Adaptogenic and Central Nervous System Effects of Single Doses of 3% Rosavin and 1% Salidroside Rhodiola rosea L. Extract in Mice

Rhodiola rosea L., or ‘golden root’, is a popular plant in traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia, with a reputation for improving depression, enhancing work performance, eliminating fatigue and treating symptoms of asthenia subsequent to intense physical and psychological stress. Due to these therapeutic properties, R. rosea is considered to be one of the most active adaptogenic drugs. To confirm and extend results obtained in the few preclinical and clinical studies available in English language journals, the purpose of the present study was to re-investigate the effects produced by a single oral administration of an R. rosea hydroalcohol extract (containing 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside) on the central nervous system in mice. The extract was tested on antidepressant, adaptogenic, anxiolytic, nociceptive and locomotor activities at doses of 10, 15 and 20 mg/kg, using predictive behavioural tests and animal models. The results show that this R. rosea extract significantly, but not dose-dependently, induced antidepressant-like, adaptogenic, anxiolytic-like and stimulating effects in mice. This study thus provides evidence of the efficacy of R. rosea extracts after a single administration, and confirms many preclinical and clinical studies indicating the adaptogenic and stimulating effects of such R. rosea extracts. Moreover, antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like activities of R. rosea were shown in mice for the first time.