Common Names: Goldenseal or Yellow Root
Goldenseal is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by over-harvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
What Is Goldenseal Used For?
- Historically, Native Americans have used goldenseal for various health conditions such as skin diseases, ulcers, and gonorrhea.
- Now, goldenseal is used for colds and other respiratory tract infections, infectious diarrhea, eye infections, and vaginitis (inflammation or infection of the vagina). It is occasionally used to treat cancer.
- It is also applied to wounds and canker sores, and is used as a mouthwash for sore gums, mouth, and throat.
How Goldenseal Is Used
The underground stems or roots of goldenseal are dried and used to make teas, liquid extracts, and solid extracts that may be made into tablets and capsules. Goldenseal is often combined with echinacea in preparations that are intended to be used for colds.
Few studies have been published on goldenseal's safety and effectiveness, but herbalists think highly of goldenseal. Clinical studies on a compound found in goldenseal, berberine, suggest that the compound may be beneficial for certain infections -- such as those that cause some types of diarrhea, as well as some eye infections. However, goldenseal preparations contain only a small amount of berberine, so it is difficult to extend the evidence about the effectiveness of berberine to goldenseal.
Nature's Way Goldenseal Herb is often combined with Echinacea to help shorten the duration of colds and flu - it is referred to as the "poor man's ginseng." Considered a natural antibiotic, herbalists often recommend it to strengthen the immune system. It is antiseptic, diuretic, and acts as a mild laxative and internal body cleanser. Goldenseal has been used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. Because of its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties it may help support lower blood pressure. Our Goldenseal Root is ecologically farm grown without the use of harmful chemicals. The root is not harvested from the wild and therefore, the endangered wild population of goldenseal is not adversely impacted.
Nature's Answer alcohol free extracts are produced using alcohol, water and natural extractants. Liquid extracts are absorbed faster than tablets or capsules, and are more potent than tinctures. Holistically Balanced guarantees that the constituents of the extract are in the same synergistic ratios as in the plant.
Side Effects and Cautions
- Goldenseal is considered safe for short-term use in adults at recommended dosages. Rare side effects may include nausea.
- There is little information about the safety of high dosages or the long-term use of goldenseal.
- Although drug interactions have not been reported, goldenseal may cause changes in the way the body processes drugs, and could potentially increase the levels of many drugs. However, a study of goldenseal and indinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection, found no interaction.
- Other herbs containing berberine, including Chinese goldthread (Coptis trifolia) and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), are sometimes substituted for goldenseal. These herbs may have different effects, side effects, and drug interactions than goldenseal.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using goldenseal. The berberine in the herb may cause the uterus to contract, increasing the risk of premature labor or miscarriage. Berberine may also be transferred through breast milk, causing life-threatening liver problems in nursing infants.
- Goldenseal should not be given to infants and young children.
- Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
See also: Goldenseal as an Herb
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