#17- GOLDENSEAL, Hydrates canadensis

Goldenseal is a beautiful shade loving perennial. It is very high in berberine and hydrastine. It has bright yellow roots and gets a red berry in the center of the leaf. Goldenseal is antiseptic, anti fungal, antibacterial, anti tumor, anti amebic, an expectorant, and helps mucosal linings in the body. Goldenseal’s wealth of helpful herbal actions has sadly gotten this plant over harvested in the wild. United Plant Savers has Goldenseal on its “at risk” list. United Plant Savers advises using other berberine-rich plants. These include Barberry root (Berberis aquifolium), Goldthread (Coptis spp.), Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), and Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica).

We planted Goldenseal with the intention that a strong stand of it could grow in the woods once more. I also wanted to be able to use a little of its medicine from time to time as I have a husband who has a history of severe intestinal discomfort from Lyme disease. My son also has Mycoplasma. Goldenseal’s high berberine helps tonify, restore, and calm the inflammation in mucosal linings in the body. Goldenseal can bring great comfort to those with extreme GI issues, ulcers,  chronic congestion or sinus troubles as well as those with Mycoplasma lung or vaginal irritation. 

Goldenseal has been known to be effective against Strep, Candida, Giardia, Trichomonas, E. coli, Periodontal disease, Tuberculosis, and many more infections. Many think to use it in times of antibiotic resistant infections. 

PLEASE, if you are going to use Goldenseal in your treatment plan, please please please make sure that you are using cultivated organically grown Goldenseal, NOT wildcrafted!!! 

Goldenseal is actually very easy to grow in WNC. It needs a moist shady spot along the forest’s edge. It does not like dry climates. If you do have your own patch to harvest from, it is best to harvest in the autumn. Plants you harvest from should be three years or older. You can harvest just some of the root,  leave some attached and replant it. Tincturing can be done with 50% alcohol or dried and powdered. 

As mentioned in the video, long term use of Goldenseal is  not recommend, as the plant can become very drying to the system. Practitioners may considered advising emollient herbs like Marshmallow, Slippery Elm or Chickweed alongside Goldenseal’s use. For those that are very thin and tend to have a very dry constitution Goldenseal may not be the right medicine for you. As always, consult with your health practitioner before adding in a new herb or protocol.

gs LC

Here’s a statement from a reformed Goldenseal wildcrafter:

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