But we wondered if the good doctor didn’t get into trouble because he didn’t promote it enough, or because it actually provided some benefit to its users.
We looked into SD Pharmaceutical’s Rhodiola Rosea 200 to find out the answer, and this is what we found,
Rhodiola Rosea has been traditionally used for centuries, but it’s only relatively recently that it’s been tested in the USA to find out why it’s been used for so long to reduce stress and improve physical stamina.
Rhodiola Rosea affects levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine to stimulate the central nervous system and reduce the effects of stress.
One problem with the quality of a supplement made from Rhodiola Rosea is the way it’s produced: most often the root is dried by spraying an agent (usually maltodextrin) onto it and leaving it to absorb the moisture. Unfortunately, that agent remains on the root and in the powder once that root is ground up.
Ideally, Rhodiola Rosea root should be freeze-dried, leaving it still with the highest level of beneficial nutrients. Spray drying, though, is much cheaper so if the supplement manufacture is taking the trouble and spending the money to freeze dry Rhodiola Rosea, they’ll definitely let you know about it … but SD Pharmaceuticals isn’t saying a word on the subject.
Side effects of Rhodiola Rosea tend to be mild, and can include allergy, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, headache elevated blood pressure and chest pain.
Rhodiola Rosea can also interact with certain prescription drugs, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and diabetic medications.
There’s a page on the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website which provides links to various online retailers, but when it comes to ‘How much does Rhodiola Rosea 200 cost?’ … There’s a snag: it seems different vendors sell Rhodiola Rosea 200 in different quantities: you can get 60 caps for $19.99 or 120 caps down from either $59.99 or $49.99 to $39.99 – or from $61.99 to $31.99. Your call.
We’d prefer Rhodiola Rosea to have been freeze-dried to get the best from it, and possibly it might have been, but judging from what we’ve seen when looking round the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website we very much doubt it.
That’s because we can’t help thinking the site was put together in a hurry, thrown up on to the internet and then left well alone ever since, what with links to just the two blog posts – which get linked to from all SD Pharmaceuticals’ product sales pages.
Coming back to the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website, the small print wants us to know that information is, quote: ‘intended solely for entertainment purposes’ and ‘cannot necessarily be relied upon’.
Then again, it’s irrelevant for anyone outside the USA because we’re told, quote: ‘Do not proceed to view this site if you are not a legal resident of the United States of America.’ Which is quite good, coming from a Canadian company.
So we’ve got a hurriedly assembled website with some serious get-out clauses, an absolutely minimal amount of an ingredient we’re told will improve absorption of the Rhodiola Rosea – whether it’s freeze-dried or not (we think it’s not) – and we can’t help thinking it’s all to do with SD Pharmaceuticals seeing other companies market Rhodiola Rosea 200 … and just jumping on the bandwagon to do the same ASAP.
We could be wrong about Rhodiola Rosea 200: it might just contain the highest-quality freeze-dried Siberian Rhodiola Rosea, but on the strength of its website and other SD Pharmaceuticals products we’ve seen we doubt it, so we’re going to reject it.
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Rhodiola Rosea has long been used in Eurasian medicine as a tonic. Western medicine refers to it as an ‘adaptogen’ – a substance that reduces the effects of stress of all kinds without causing any imbalance in the body.
The best Rhodiola Rosea grows in cold mountain areas of Europe and Asia, and plants in Siberia are regarded as providing the best quality of all.
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 capsule, 1-3 times daily. Do not exceed 3 capsules per day. Not to be taken immediately before bedtime.
There has yet to be proper research into Rhodiola Rosea’s complete actions, as many of the studies so far have been done outside the United States or Western Europe.
However, it’s said that Vikings used Rhodiola Rosea as an energy booster and it’s even mentioned in Greek medicine around 70 AD.
Rhodiola Rosea 200 also contains AstraGin, a proprietary blend of Astragalus and Tienchi Ginseng, supposedly to improve absorption of Rhodiola Rosea, but since the recommended dosage of AstraGin is 50 mg/day and Rhodiola Rosea 200 contains a mere 2.5 mg, we wonder whether it was worth including it in the first place.
From the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website, quote:
Helps the Body Adapt to Stress
Supports Cognitive Function
Helps Improve Performance
But we prefer the yeswellness.com description:
Possibly has adaptogenic and stress-protective (neuro-cardio and hepato-protective) effects;
Helps with cardio-protective effects;
May have antioxidant effects;
Attempts to have performance-enhancing effects on the central nervous system, including effects on cognitive functions such as, attention, memory, and learning;
Could have anti-fatigue effects;
May have anti-depressive and anti-anxiety effects;
Potential endocrine activity normalising;
Could potentially increase lifespan.
The Greeks were using it in the first century AD, and the Vikings apparently did too, as did Eastern Europeans and – more recently – Russians before Rhodiola Rosea was introduced to America. So there must be something about it, for people to have used it for such a long time.
However, it’s still not been established what happens when someone takes Rhodiola Rosea for more than the twelve weeks clinical trials have gone on for, and what the most appropriate dosage would be for a person.
Would it, for example, depend on body weight?
As for the AstraGin, which is supposed to improve absorption, the recommended dosage is 50 mg/day and the stated dose is 2.5 mg, which leaves a lot to be desired. 47.5 mg, to be precise.
So in answer to the question ‘Does Rhodiola Rosea 200 works?’ the best answer would be ‘Probably when it comes to the Rhodiola Rosea, but probably not when it comes to the AstraGin’.
There are just two: Rhodiola Rosea, and AstraGin.
Short-term doses of Rhodiola Rosea to deal with fatigue and stress have been noted as being in the range of 288-680 mg. SD Pharmaceuticals have chosen to reduce the dosage to 200, possibly in the hopes that people will take it for much longer periods of time.
AstraGin sounds like something you’d order at the bar during an interstellar voyage, but it’s actually the trade name for a proprietary blend of Astragalus root and Tienchi Ginseng. How much of each, we don’t know, but in this case the quantity found in each cap is so small it’s hardly worth looking any further into it.
Rhodiola Rosea can make anxiety disorders worse, bringing on symptoms like restlessness, irritability, mood swings and even panic attacks.
It can also bring on raised blood pressure, insomnia and headaches, but perhaps what users should be most aware of is the possibility of Rhodiola Rosea interacting with psychotropic drugs, diabetic and thyroid medication and can possibly interfere with oral contraceptives.
On the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website, all we get is, quote:
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Not intended for use by persons under the age of 18. Consult a health care professional prior to use if you have any known or suspected medical conditions, and/or if you are taking any OTC or prescription medications. Store in a cool, dry place.
Yeswellness.com goes into a lot more detail, as in, quote:
Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Not intended for use by persons under the age of 18. Consult a health-care practitioner for use beyond 3 months. If symptoms persist or worsen, consult a health-care practitioner. If you are taking antidepressant medication, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, or blood thinners or digoxin, consult a health-care practitioner prior to use. Consult a health-care practitioner prior to use if you have diabetes or an autoimmune disorder. If you have bipolar disorder or bipolar spectrum disorder, do not use this product. If you experience irritability or insomnia, discontinue use. Some people may experience insomnia, anxiety or headaches, in which case, discontinue use. Store under normal storage conditions (dry, well-ventilated premises at 15-25 degrees C).
It’s just a shame SD Pharmaceuticals aren’t so thorough.
Bodybuilding.com has 11 reviews dating from December 2014 onwards, all favourable, of course, while on another supplement review site we see a link to buy Rhodiola Rosea 200 at Amazon.
So we went to Amazon, but found no reviews – biased or otherwise – there.
In fact, we’ve seen several online sellers asking us to be the first to review Rhodiola Rosea 200, but then again, they wouldn’t be happy with the review we found on supplementreviews.com, ranking it 18th out of 18 overall, 18th out of 18 for value … but 15th out of 18 for effectiveness.
Because Rhodiola Rosea 200 isn’t sold from the website, the only way to check for money-back guarantees is to go through the list of retailers and see if any of them have a refund policy.
There are several online stores the Rhodiola Rosea 200 website can direct you to, or you could even become an SD Pharmaceuticals distributor yourself – they’re always on the lookout for people to spread the word about their products. You could even qualify for a staff discount.