Goldenseal: A Native Powerhouse

If you received our email yesterday, we shared a few of the many benefits of goldenseal. All of the herbs and herbal preparations in our store are potent. Each one has its own unique healing qualities. Goldenseal is no exception! In fact, its wellness properties have been utilized for centuries and hold incredible value in today’s current pandemic state. 

What is Goldenseal?

Also known as Hydrastis canadensis L., goldenseal is a North American woodland plant used for centuries by many Native American tribes, particularly those occupying the eastern coast. Enslaved African people also grew to know the powerful applications of this plant (I share more about this in The Divine Fiat.). From whooping cough to digestive upset, goldenseal helped our ancestors heal and survive. Today, it can impart the same healing without many of the unwanted side effects from conventional medicines.

Goldenseal contains 3 active compounds: hydrastine, berberine, and canadine. These natural chemical compounds provide key benefits to the human body. I’ve listed them below.


Goldenseal if most often touted for its antibacterial abilities. It is used to treat upper-respiratory infections as well as topical ones. Goldenseal is often used in herbal preparations for eye, urinary tract, and vaginal infections. When in combination with echinacea, it can relieve symptoms associated with the common cold or flu. 


Yeast infections, both vaginal and digestive, can be relieved with topical and oral goldenseal preparations. Candida, is an overgrowth of yeast caused by poor dietary habits, chemical antibacterial use, and poor hygiene. Goldenseal is a main ingredient in many holistic yeast preventatives and treatments.


Cuts and scrapes happen. Native peoples have used goldenseal for centuries to treat wounds, bites, and injuries that included broken skin. The herb was steeped to create a wash. Cloth soaked in the herbal preparation was then used to bandage wounds. Today, the same treatments work! Goldenseal tea can be used as an oral antiseptic too. Drinking it as a tea can impart these same properties at an internal level for dental health but also to increase the healing of external injuries.


Infection, whether topical or internal creates inflammation in the body. A poor diet, stress, chronic illness and environmental toxins all encourage inflammatory states in the body. Goldenseal is renowned for its ability to reduce inflammation in the tissues and organ systems, including the skin. When your respiratory system becomes inflamed due to cold or flu symptoms, goldenseal is the herb to reach for. It soothes irritated mucosal membranes. It is equally helpful in treatments for arthritis, colitis, vaginitis and bronchitis (the suffix ‘itis’ indicates inflammation). 

Immune stimulant

Goldenseal root is rich in nutrients that can improve your immune system. Nutrients such as vitamin A, C, E, B and more make up this herbs nutrition profile. Some research indicates that its ability to nourish the body while being an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and more is what makes it a double powerhouse for those who have difficulty healing from the ailments it treats. While you won’t find this root in your grocery store for cooking, taking the dried root in capsule form is just a potent!

Appetite stimulant

This one is not usually thought of when goldenseal is mentioned. Anorexia nervosa, injury, stress, medication can all reduce your natural appetite. Goldenseal acts as a stimulant for the appetite. If you have an overgrowth of yeast in the body or if you consume a lot of dairy, you may notice a decrease in your appetite due to the heavy dampness that yeast provides. Thankfully, goldenseal does double duty in this case, stimulating the appetite while resolving yeast. If this sounds familiar to you, adopting a fresh plant-based diet with minimally processed foods can help.

Menstrual aid

If you suffer from menorrhagia, or excessive menstrual bleeding, goldenseal is a commonly suggested herb. It can reduce copious menstrual flows while also stimulating the uterus. While goldenseal isn’t traditionally a Chinese Medicine herb, it’s study here in the West has revealed its powerful properties across many holistic modalities. One such property is its support in resolving uterine fibroids. This is done in combination with other uterine health herbs, but the astringent property of goldenseal is a benefit to any formula that can accomplish this!

Heart health

Last, but not least, goldenseal is used to promote good cardiovascular health. You don’t have to research too long to find that goldenseal has been used to dilate the blood vessels, improving blood flow to the heart, thereby preventing risk of health failure. It isn’t the first herb that comes to mind when faced with heart issues, but it is an effective herb when used for this purpose.

If you can believe it, this is just a few of the things goldenseal is known for. The Native Americans knew about the importance of this herb for human healing. They knew this herb that grows naturally and can be mistaken as a weed is a powerhouse, full of health-giving potential! Like many herbs, knowing if it is right for your condition is vital to improving your health. If you’re on prescribed medication(s), it is recommended you seek expert support in finding out if goldenseal is right for you! Schedule your health consultation with us today!

If you’re interested in adding goldenseal to your herbal medicine cabinet, check out what we have in store here!

1 comment

Vershern edwards

Thank you for your contribution . We benefit greatly from your dedication and passion for your work .
Thank you 😊

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