Goldenseal

Updated on November 15, 2020

Scientific: Hydrastis canadensis [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Goldenseal is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, and is one of the most popular herbs sold on the American market and has recently gained a reputation as a herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.

Parts Used: Leaves

Common Uses: This herb is a powerful antibiotic that prevents the bacteria from latching onto the cell walls. It can be used as a tincture, tea, or wash for dogs with eye infections or weepy eyes. It’s also useful in treating stomach and bowel ailments.American Indians used goldenseal as a medication for inflammatory internal conditions such as respiratory, digestive and genito-urinary tract inflammation induced by allergy or infection. The Cherokee used the roots as a wash for local inflammations, a decoction for general debility, dyspepsia, and to improve appetite. The Iroquois used a decoction of the root for whooping cough, diarrhea, liver disease, fever, sour stomach, flatulence, pneumonia, and with whiskey for heart trouble. They also prepared a compound infusion with other roots for use as drops in the treatment of earache and as a wash for sore eyes. Goldenseal has numerous uses that are attributed to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It soothes irritated mucus membranes aiding the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Taken at the first signs of respiratory problems, colds or flu, Goldenseal helps can help to prevent further symptoms from developing. It has also been used to help reduce fevers, and relieve congestion and excess mucous.

Nutrients: Goldenseal contains calcium, iron, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex, and other nutrients and minerals. The roots and rhizomes of goldenseal contain many isoquinoline alkaloids, including hydrastine, berberine, canadine, canadaline, and l-hydrastine as well as traces of essential oil, fatty oil and resin. It is believed that the high content of these alkaloids gives its antibiotic, anti-infective and immune stimulating qualities.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • Using Goldenseal for dogs [YourOldDog]
  • Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of goldenseal root powder (Hydrastis Canadensis) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (feed studies) [PubMED]
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) extracts synergistically enhance the antibacterial activity of berberine via efflux pump inhibition [PubMED]
  • A phytochemical study of hydrastis Canadensis (goldenseal) [ScienceDirect]
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Is There Enough Scientific Evidence to Support Safety and Efficacy? [WileyOnline]

Used In:

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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