Rhodiola is a perennial flowering plant that grows naturally in wild Arctic regions in the family Crassulaceae. It is commonly known as golden root, rose root, or roseroot, is a traditional medicine plant in Ancient China and India. Rhodiola is dioecious, meaning that the female and male plants are separated. Rhodiola is 5 to 35 cm tall, with fleshy stems and leaves, several stems growing from short, scaly, thick roots. It blooms in summer with 4 sepals and 4 petals (1 to 3.5 mm), yellow to yellowish-green in color, sometimes with a red tip.
There are more than 90 species of rhodiola in the world, mainly distributed in the Northern Hemisphere “alpine zone” such as northern Asia, North America and northern Europe and other high-altitude areas. The harsh growing environment makes the plant resistant to extreme weather conditions and contains more metabolically active components. Its use was first mentioned in the first century AD by the Greek physician Dioscorides. This medicinal herb has been traditionally used in traditional Chinese medicine for various maladies, including the treatment of relieving stress and pain, diabetes, AMS, pulmonary hypertension, and cerebrovascular diseases. There are more than 70 species of Rhodiola Rosea in China, which are commonly used for medicinal purposes: Rhodiola Rosea L., Rhodiola crenulata and Rhodiola sachalinensis.
Rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola crenulata both possess adaptogenic properties, both possess anti-inflammatory properties and are known to be powerful herbs. The former has been used by athletes for centuries as a supplement to reduce fatigue and increase endurance. It also strengthens the immune system and protects the body from neurotoxicities. The latter is the more popular version, as it has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of chronic stress. It can also improve cardiovascular health and even prevent Alzheimer’s.
The difference depends on the two main species of the plant and the active ingredients they contain. For Rhodiola extract manufacturers in China, their raw materials mainly come from rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola crenulata species. Generally, rhodiola extracts are standardized to 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside by weight. Rhodiola crenulata is mainly produced in Tibet province, tends to have higher salidroside and lacks any rosavin. Rhodiola Rosea is mostly produced in Xinjiang, and its extract contains both salidroside and rosavin, among which the content of isomers such as rosavin is higher. Most rhodiola extracts in scientific research use standardized extracts — the extract is guaranteed to contain a certain amount of either rosavin, salidroside, or both, the two main active ingredients in the herbal plant. Generally, rhodiola extracts are standardized to 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside by weight. Rhodiola Rosea extracts generally come in standardized concentrations of 3% rosavin, while Rhodiola crenulata extracts come in salidroside instead. The accepted wisdom is that the higher the altitude, the more salidroside there is in rhodiola, and the more powerful it is. As a rhodiola extract factory, we continue to believe that high-quality Rhodiola extract contains at least 3% rosavin and 1% Rhodiola.