Planta Med 2009; 75(11): 1187-1190
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1185720
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Perspective on Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) Studies

Josefin Blomkvist1 , Adam Taube2 , Dan Larhammar1
  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Pharmacology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Department of Information Science, Statistics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Further Information

Publication History

received March 6, 2009 revised April 14, 2009

accepted April 14, 2009

Publication Date:
25 May 2009 (online)


Rhodiola rosea (roseroot) extract is a commercially successful product, primarily used to reduce the effect of fatigue on physical and mental performance. In this perspective we present our investigation of the most recent studies performed on human subjects. With a focus on the statistical methods we found considerable shortcomings in all but one of the studies that claim significant improvement from roseroot extract. Overall, the study designs have not been well explained. Experimental results have been confused and appear to be in some cases incorrect. Some of the conclusions are based on selected results and contradicting data have not been adequately taken into account. We point to other studies of higher quality performed on roseroot, several that found no significant effect and one that did. We conclude that the currently available evidence for the claimed effects is insufficient and that the effect of Rhodiola rosea is in need of further investigation before therapeutic claims can be made.


Prof. Dan Larhammar

Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Pharmacology
Uppsala University

Box 593

75124 Uppsala


Phone: + 46 1 84 71 41 73

Fax: + 46 18 51 15 40