pre bed and I no longer miss Rhodiola :slight_smile: