Sedum roseum (L.) Scop.

Last updated: 23 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Sedum roseum (L.) Scop.  


Rhodiola arctica Boriss., Rhodiola borealis Boriss., Rhodiola elongata (Ledeb.) Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Rhodiola iremelica Boriss., Rhodiola krivochizhinii Sipliv., Rhodiola maxima Nakai, Rhodiola minor Mill., Rhodiola odora Salisb., Rhodiola odorata Lam., Rhodiola roanensis (Britton) Britton, Rhodiola rosea L., Rhodiola sachalinensis Boriss., Rhodiola scopolii A.Kern. ex Simonk., Sedum altaicum G.Don, Sedum arcticum (Boriss.) Rønning, Sedum elongatum Ledeb., Sedum rhodiola Vill. [Illegitimate], Sedum roanense Britton, Sedum sachalinense (Boriss.) Vorosch., Tetradium odoratum (Lam.) Dulac, Tolmachevia krivochizhinii (Sipliv.) Á.Löve & D.Löve [1]

Vernacular Name

English Roseroot [2]
Japan iwa-benkei [2]
Germany Rosenwurz [2]
Russia родиола розовая (rodiola rozovaja), золотой корен (zolotoj koren) [2].    

Geographical Distributions

Sedum roseum is naturally distributed in Arctic and montane regions of Eurasia to the Kuriles and Japan. [2]

Botanical Description

S. roseum is a member of the family Crassulaceae. [1]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

S. roseum has been reported to contain phenylpropenoids (e.g. rosavin, rhosavidin, rhodiolosid, salidrosid), tyrosol, cinnamic alcohol, essential oil, anthraglycosides, beta-sitosterin, daucosterol, monoterpenes, flavonoids, and tannins. [3][4]

Plant Part Used

Root [2]

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Adaptogenic activity

The effect of rhodiola or S. roseum on learning and memory and in decreasing the effects of chronic stress has been studied in laboratory animals. Several methods of active avoidance with negative and positive reinforcements were used, as well as passive avoidance. S. roseum extract was reported to improve learning and retention after 24 hours. Significant improvement of long-term memory was also established in memory tests after a 10-day treatment with the same dose of the extract (0.1 mL of a 1:1 w/v). Like Siberian ginseng, rhodiola is routinely used by athletes in the former Soviet Union to improve performance. While the mechanism is not completely understood, rhodiola seems to improve the ratio of muscle to fat, decreases the time to shift to a fat burning metabolism, and increases hemoglobin and erythrocyte levels in the blood. [5][6]

For the treatment of depression, extracts of S. roseum, namely rosavin and salidroside, in animal studies seem to enhance the transport of serotonin precursors, tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan into the brain and decrease the action of COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase), an enzyme that degrades serotonin. [7]

Cardiovascular activity

S. roseum has been reported to be antiarrhythmic in both human and animal subjects [8][9][10]. The antiarrhythmic effect of rhodiola is reported to be associated with the induction of opioid peptide biosynthesis, specifically kappa-OR [11][12]S. roseum was found to prevent stress-induced cardiac damage. It was concluded that rhodiola may prevent both stress-induced catecholamine release and higher cAMP levels in the myocardium. The findings suggest that the antistressor and cardioprotective effects of rhodiola are associated with limited anti-adrenergic effects on the heart [13].

Immune/anticancer activity

S. roseum extracts have been reported to be chemoprotective when used with cyclophosphamide [14]. The extract and derivative were reported to protect the myelopoietic tissue from the toxic action of cyclophosphamide, retaining or increasing the suppressive effect of the latter towards clonogenic tumor cells. Russians have used this data to support its use as a biological response modifier during antitumor chemotherapy [15]. It was found that S. roseum extracts significantly reduce the yield of cells with chromosome aberrations and micronuclei induced by cyclophosphamide in vivo and inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by NMU in vitro [16]. It is postulated that S. roseum extracts are antimutagenic due to their ability to raise the efficiency of intracellular DNA repair mechanisms. Other mechanisms include induction of apoptosis in cancer cells [17].

S. roseum has also been reported to decrease the toxicity of Adriamycin in mice with metastatic carcinoma [18]. Adriamycin can be involved in producing liver dysfunction, as usually seen by a sharp increase in blood transaminase levels. S. roseum extract was reported to decrease this toxicity and inhibit tumor dissemination. Combined application of Adriamycin and the rhodiola extract proved effective in terms of antimetastatic efficacy and was nearly free from toxicity. Another laboratory study reported that use of S. roseum extract increased the antitumour and antimetastatic effects of cyclophosphan (cyclophosphamide) [19].

Antidiabetic activity

S. roseum extract increased blood insulin and decreased glucagon levels, resulting in a 50 to 80 percent increase in liver glycogen where excess sugar is stored. This information suggests that S. roseum extracts may help normalize blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance. [20]

Antioxidant activity

S. roseum is reported to have antioxidant activity, most likely due to the cinnamic alcohol content [21].

Antiviral activity

Laboratory studies have found that salidroside from S. roseum possesses antiviral activities against coxsackievirus B3 and may represent a potential therapeutic agent for viral myocarditis. [22]

Nicotine withdrawal activity

Laboratory studies have reported S. roseum may be useful in opiate addiction and nicotine withdrawal. [23]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

A small human trial, a double-blinded study to 22 members of the Polish Rowing Team who were participating in a preparatory camp found that S. roseum increased antioxidant levels in plasma of professional rowers [24].

A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study reported that an extract of S. roseum root had stimulating and normalizing activity in students during a stressful examination and had positive effects on physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro-motoric tests. Also, a self-assessment of the general well-being of each individual was also significantly higher than placebo [25]. Another study investigated the effect of repeated low-dose treatment with a standardized extract of S. roseum on fatigue during night duty among a group of 56 young, healthy physicians. The authors reported that S. roseum can reduce general fatigue under certain stressful conditions [26].

A 2009 phase III clinical trial found that a standardized S. roseum extract had anti-fatigue activity that increases mental performance, particularly the ability to concentrate, and decreases cortisol response to awakening stress in burnout patients with fatigue syndrome. An extract of rho S. roseum diola in combination with vitamins/minerals was administered to 120 adults aged 50-89 years and reported to improve cognition in 81% of patients[27]. S. roseum has also been reported to increase exercise endurance in humans [28].

A clinical study found that an extract of S. roseum (SHR-5) significantly improved generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, with a reduction in HARS scores similar to that found in clinical trials. S. roseum alone or in combination with antidepressants have been used to enhance mental state and decrease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) common to Northern European countries. [29]


No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.

Interaction with drug

Adrenergic-blocking agents

Studies report that S. roseum may act in the body like some of these medications, which may alter the effects of these medications and possibly the dose needed for treatment. Use with caution. [13] These drugs include atenolol, esmolol, betaxolol, penbutolol, carteolol, bisoprolol, pindolol, metoprolol, timolol, sotalol, acebutolol, nadolol, propranolol, labetalol, carvedilol, methyldopa, clonidine, guanfacine, guanabenz, brimonidine tartrate, dipiprazole, levobunolol, levobetaxolol, metipranolol.

Antiarrhythmic medications

Studies report that S. roseum may act in the body like some of these medications, which may alter the effects of these medications and possibly the dose needed for treatment. Use with caution. [8][9] These drugs include amiodarone, bretylium tosylate, adenosine, dofetilide, propafenone, lidocaine, tocainide, flecainide, ibutilide fumarate, moricizine, quinidine, disopyramide, procainamide, mexiletine, verapamil, digoxin, propranolol, sotalol, esmolol, acebutolol


S. roseum was reported in a laboratory animal study to decrease the development and expression of morphine dependence after chronic or acute administration. [30]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


No documentation.

Case Report

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Sedum roseum (L.) Scop. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  2. Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. Rhodiola rosea L. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 May 19] Available from:,mf_use,source,akzanz,rehm,akzname,taxid:mf,,botnam,0,,Sedum%20rosea,21928
  3. Saratikov AS, Krasnov EA, Chnikina LA, et al. Rhodiolosid, a new glycoside from Rhodiola rosea and its pharmacological properties. Pharmazie. 1968;23(7):392-395. German.
  4. Thieme H. On the identity of glucoside rhodioloside and salidroside. Pharmazie. 1969;24(2):118-119.
  5. Petkov VD, Yonkov D, Mosharoff A, et al. Effects of alcohol aqueous extract from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on learning and memory. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1986;12(1):3-16.
  6. Mattioli L, Funari C, Perfumi M. Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on behavioural and physiological alterations induced by chronic mild stress in female rats. J Psychopharmacol. 2009;23(2):130-142.
  7. Saratikov AS, Krasnov EA, editors. Rhodiola rosea is a valuable medicinal plant (Golden root). Tomsk, Russia: Tomsk State Medicinal University Press; 1987.
  8. Lishmanov Iu B, Maslova LV, Maslov LN, Dan'shina EN. The anti-arrhythmia effect of Rhodiola rosea and its possible mechanism. Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1993;116(8):175-176. Russian.
  9. Maslov LN, Lishmanov IuB, Maĭmeskulova LA, Krasnov EA. [Mechanism of the anti-arrhythmic effect of Rhodiola rosea extract]. Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1998;125(4):424-426. Russian.
  10. Maslov LN, Lishmanov IuB. [Cardioprotective and antiarrhythmic properties of Rhodiolae roseae preparations]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2007;70(5):59-67. Russian.
  11. Lishmanov IuB, Naumova AV, Afanas'ev SA, Maslov LN. [Contribution of the opioid system to realization of inotropic effects of Rhodiola rosea extracts in ischemic and reperfusion heart damage in vitro]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 1997;60(3):34-36. Russian.
  12. Maĭmeskulova LA, Maslov LN, Lishmanov IuB, Krasnov EA. [The participation of the mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptors in the realization of the anti-arrhythmia effect of Rhodiola rosea]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 1997;60(1):38-39.
  13. Maslova LV, Kondrat'ev BIu, Maslov LN, Lishmanov IuB. [The cardioprotective and antiadrenergic activity of an extract of Rhodiola rosea in stress]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 1994;57(6):61-63. Russian.
  14. Udintsev SN, Schakhov VP. Decrease of cyclophosphamide haematotoxicity by Rhodiola rosea root extract in mice with ehrlich and lewis transplantable tumors. Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(9):1182.
  15. Udintsev SN, Shakhov VP. [Changes in clonogenic properties of bone marrow and transplantable mice tumor cells during combined use of cyclophosphane and biological response modifiers of adaptogenic origin]. Eksp Onkol. 1990;12(6):55-56. Russian.
  16. Salikhova RA, Aleksandrova IV, Mazurik VK, Mikhaĭlov VF, Ushenkova LN, Poroshenko GG. [Effect of Rhodiola rosea on the yield of mutation alterations and dna repair in bone marrow cells]. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter. 1997;(4):22-24. Russian.
  17. Majewska A, Hoser G, Furmanowa M, et al. Antiproliferative and antimitotic effect, S phase accumulation and induction of apoptosis and necrosis after treatment of extract from Rhodiola rosea rhizomes on HL-60 cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;103(1):43-52.
  18. Udintsev SN, Krylova SG, Fomina TI. [The enhancement of the efficacy of adriamycin by using hepatoprotectors of plant origin in metastases of Ehrlich's adenocarcinoma to the liver in mice]. Vopr Onkol. 1992;38(10):1217-1222. Russian.
  19. Udintsev SN, Shakhov VP. Changes in clonogenic properties of bone marrow and transplantable mice tumor cells during combined use of cyclophosphane and biological response modifiers of adaptogenic origin. Eksp Onkol. 1990;12(6):55-56.
  20. Molokovskiĭ DS, Davydov VV, Tiulenev VV. [The action of adaptogenic plant preparations in experimental alloxan diabetes]. Probl Endokrinol (Mosk). 1989;35(6):82-87. Russian.
  21. Bol'shakova IV, Lozovskaia EL, Sapezhinskiĭ II. [Antioxidant properties of a series of extracts from medicinal plants]. Biofizika. 1997;42(2):480-483. Russian.
  22. Wang H, Ding Y, Zhou J, Sun X, Wang S. The in vitro and in vivo antiviral effects of salidroside from Rhodiola rosea L. against coxsackievirus B3. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(2-3):146-155.
  23. Mattioli L, Perfumi M. Evaluation of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on affective and physical signs of nicotine withdrawal in mice. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(3);402-410.
  24. Skarpanska-Stejnborn A, Pilaczynska-Szczesniak L, Basta P, Deskur-Smielecka E. The influences of supplementation with Rhodiola rosea L. extract on selected redox parameters in professional rowers. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009;19(2):186-199.
  25. Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(2):85-89.
  26. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--A double blind coss-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(5):365-371.
  27. Olsson EM, von Schéele B, Panossian AG. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med. 2009;75(2):105-112.
  28. Fintelmann V, Gruenwald J. Efficacy and tolerability of a Rhodiola rosea extract in adults with physical and cognitive deficiencies. Adv Ther. 2007;24(4):929-939.
  29. Bystritsky A, Kerwin L, Feusner JD. A Pilot Study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax(R)) for generalized anxiety disorder (gad). J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14(2):175-180.
  30. Mattioli L, Perfumi M. Effects of a Rhodiola rosea L. extract on acquisition and expression of morphine tolerance and dependence in mice. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(3):411-420.