Dr. Dwayne Jackson

The Vital Science Blog

Starting Living Your Best

Viral protection from Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea is a potent herbal adaptogen, which increases the body’s ability to handle stress and fatigue. However, beyond this, studies report that Rhodiola rosea contains active compounds with antimicrobial potential.


Recently published in Frontiers in Nutrition, scientists from Appalachian State University (Boone, NC, USA) tested the antiviral and antibacterial activity of Rhodiola rosea in the blood samples of experienced marathon runners following supplementation. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups, where they either received Rhodiola rosea (600mg/day) or a placebo for 1 month prior to competing in a marathon, the day of the race, and for a week after. Blood samples were collected the day before the race, and at 15 minutes and 90 minutes post-marathon. Blood serum was then tested for antiviral and antibacterial activity in vitro. Although Rhodiola rosea did not induce antibacterial properties, it exerted significant antiviral effects post-marathon. 


ACTION POINT: We are all susceptible to viruses, especially in the winter and during times of heavy training—taking Rhodiola rosea may protect you from catching a nasty cold. This means more time competing and less time at the doctor’s office! For antiviral protection take 300-500 mg of Rhodiola rosea twice per day before breakfast and dinner. The most potent products contain standardized active rosavins and salidrosides in a 3:1 ratio. 



Ahmed M, Henson DA, Sanderson MC, Nieman DC, Zubeldia JM, Shanely RA. Rhodiola rosea Exerts Antiviral Activity in Athletes Following a Competitive Marathon Race. Front Nutr. 2015 Jul 31;2:24. 

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