Goldenseal is an herb that belongs to the buttercup family ranunculaceae. It is a small perennial that is a native of Canada and the eastern United States. Some other common names for this plant are golden thread, yellow root, indian dye, orange root and ground raspberry.
Constituents & Actions
Goldenseal contains the alkaloids berberine, hydrastine and canadine. Also found in this herb are resin, albumin, starch, hydrazine and volatile oil. The rhizome is much richer in alkaloid content than the root.
The body influence is an alterative (cleansing, stimulating efficient removal of waste products), antacid, anti-catarrhal (eliminates mucus conditions), antiseptic, diuretic (increases the secretion and flow of urine), emmenagogue (facilitates and regulates menstrual flow), stomachic (strenghtens stomach function) and tonic (restores, nourishes, supports and strenghtens entire body).
Goldenseal is specifically used for the health of the mucous membranes. It's especially effective in the treatment of congestion and inflammation of the respiratory tract. It has been used historically in the treatment of the common cold, and is commonly combined with echinacea in modern day therapies.
This herb is also useful in controlling uterine hemorrhage, and valuable for many related disorders, as it causes uterine contractions.
The berberine in goldenseal is beneficial in the fight against a variety of microbes. It's an immuno-stimulator, and increases blood supply to the spleen. Tumors have been controlled with use of this herb.
Externally, it can be applied for cracks and fissures in the skin, and is also good in the treatment of indolent ulcers. Since it's mildly antibiotic, goldenseal can be used as an eyewash and astringent helping to reduce inflammation in the eye.
Goldenseal increases the flow of urine and stimulates the bowels. It has also shown to be effective in reducing sugar in the blood, promoting good heart and respiratory function, and valuable in the treatment of worms and infections.
Most recently, goldenseal has been used for liver and stomach complaints, morning sickness, stress and is a good support for the immune system. It is popular as a mouthwash for sore gums and throats.
Following is a limited listing of conditions which can be treated with goldenseal:
- Bladder infections
- Bleeding (internal)
- Bowel problems
- common cold
- Eye infections
- Flu (stomach)
- Gum disease
- Hay fever
- Liver problems
- Menstruation (excessive)
- Sinus congestion
- Sore throat
Goldenseal is relatively safe to use, some people may experience nausea when using this herb.
Pregnant or breast-feeding women should avoid using this herb, as the berberine may cause or worsen jaundice in newborns. It should not be used for infants or young children.