Scientific Name:Hydrastis canadensis
About this Herb:Goldenseal is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. It may be distinguished by its thick, yellowish-brown knotted rootstock. It is the rhizome (rootstock) that contains the healing compounds of this herb. The single stem is purplish and hairy and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The plant bears two palmate, hairy leaves with 5 to 7 double-toothed lobes and a single, small, inconspicuous flower with greenish white stamens in the late spring. It bears a single berry like a large raspberry with 10 to 30 seeds in the summer.
Common Names:Yellow Root, Orange Root, Yellow Puccoon, Ground Raspberry
Uses:Goldenseal's major healing compounds are thought to be alkaloid compounds called hydrastine and berberine. The latter has been more widely researched; studies have shown that it can kill microbes, reduce inflammation, and possibly stimulate immunity. Hydrastine has been reported to lower blood pressure and stimulate peristalsis (bowel elimination).
Berbine and its sulfate, berberine sulfate have been demonstrated to have anticancer activity in vitro and also have been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal and immune-stimulatory activity, as well. Berberine has shown marked effects on acute diarrhea and its antibacterial qualities interfere with the ability of microorganisms to adhere to the walls of host cells.
Goldenseal is a bitter that stimulates the secretion and flow of bile, and can also be used as an expectorant. It also has strong activity against a variety of bacteria, yeast, and fungi, such as E. Coli and Candida.
Goldenseal is used for infections of the mucus membranes, including the mouth, sinuses, throat, the intestines, stomach, urinary tract and vagina.
Goldenseal is used for the following conditions:
•minor wound healing
•fungal infections of the skin
•colds & flu
•sinus and chest congestion
Goldenseal supplements are available as tablets and capsules (containing the powdered root), liquid extracts, and glycerides (low alcohol extracts). Goldenseal is commonly found in combination with the herb Echinacea.
Besides being used orally, goldenseal is often mixed with water and other substances to create different topical washes, mouthwash, and even as a vaginal douche. Speak with a knowledgeable health care provider to determine the right dosage and form for you.
Applications:Capsule: Follow label directions.
Tea: Drink 2 to 4 cups a day when using as a treatment, 1 cup a day as an immune booster.
Warnings:Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use goldenseal. People with high blood pressure, liver disease, or heart disease should ask their doctor before taking goldenseal.
Children under the age of 12 should not use Goldenseal.
Goldenseal can irritate the skin, mouth, throat, and vagina. It may also cause an increased sensitivity to sunlight.
Goldenseal may interfere with the metabolism and effectiveness of certain medications, if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications, consult your doctor before taking Goldenseal.