Rhodiola rosea, an herb deriving from Siberia and China, has shown benefits as an antidepressant agent in a recent study. Published in the March 15 edition of the journal Phytomedicine, Rhodiola was tested among 57 subjects suffering from mild to moderate depression over 12 weeks, against the antidepressant drug sertraline. Results of the study were measured using standard scoring tests. The results showed that Rhodiola offers antidepressant benefits, though sertraline proved more effective. But the researchers who conducted the study found Rhodiola imparts fewer negative effects than sertraline, making it a safer choice.
This is not the first time that Rhodiola has been highlighted as an anti-depressant. Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, both practicing psychiatrists in New York, have promoted the clinical uses of Rhodiola for many years, as has UCLA- based psychiatrist Hyla Cass. These doctors and others find Rhodiola rosea extract a viable choice in many cases for the treatment of mild to moderate depression.