A Mother's Journey Blog

Rhodiola Best Herb For ADD/ADHD

Talk about flying under the radar, Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root) is probably one of the best kept secrets that has been bestowed upon ADD/ADHD. This has been one of the hardest herbs to research. I have gone through over 50 something health books last week with little info available. Most herbal remedy books didn’t even have this herb listed. And for the ones that did, they only offered basic info; where it is commonly found and it’s health benefit. No dosage, no side effects, etc…. The internet offered more information but I wanted more details about side effects, dosages for athletes, how often it is cycled, etc. Had this herb not been recommend to me by a mom who has a child with ADHD, I would have missed out on its magic wonders! Her son was failing. She had ordinary tried Rhodiola at 100mg with no success. But as one last attempt she tried this herb again but this time at 200mg. Her son began to show improvements. In fact his teacher sent an e-mail amazed at the difference in him.

Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba are two popular herbs that seem to get all the credit in this country. But in other parts of the world Rhodiola is known as one of the most powerful adaptogen around today that posses an extraordinary combination of health benefits WITHOUT serious side effects. Because this herb is grown in harsh sub-arctic climates and high altitudes of Siberia, it has learned to adapt to unfavorable conditions in order to survive. When we take this herb our bodies will also have the ability to adapt to stressful, chemical, and psychological conditions in our environment.

This herb benefits ADD/ADHD:

1. It improves attention span

2. Increases circulation to the brain

3. Fights depression and emotional stress

4. Stimulate dopamine/serotonin production

5. Improves cognitive skills

6. Enhances mental work capacity

7. Heightens the body’s resistance to stressors such as too much motor activity (hyperactivity-ADHD)

What You Need To Know About Rhodiola:

1. It does not build up in your body like other herbs so it keeps side effects to a minimum.

2. You can take up to 20 times the recommended dosage (kids 50mg adults 100-200mg) without severe side effects…..HOWEVER, people with a sensitive nervous system need VERRRY small amounts or should start off on this herb on a small amount first and build up to a recommended dosage. Some individuals reported that they became moody and couldn’t sleep for days just from one dosage. Others individuals suggested to take in the morning and not in the afternoon if you want to get any sleep.

* As long as you stay under 800mg a day you should be okay. 

3. Mix reviews from the internet but all the herbs book I’ve been checking out in the book store suggest to cycle this herb because taking it everyday will cause it to lose it’s potency. I like the 5 days on 2 days off or 5 weeks on 2 weeks off. Some say 4 days on 3 days off, etc.. but this cycle was recommended to me by a Biochemist at NC State.

4. Most ADHD are great athletes. This herb will benefit them because it enhances cardiovascular, maintains energy levels, improving both endurance and protein metabolism.

5. When used for depression it is given at higher dosage 340mg-680mg. It’s known as a natural anti-depressant. Plus it can be taken with depression medication. It is not an MAO inhibitor. HOWEVER, should not be taken for manic or bi-polar. I’m guessing it’s because of their sensitive nervous system.

6. Many ADD/ADHD have food sensitivities or allergies making them more sensitive to this herb. So make sure you start at 50mg and slowly work your way up to 100-200mg.

7. Children who mimic ADD/ADHD symptoms because of faulty glucose levels and thyroid issues, will greatly benefit from this herb because it helps balance and regulate their hormones. Just know if ONE hormone in your body is out of whack, then it will throw the rest of your hormones out of sync too. It also regulates adrenal glands and controls cortisol levels.

8. When purchasing Rhodiola you are looking for the 2 primary active ingredients phenylpropanoids of Rosavin (3%) and Salidroside (1%) ratio. If you can find anything higher …..order it!

9. Stay away from Chinese Rhodiola because Russian Rhodiola is 3 times stronger.

10. Best taken 30 mins before meal but I did find info on the internet that said you could take with or without food.

Charlie started on this herb last Saturday. He took 1 cap (100mg) with his vitamins. He ate breakfast 30 mins later. He had to help clean up a yard with his church group. He didn’t really notice any focus BUT he said he never got tired once working in the yard while everyone else was taking breaks. Monday I gave him 2 caps (200mg) with his neurotransmitters. I was too nervous to stop something that has been working on a school day. Anyway, after school he said he noticed that he had a little bit more focus. Charlie no longer has focus issues but he’s very in tune to his body because his mama is always doing experiments ;). I asked for more specific situations. He said when he was taking notes from the board he didn’t have to look up as many times. BUT what he noticed the most was during PE, his stamina and endurance switch was flipped ON! He already has plenty of energy from his supplements so I asked him, “Do you mean it gives you more energy?” And he’s said, “No, but it keeps me feeling like I never get tired while we’re playing basketball.” Tuesday Charlie took 2 caps with his vitamins and this time no Neu-becalm (neurotransmitters). He told me after school that his focus felt “enhanced.” I said what do you mean exactly. He’s said, “Okay out of 1 to 5, my focus is usually a 4 but today it felt like a 5. I’m not doing anything faster but I do feel like I’m thinking clearer.” His report on this herb for the rest of the school week has been consistent. I asked him, “Do you want to keep taking this herb or do you feel like it’s worth taking during the school week?” He said, “This is my favorite herb that you have given me so far and I want to keep taking it.” I will continue to keep him at 2 caps during the week and during the weekend he will not take Rhodiola and go back on his neurotransmitter supplements. I’m curious to see how this herb plays out long term and the results it will have on other ADD/ADHD children/adults that I have asked to participate in this experiment. And whatever Charlie takes, me and my husband ALWAYS take as well to help Charlie understand what he is experiencing. I felt like 1 cap of a 100mg was PLENTY for me! Don’t want to say I felt jittery but I was a tiny bit restless….in a good productive way. It never interfered with my sleep. However my husband who has ADHD started Monday with me and he’s up to 2 caps. He hasn’t really notice anything yet but he’s a tough one. He’s always my ultimate test. Maybe he needs a higher dosage and a longer duration on this herb to see results.

Here are two Rhodiola products I like so far:

1. https://www.emersonecologics.com/Products/EmersonMain/PID-RHOD5.aspx This product at (180 caps @ 27.80) 3% Rosavin and 1% salidrosides.

2. This product has a high % of Rosavin and salidrosides (5.4-6.6%)  http://www.nationaldiscountvitamins.com/details.cfm?Group_ID=29&Product_ID=4784 (60 caps @$19.96) So far it has ranked as one of the highest. I ordered this product.

Enthusiastically yours,

Shirley Highers


When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they are taking better care of it.


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