Standardized extract SHR-5 of Rhodiola rosea L. rhizomes (Sedum roseum; rose root) was studied in patients suffering from a current episode of mild/moderate depression.

First, the details.

  • Patients with Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) questionnaire scores between 21 and 31 were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups.
    • Group A received SHR-5, 340 mg/day.
    • Group B received SHR-5, 680 mg/day.
    • Group C received placebo.
  • HAMD questionnaires were repeated on day 42.

And, the results.

  • Groups A and B experienced significant improvement in overall depression, insomnia, emotional instability, and somatization (medical symptoms with no discernible organic cause), but not self-esteem.
  • The placebo group did not show improvement.
  • No serious side effects were reported in the groups.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Standardized extract SHR-5 shows antidepressive potency in patients with mild to moderate depression … over a 6-week period.”

Rhodiola rosea is often referred to as an “adaptogen.” More on that, here.

8/6/08 22:40 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.