Rhodiola Vs St John's Wort

Rhodiola Vs St John's Wort: Can You Take Them Together?

Combining Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort is possible if thoroughly researched for dosage and composition to ensure safety. Using them without clear consideration can lead to adverse health effects. The use of Rhodiola vs. St. John’s Wort is a topic of much debate. This article aims to provide a better understanding of these two herbal remedies.

Before exploring further, please read the disclaimer located at the end of this webpage.

Key Takeaways

  • Combining St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola is possible, but strict adherence to dosage, safety, and verification is necessary.
  • Both herbs reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function but differ in mechanisms of action, side effects, and other aspects.
  • St. John’s Wort: Suitable for individuals with mild to moderate depression.
  • Rhodiola Rosea: Suitable for those looking to reduce stress, anxiety, and improve mood.

Can You Take St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola Together?

Combining St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola is possible

Combining St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola is possible but requires strict safety precautions, scientific processing, and verification.

Currently, products combining both St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola are available on the market, certified for safety.

On online forums, a user named Vlad shared that using them at doses below 500-300 mg is safe. As natural adaptogens, they don't directly inhibit serotonin but help regulate nerve transmission (primarily serotonin) to appropriate levels.

Vlad also mentioned combining Rhodiola with St. John’s Wort and other adaptogens like ashwagandha and eleuthero each morning before breakfast. The only side effect he experienced was increased energy and elevated mood.

However, I want to emphasize that while these two substances can be combined, it should only be done based on scientific research.

Currently, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether combining Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort is safe and effective.

Professor Ralph Pifer explains that they can interact and affect serotonin levels in the brain, especially if you're taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) simultaneously.

Many experts recommend using Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort separately or considering alternative herbal remedies.

Therefore, if you're considering combining Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort, seek advice from a specialized physician for personalized guidance.

Rhodiola Vs St. John's Wort: The Differences and Similarities

Differences Between Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort

Similarities of Rhodiola Rosea and St. John’s Wort

Both Rhodiola Rosea and St. John’s Wort are effective in reducing stress and alleviating mild to moderate depressive symptoms.

Rhodiola helps manage overall symptoms and prevent stress-related complications by regulating stress hormones and enhancing energy metabolism [1].

Similarly, St. John’s Wort counteracts the negative effects of stress and corticosterone on working memory and improves cognitive function [2].

Both herbs can help your body adapt to and combat stress, ultimately improving your mood. Several studies have indicated that both herbs can enhance cognitive function and memory [2][3]. Additionally, they are natural herbs with minimal side effects when used at the correct dosage.

Differences Between Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort

Mechanism of Action

  • Rhodiola: Influences the central nervous system by enhancing serotonin and dopamine levels.
  • St. John’s Wort: Works by inhibiting serotonin reuptake.

Side Effects

  • Rhodiola: Generally safe but may cause mild side effects such as restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches [4].
  • St. John’s Wort: Can cause abdominal pain, skin rash or hives, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, or confusion [5]. It can also increase sensitivity to sunlight, so precautions are necessary for fair-skinned individuals. There are opinions suggesting it may affect reproductive health.

Drug Interactions

Drug Interactions of Rhodiola and St. John’s Wort
  • St. John’s Wort: Can interact with various medications, including antipsychotics, sedatives, immunosuppressants, digoxin, anticoagulants, cancer treatments, antidepressants, contraceptives, antibiotics, HIV medications, diabetes drugs, pain relievers, and more [6].
  • Rhodiola: Has fewer drug interactions but still requires caution when used with antidepressants, antibiotics, anxiolytics, contraceptives, diabetes medications, and thyroid treatments [4].

When Should You Choose St. John's Wort or Rhodiola Rosea?

Depending on your needs, you can choose between St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola Rosea:

  • St. John’s Wort: Ideal for alleviating mild to moderate depression symptoms and improving mood. Be cautious if you’re taking other medications due to potential interactions.
  • Rhodiola: Suitable for reducing stress and fatigue. It regulates stress hormones and benefits those seeking improved physical and mental performance, providing genuine positive energy.


  • Consult a medical professional for a safe and specific approach.
  • Seek medical advice before using any herbal remedies, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, have children, or are taking other medications. Both St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola can impact the effectiveness of prescription drugs.


Both Rhodiola Rosea and St. John’s Wort are effective herbal options for treating depression and anxiety. However, combining them requires careful consideration and consultation with a doctor. Each herb has its own mechanisms and effects, so choosing what’s right for your individual needs and health status is crucial.


  • [1] Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice. Published online 2018. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080//13651501.2017.1417442
  • [2] Trofimiuk E, Holownia A, Braszko JJ. St. John’s wort may relieve negative effects of stress on spatial working memory by changing synaptic plasticity. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology. 2011;383(4):415-422. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00210-011-0604-3
  • [3] Cropley M, Banks AP, Boyle J. The Effects ofRhodiola roseaL. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms. PTR Phytotherapy research/Phytotherapy research. 2015;29(12):1934-1939. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5486
  • [4] Rhodiola Rosea. Mental Health America. Published 2024. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.mhanational.org/rhodiola-rosea
  • [5] St. John’s wort Information | Mount Sinai - New York. Mount Sinai Health System. Published 2016. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/st-johns-wort
  • [6] Consumer M. MSD Manual Consumer Version. MSD Manual Consumer Version. Published 2023. Accessed June 17, 2024. https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/multimedia/table/some-drug-interactions-with-st-johns-wort
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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