- Qualities: Bile stimulant, mucosal regulation, digestive aid
- Parts used: Root, powdered
- Origin: United States
- Cultivation: Certified Organic
Goldenseal is thought of as a cold and flu remedy. Many contemporary herbalists believe it is best indicated a few days after the onset of infection when there are lingering symptoms: goldenseal will normalize mucous secretions.
“It is my opinion that goldenseal acts as an "antibiotic" to the mucous membranes not by killing germs directly, but by increasing the flow of healthy mucous, which contains its own innate antibiotic factors — IgA antibodies. This effect is unnecessary in the early stages of a cold or flu, when mucous is already flowing freely.”- Paul Bergner, Clinical Herbalist
Goldenseal is extremely bitter due to its berberine content, which also gives its characteristic yellow colour. May support liver and gall bladder function, and supports digestion through the stimulation and production of bile.
It is a local antibiotic when in contact with tissue and traditionally used in urinary and digestive tract infections.
Goldenseal is on the United Plant Savers’ “At Risk” list due to industry demand combined with unregulated harvesting practices and loss of habitat. Although native to North America, Goldenseal is disappearing from the wild. It is “...Threatened on Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act, 2002 (SARA), & In Ontario, the species is also listed as Threatened under the provincial Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA).” -Government of Canada
We strongly encourage counscious short-term use of this herb due to its sustainability issues. Consider high-berberine alternatives such as Berberis aquifolium (Oregon Grape) or Barberry (Berberis vulgaris).
Constituents: Calcium, chromium, manganese, potassium, silicon, sulfur, unsaturated fatty acids, alkaloids (berberine, hydrastine, canadine, berberastine, canadaline, hydrastinine), flavonoids, resin, albumin, starch, chlorogenic acid.
Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy unless under supervision of a health care professional, with high blood pressure, or in the week preceding surgery as it may increase blood pressure. Do not use as a single herb for more than 2 weeks-can cause malabsorption of B vitamins.
How to Brew Herbal Teas
As a rule of thumb, for single herbs add 1 tsp. dried herb per cup hot water (though you can make your tea as strong or weak as you’d like). For blends of more than 2 herbs, use 1 Tbsp. dried herb blend per cup of hot water.
INFUSIONS are for plant materials that are relatively fragile (leaves, fruits, seeds, flowers and roots with high volatile oils like Valerian or Goldenseal). Place a tight fitting lid over the tea, and allow to steep for 10-20 minutes, or overnight – depending on the flavour and strength you wish.
DECOCTIONS are like infusions, but are used when the plant material is tenacious (such as roots, barks, nuts and non-aromatic seeds). This method makes very concentrated teas, so the plant material can be used 2-3 times before discarding. Bring water to a boil. Add herb to boiling water, cover with tight fitting lid, and allow to simmer on low heat for 15-20 mins. Remove from heat and strain.
How to brew when your blend has both fragile and tenacious herbs?
You do both methods! First decoct your roots, barks or seeds as described above. Turn off the heat, and then add the leaves/flowers and leave to steep for as long as you desire.
100% pure certified organic Astragalus membranaceus root.