Goldenseal is a herb that has been used for centuries due to its range of properties that can help with digestive problems, aid the immune system and support the body.
What is Goldenseal?
Goldenseal is a perennial plant that is native to the regions of eastern North America. Its leaves are commonly used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation and infection for a vast range of ailments and health issues.
Goldenseal is also known as hydrastis canadensis, and is part of the Ranunculaceae family.
This plant is known to grow in very rich soils found in the Ohio River Valley in West Virginia, along with areas in Quebec, Canada, and in the moist soils of the mountains in North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Goldenseal powders, supplements and extracts are typically made from the root of the plant, or blended into medicinal teas.
In the past, goldenseal was first utilized by the native Americans where this plant grew naturally, as they would use it for medicinal and cultural purposes.
As its medicinal and beneficial properties became more known, it was later harvested almost to the point of extinction in the 1800s, and is now considered endangered.
However, this plant is still used today to assist with various health issues affecting the digestive system, the immune system, nervous system and cardiovascular system.
Today, Goldenseal is often used as a herbal extract, in capsule form, or in teas in order to treat skin issues, colds, hay fever, digestive problems and a range of other ailments involving infections or inflammation.
Goldenseal is also often included as an ingredient in a vast range of products from cold and flu remedies to laxatives, to feminine hygiene products and even ear drops.
This is largely due to the fact that this plant is naturally rich in lots of alkaloid substances along with berberine, hydrastine and canadine.
These types of alkaloids are proven to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which can help a range of health problems.
What are the main benefits of using Goldenseal?
Goldenseal is widely considered a plant for all manner of infections, ailments and health issues. This plant has long been used to boost the immune system, and has been made into teas since its inception.
The roots of the Goldenseal plant have been boiled, and made into healing medicinal teas, poultices and tinctures, in the hopes that it would aid the body and bring people back to good health.
The main benefits of using Goldenseal are that it can improve immune health, digestive health, heart health and skin health. This is because Goldenseal is known to contain the powerful, natural plant ingredient called berberine.
Berberine is known to help stimulate the immune system because it activates macrophages that help to destroy harmful microorganisms and bacteria.
Berberine is also naturally antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, which makes it the perfect ingredient to help fight off infections, inflammation and protect the immune system.
In addition to this, Goldenseal is considered a bitter herb, which works to stimulate the production of stomach acid and enzymes that help the digestive system absorb nutrients from the food we consume.
Goldenseal therefore helps assist digestive health, as it stimulates the digestive juices, and creates a balancing effect on the microbiome. This means that it promotes a healthy gut, and reduces the risk of digestive issues.
If you have a healthy gut, then you will be able to create beneficial bacteria, and less harmful pathogens. When a person becomes unwell, this harmful bacteria can become rife, and will cause stomach upset.
With Goldenseal, you can balance the bacteria in your body and have better microbiome health.
As it is also anti-inflammatory, Goldenseal can also be utilized to heal the gut, protect the intestinal tract, and relieve the symptoms of bloating, cramping and constipation.
The active ingredient in Goldenseal, Berberine, is also highly effective in supporting the heart.
Berberine works to help regulate heart rhythm, protect the heart and provide relief from heart palpitations and other heart problems.
Studies therefore have shown that berberine has lots of cardiovascular benefits and effects, which means that it can be useful in treating arrhythmias and heart failure.
Not only is Goldenseal an effective medicinal treatment for the immune system and digestive system, it can also be used for skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.
This is largely due to the fact that Goldenseal is packed with anti-microbial powers that can combat skin issues that are inflammatory such as acne.
In addition to this, Goldenseal has been effective against blisters, sores, ringworm, herpes and other skin conditions.
In order to treat such skin problems, Goldenseal can be formed into a poultice, and applied directly onto the skin, or the area that requires treatment.
It can also be used as an active ingredient in skin creams and ointments designed to treat the problem.
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, goldenseal is also good for treating wounds, cleaning wounds and helping them heal.
This is the perfect solution to speed up the healing process, and is sometimes preferred to harsh disinfectants that can further irritate the skin.
As it is a natural, herbal remedy, Goldenseal is kinder to the skin and works quickly and effectively to treat and remedy the problem.
What is Goldenseal used for?
Goldenseal has long been regarded as a natural treatment for a range of health problems. However, these days, Goldenseal is often used to treat colds and upper respiratory tract infections.
Many studies suggest that berberine can be used to fight off bacteria in infections and viruses, including the types that create a common cold. Goldenseal is therefore often an active ingredient in many cold and flu remedies and supplements.
In addition, Goldenseal is often included in herbal remedies with echinacea, as this plant is also native to North America and used to treat infections.
When the two are combined, they are utilized to treat respiratory infections such as colds and flu.
The main reason most people use Goldenseal is for its health properties. These include anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help protect the immune system, the digestive system and the cardiovascular system.
Goldenseal can also be used to treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory effects. This will effectively calm the skin, treat and protect the skin, whilst speeding up the healing process.
Along with its benefits for the immune system and digestive system, Goldenseal can also be used as a remedy for urinary tract infections, or UTIs.
This is due to the fact that the berberine found in Goldenseal works against fungus and bacteria, and can help flush away harmful bacteria that can cause a UTI.
It is believed that berberine is also effective in treating candida albicans, which is a fungus found in the human body. Berberine is thought to work to prevent this fungus from multiplying too much, and causing an infection.
This type of fungus is usually harmless in normal quantities, but if it multiplies excessively, it can cause UTIs, yeast infections, oral thrush and rashes.
In addition to this, Goldenseal has been suggested as an effective treatment for chlamydia and herpes. These are two of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, and can cause health problems if not treated.
For instance, if chlamydia is not treated, it can lead to infertility, whereas if herpes is not treated it can cause blisters and mucous membranes on the lips, mouth and genitalia.
A few studies have shown that vaginal chlamydia can be treated with douches, suppositories and supplements that are laden with berberine.
Also, plants with berberine can also help to treat herpes and other skin maladies. However, these studies are few and outdated, and so there would need to be more research for conclusive evidence.
New evidence has shown that Goldenseal may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
This is again due to that wonder-ingredient berberine, as this can reduce sugar absorption in the gut, lower insulin resistance and help lower blood sugar levels.
This works in the same way as a common anti-diabetic medication, and could even be more effective.
Although the effects of berberine on the body are clearly positive and beneficial, it is unclear how much berberine is actually included in Goldenseal, and how much you would need to consume to see the results of this treatment.
You should also be aware that Goldenseal is widely considered safe as long as you follow the recommended guidelines and doses. Some people may be affected differently by Goldenseal, with some experiencing vomiting or nausea after consuming.
It is important to know that this herb is expensive to purchase, and so you should make sure you buy real, organic and authentic products, as some companies may make products with very little of the actual herb included.
History of Goldenseal
As previously mentioned, Goldenseal has been utilized for centuries as a natural healer. It was first discovered and used by the native American people of the regions in which it was first grown.
For instance, the Cherokee used Goldenseal as a treatment for indigestion, and as a tonic to treat skin wounds, inflammations and problems.
On the other hand, the Iroquoian tribes used the roots of the Goldenseal plant in order to create treatments for liver problems, digestive issues, fever, whooping cough and diarrhoea.
This concoction was also used with other plant remedies as ear drops and eye washes. The roots of the plant were often also used as a stain to create dyes.
Later, Goldenseal would be introduced to Europe around 1760, and subsequently the world as this herb became more widely known and available.
By the 19th century, Goldenseal was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia for its medicinal properties, and used up until 1926.
Today, Goldenseal has spread all around the world, and is not only grown in America anymore, as it is prized for its ability to heal a range of medical ailments.
Where to get Goldenseal
Nowadays, you can get Goldenseal in many retailers, and online. Goldenseal is most often sold in capsule form, as a powder, or as an extract. It is also not uncommon to find goldenseal mixed with Echinacea to help promote wellness and health.