Efficacy and tolerability of aRhodiola rosea extract in adults with physical and cognitive deficiencies


During a 12-wk drug monitoring study, the efficacy and safety of aRhodiola rosea extract given in combination with vitamins and minerals (vigodana®) were tested in 120 adults (83 women and 37 men, ages 50–89 y) with physical and cognitive deficiencies. Two different dosage regimens were chosen. One group of 60 patients (group 1) took 2 capsules orally in the morning after breakfast, and the other group (group 2) took 1 capsule after breakfast and 1 after lunch. Three medical examinations were performed during the course of the study (at baseline, after 6 wk, and after 12 wk). The evaluated symptoms were divided into physical disturbances such as exhaustion, decreased motivation, day-time sleepiness, decreased libido, sleep disturbances, and cognitive complaints (eg, concentration deficiencies, forgetful ness, decreased memory, susceptibility to stress, irritability). A statistically highly significant improvement (P < .001) in physical and cognitive deficiencies was observed in the overall group, as well as in the separately evaluated groups 1 and 2. In addition, the time needed to complete a digit connection test decreased significantly in all groups (P < .001). Improvements in group 1 were more pronounced than in group 2, however, indicating that the intake of 2 capsules after breakfast is more effective than the intake of 1 capsule after breakfast and 1 after lunch. Global assessment of efficacy revealed that treatment was “very good” or “good” for 81 % of patients, as reported by physicians, and for 80%, as reported by patients. Ninety-nine percent of patients and physicians rated safety as “good” or “very good.” No adverse events occurred during the course of the study. The results of this drug monitoring study are very promising, but they still need to be corroborated by future placebo-controlled clinical trials.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Shevtsov VA, Zholus BI, Shervarly VI, et al. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work.Phytomedicine. 2003;10:95–105.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al.Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty.Phytomedicine. 2000;7:365–371.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Spasov A, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect ofRhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen.Phytomedicine. 2000;7:85–89.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Stancheva SL, Mosharrof A. Effect of the extractRhodiola rosea L. on the content of the brain biogenic monamines.Med Physiol. 1987;40:85–87.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Thomas D. A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991.Nutr Health. 2003;17:85–115.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Rosenberg IH, Miller JW. Nutritional factors in physical and cognitive functions of elderly people.Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;55:1237–1243.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Penninx BWJH, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, et al. Vitamin B12 deficiency and depression in physically disabled older women: epidemiologic evidence from the Women’s Health and Aging Study.Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157:715–721.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joerg Gruenwald PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fintelmann, V., Gruenwald, J. Efficacy and tolerability of aRhodiola rosea extract in adults with physical and cognitive deficiencies. Adv Therapy 24, 929–939 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02849986

Download citation


  • drug monitoring study
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • nutritional supplementation
  • cognitive performance
  • physical performance