Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Herb Thursdays Goldenseal

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) was originally introduced to early American settlers by Native American tribes, who used it primarily for skin problems and as a wash for sore eyes. A member of the buttercup family, goldenseal was also commonly used to produce a golden-yellow dye. this link offers alot more information on goldenseal

This pdf has good information too

Goldenseal does have some uses in the herbal medicine cabinet. It is most commonly used as an eyewash and mouthwash, and is still prescribed by herbalists for canker sores and cracked lips. It also seems to have some merit in cases of sore throat, clogged sinuses, congestion, diarrhea, poorly healing wounds, psoriasis, acne, inflamed mucous membranes (such as in the mouth), fungal infections such as athlete's foot and yeast infections, and as a digestive aid. It is often packaged with Echinacea as a treatment for colds and flu, but in reality, the Echinacea is probably the ingredient that causes the symptom relief.

For external use, make an Ointment or buy a commercial preparation and cover the area in question thoroughly. There is fairly strong evidence that Goldenseal does indeed speed the healing of wounds and abrasions.

For internal use, and as an eyewash and mouthwash, make a Tea. Drink 1 cup up to 3 times per day for congestion, clogged sinuses, and diarrhea. Use the tea as a gargle for sore throat, or dab the tea solution into the eyes as an eyewash. Do not overuse this herb internally, as it can cause unpleasant side-effects, and discontinue use altogether when the symptoms retreat.

For yeast infections in women, make a strong Tea and use as a douche for relief of symptoms.

Do not use Goldenseal if you are pregnant or breast feeding because it can cause uterine contractions.

Information from here

The VitaminShoppe has excellent information as well

One of goldenseals uses is for chronic candidiasis

Berberine is an alkaloid found in various plants, including goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and goldthread. Berberine exhibits a broad spectrum of antibiotic activity in test-tube, animal, and human studies.23 24 Berberine has shown effective antidiarrheal activity in a number of diarrheal diseases,25 26 27 and it may offer the same type of relief for the diarrhea seen in patients with chronic candidiasis. Doctors familiar with the use of berberine-containing herbs sometimes recommend taking 2 to 4 grams of the dried root (or bark) or 250 to 500 mg of an herbal extract three times a day. While isolated berberine has been studied, none of these herbs has been studied in humans with chronic candidiasis.

above information from VitaminShoppe


How to Take it


Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 - 25 kg), the appropriate dose of goldenseal for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.


  • Capsules or tablets: 500 - 2,000 mg, up to 3 times daily
  • Standardized extract: 30 - 120 mg, up to 3 times daily
  • Tinctures (1:5): 3 - 7 mL, daily
  • For disinfecting cuts, scrapes, boils, and acne: Place goldenseal liquid extract on a clean cloth, and press the cloth gently on the affected area.
  • For earaches: Mix with olive oil and use as eardrops.
  • For sore throat, gums, or mouth, make a mouthwash as follows: In one cup of warm water, mix 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp (or the contents of one capsule) of goldenseal powder. (It will not dissolve completely.) Rinse and expectorate (spit out).
  • For vaginal irritation, make a goldenseal douche as follows: Mix 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp (or the contents of one capsule) of goldenseal powder in 1 cup of warm water. Let the mixture settle, and strain out any suspended particles before using it. (Keep the mixture as clean as you can.) Over-douching can make you more susceptible to certain kinds of vaginal infections. See your health care provider if your symptoms do not improve after a few days.
  • For eye infections and irritations, make an eyewash as follows: Use one cup of sterile water with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp goldenseal (or the contents of one capsule), and strain out all particles. Discard if the solution becomes cloudy, which indicates bacterial growth or spoilage.

from here


I also am always looking for dye plants, and the goldenseal roots will give a bright yellow. The native americans used it on their faces, and also on their clothing. A yellow dye is obtained from the root and the smashed root smeared on the body is said to repel insects

Goldenseal refers to the root scars from old growth which looks like the old seal or stamp used to seal envelopes. Some Native American tribes considered goldenseal a sacred herb, and used it extensively, not only for its healing powers and to stop bleeding, but as a paint or bright yellow dye and applied it to their faces, horses and weapons during ceremonial dances before going to war. It was believed by the early settlers that if they destroyed all the yellowroot the Indians would not attack because they could not paint themselves. from here


Here are complete directions for making herbal salves one included for goldenseal

another recipe here


As with all herbs, medicines and such, do your homework, talk with your health professional, don't abuse or use uniformed.

Here are a few precautions for goldenseal, as well as a tea recipe


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