Latin Name: Hydrastis canadensis
Plant Family: Ranunculaceae
Common Name: Goldenseal
Origin & History:
The Iroquois and Cherokee were among the first of the American tribes in the eastern United States to use this small perennial plant (Hydrastis canadensis) medicinally. They harvested its fleshy underground stems (rhizomes) and roots and used them to treat a variety of infections from insect bites and digestive upset to eye and skin ailments.
Goldenseal has long been valued for its ability to soothe inflamed or infected mucous membranes. It is a broadrange herb that fights various bacteria, fungi and protozoa infections and is found in popular herbal blends for taming intestinal and gallbladder inflammation. Traditional Chinese healers give Goldenseal to cancer patients whose immune systems are weakened by chemotherapy treatments. Specifically, Goldenseal may help to: curtail colds, flu and other respiratory infections; reduce symptoms of sinusitis; combat infections of the urinary tract and vaginal area; treat eye complaints; heal minor cuts and scrapes; ease diarrhea; relive symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome; fight warts, cold sores, genital herpes and shingles; and control canker sores.
Parts Used: Roots
Constituents: AlKaloids berberine and hydrastine.
Side Effects & Cautions:
Avoid taking the herb if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and glaucoma or are pregnant or nursing. Avoid taking for prolonged periods of time.