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Don’t let the chilly name fool you – arctic rose is one of the hottest medicinal plants, thanks to its health and beauty superpower.

Now, arctic rose isn’t new – it has a long history of medicinal use in various cultures for thousandsof years…but recent studies have put the spotlight squarely on the popular plant and its incredible benefits.

And of course, experts are asking…are these possible health benefits legit? Let’s take a look at the research.

Arctic Rose: A Perennial Plant with Power (and History)

Arctic rose is a rose with many names: rhodiola rosea, arctic root, golden root, rose wort, and roseroot. But no matter what you call it, this flowering herb can be found growing mostly in the mountains. It blossoms and grows best in cold climates and is found mostly in the Arctic, parts of North America, and the mountains of Central Asia.

Rhodiola rosea has spiky, blue-green leaves and vibrant yellow flowers.1Arctic rose blooms during summer, and can grow from 5 cm to 40 cm tall, with several stems growing from a short, scaly rootstock.

This flowering herb has petals which change color from yellow to greenish-yellow and are at times tipped with red. This unique plant is considered a remarkable herb by cultures around the world, with a wide variety of uses.2

For example, in Chinese and Russian traditional medicine, the medicinal benefits of golden root are well-known. Some believe this flowering herb is a potent remedy for various stress-related conditions, and that it may be effective as an aphrodisiac, especially for women.3

Arctic rose is considered to be a first-rate adaptogen, meaning it’s a  natural plant substances which may help the brain and body better adjust to stress and anxiety.5It is used for increasing energy, stamina, strength and mental capacity.

Even MORE Benefits of Arctic Rose Extract

Antioxidant Properties

Arctic rose
Rhodiola rosea extract is loaded with rosarin, rosavins and salidroside. These antioxidant compounds are believed to be responsible for the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects Arctic Rose Extract is thought to possess.6, 7

The roots are also packed with flavonoids, catechins, and proanthocyanidins. These are the same restorative plant components found in blueberries and sour cherries – two recognized superfoods.8

Also found in this root’s extract is beta-sitosterol, a natural anti-inflammatory substance, and gallic acid, a fundamental ingredient of green tea.<9, 10

Anti-Aging Properties

Due to its high level of antioxidants, arctic rose extract also boasts anti-aging properties. It is thought to help protect the skin from environmental damage, thus improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.11

This powerful plant is believed by some to be the anti-aging supplement of the 21st Century. Theextract is used in many beauty products, including the Gundry MD Polyphenol Firm + Sculpt Cream—an advanced formula I designed to address one of the most troubling signs of aging: loose, sagging skin on the face and neck.12

Mood Boosting and Anxiolytic Effects

Stress: we all deal with it, no matter what we do. And stress is more than frustrating – it’s dangerous for our mental and physical health.13

Good news: a recent study indicates arctic rose extract may help to alleviate symptoms of mental fatigue and anxiety brought on by stress.<14

Arctic rose extract has been shown to help stabilize and calm the body and mind. And that in turn could help alleviate physical and mental stressors, from weakness and exhaustion to  psychological stress.15 In fact, the herb’s extract has been recommended for managing the symptoms of depression because it may help with regulation and production of serotonin and dopamine levels in the human brain.16

A Weight Management Boost?

Shedding extra pounds is a tough thing to do…especially if you want to do it right. After all, there is no “easy” fix… but arctic rose extract may be able to help.

You see, this extract is thought to have tremendous fat-burning properties— thanks to its active ingredient, rosavin. According to studies, rosavin has been proven to trigger hormone-sensitive lipase, a fat burning response in your body.17

This extract is also thought to be responsible for helping reduce the amount of sugar intake daily. It may also decrease sugar cravings. It has been shown to enact the lipolytic forms or the fat breakdown and activate the lipids from adipose.
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Boosts Muscle Recovery?

According to research and studies, arctic rose extract may possess the capability to shorten muscle recovery time after prolonged workouts, and to increase attention span, memory, strength and anti-toxic action.19, 20

This natural plant may help boost the level of enzymes, RNA, and proteins found in your system – all crucial for post–exercise recovery. Arctic rose extract is also helpful when it comes to stimulating the energy status of the muscle, the muscles and liver glycogen synthesis, muscle protein synthesis, and anabolic activity.21, 22

A different human study found intake of arctic rose extract can be effective in improving the physical capacity, muscle strength, speed of limb movement, reaction time, and attention of young, healthy volunteers.23

May Enhance Memory and Concentration

It is believed that arctic rose extract may help to increase memory, specifically when it comes to long-term memory retention.24

Why? Arctic rose is capable of increasing acetylcholine levels in the human brain.25 And acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which plays a crucial role in muscle movement, sensation of pain, learning and memory formation, the regulation of the endocrine system, and sleep.26

Some researchers have confirmed that Rhodiola roseaextract may be especially beneficial for people suffering from dementia and other age-related memory loss.27

May Protect Immune System

Arctic rose extract may help to boost and protect the body’s immune system by reinstating homeostasis, or the metabolic balance in the human body. It is also believed to be responsible for increasing natural killer cells (NK), which are present in the stomach and spleen. This action may be due to its capability to bring the hormones into a normal state by releasing glucocorticoid in the body.28

May Reduce Risk of Cardiac Problems

Arctic rose extract has also been shown to be effective when it comes to cardiac problems brought on by stress. Researchers have found during times of stress, it decreases the number of catecholamines and corticosteroids released by the adrenal glands.29

When these stress hormones are present in the body, they may cause a rise in blood pressure, cholesterol, and potassium levels, possibly increasing risk factors for heart attack.30

The extract has also been found to decrease harmful blood lipids, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and it is believed to be responsible for counteracting heart arrhythmias.31


Clearly, arctic rose is a versatile plant, with a huge range of potential health benefits. After all, what else can naturally help manage stress, boost your mood, improve your immune system, and even help you manage your weight? This versatile herb boasts a wide range of health benefits and, being an adaptogen, it won’t disturb your normal biological functions when taken.

Looking out for you,

Steven Gundry, MD

Steven Gundry, MD

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7Rodin I, Stavrianidi A, Braun A, Shpigun O, Popik M. Simultaneous determination of salidroside, rosavin, and rosarin in extracts from Rhodiola rosea by high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Journal of Analytical Chemistry. 2012;67(13):1026-1030. doi:10.1134/s1061934812130096.
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12Polyphenol Firm Sculpt Cream by Gundry MD. Gundry MD. 2016. Available at: Accessed October 26, 2016.
13Nordqvist C. What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress. Medical News Today. 2015.  Accessed October 26, 2016.
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17Herbs for Weight Loss | Medicine Hunter. Medicinehuntercom. 2010. Accessed October 26, 2016.
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21All About Post-Workout Nutrition | Precision Nutrition. Precision Nutrition. 2016. Accessed October 26, 2016.

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