Golden Seal

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Golden Seal Leaves

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Golden Seal Root

Golden Seal

The medicinal herb Goldenseal as an alternative herbal remedy - Goldenseal is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by over harvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains.Common Names--goldenseal, yellow root

Latin Name--Hydrastis canadensis

What Goldenseal Is Used For

Historically, Native Americans have used goldenseal for various health conditions such as skin diseases, ulcers, and gonorrhea.

  • Now, goldenseal is used for colds and other respiratory tract infections, infectious diarrhea, eye infections, and vaginitis (inflammation or infection of the vagina).
  • It is occasionally used to treat cancer. It is also applied to wounds and canker sores, and is used as a mouthwash for sore gums, mouth, and throat.

Goldenseal's numerous uses are attributed to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It soothes irritated mucus membranes aiding the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Taken at the first signs of respiratory problems, colds or flu, Goldenseal helps can help to prevent further symptoms from developing. It has also been used to help reduce fevers, and relive congestion and excess mucous.

Goldenseal cleanses and promotes healthy glandular functions by increasing bile flow and digestive enzymes, therefore regulating healthy liver and spleen functions. It can relieve constipation and may also be used to treat infections of the bladder and intestines as well.

Goldenseal contains calcium, iron, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex, and other nutrients and minerals. The roots and rhizomes of goldenseal contain many isoquinoline alkaloids, including hydrastine, berberine, canadine, canadaline, and l-hydrastine as well as traces of essential oil, fatty oil and resin. It is believed that the high content of these alkaloids gives its antibiotic, anti-infective and immune stimulating qualities.

In particular it is the alkaloid berberine that is most likely responsible for Goldenseal's effectiveness against bacteria, protozoa, fungi, Streptococci and it also promotes easier removal of the bacteria by inhibiting their ability to adhere to tissue surfaces. Berberine is also anti-fungal and strongly anti-diarrheal. It aids against the infection of mucous membranes such as the lining of the oral cavity, throat, sinus, bronchi, genito-urinary tract and gastrointestinal tract. Clinical studies have shown it is effective in the treatment of diarrhea cause by E. coli (traveller's diarrhea), Shigella dysenteriae (shigellosis), salmonella paratyphi (food poisoning), giardia lamblia (giardiasis), and vibrio cholerae (cholera).

Goldenseal may also help with allergic rhinitis, hay fever, laryngitis, hepatitis, cystitis, and alcoholic liver disease.

It has proven its value in cases of diarrhea and hemorrhoids. Its astringent properties have also been employed in cases of excessive menstruation and internal bleeding. Externally, a wash can be prepared to treat skin conditions such as eczema and ringworm, as well as wounds and badly healing sores, or used as drops in cases of earache and conjunctivitis. The decoction is also said to be effective as a douche to treat trichomonas and thrush. As a gargle it can be employed in cases of gum infections and sore throats. The application of a paste or poultice containing goldenseal root is sometimes recommended for boils, abscesses and carbuncles on the grounds that Goldenseal helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.

How Goldenseal Is Used

  • The underground stems or roots of goldenseal are dried and used to make teas, liquid extracts, and solid extracts that may be made into tablets and capsules.
  • Goldenseal is often combined with echinacea in preparations that are intended to be used for colds.
Herbal remedies in zamboanga.PNG

What the Science Says about Goldenseal

  • Few studies have been published on goldenseal's safety and effectiveness, and there is little scientific evidence to support using it for any health problem.
  • Clinical studies on a compound found in goldenseal, berberine, suggest that the compound may be beneficial for certain infections--such as those that cause some types of diarrhea, as well as some eye infections. However, goldenseal preparations contain only a small amount of berberine, so it is difficult to extend the evidence about the effectiveness of berberine to goldenseal.
  • NCCAM is funding a study to understand the mechanism by which berberine may act against tumors.

Side Effects and Cautions of Goldenseal

  • Goldenseal is considered safe for short-term use in adults at recommended dosages. Rare side effects may include nausea and vomiting.
  • There is little information about the safety of high dosages or the long-term use of goldenseal.
  • Although drug interactions have not been reported, goldenseal may cause changes in the way the body processes drugs, and could potentially increase the levels of many drugs. However, a study of goldenseal and indinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection, found no interaction.
  • Other herbs containing berberine, including Chinese goldthread (Coptis trifolia) and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), are sometimes substituted for goldenseal. These herbs may have different effects, side effects, and drug interactions than goldenseal.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using goldenseal. The berberine in the herb may cause the uterus to contract, increasing the risk of premature labor or miscarriage. Berberine may also be transferred through breast milk, causing life-threatening liver problems in nursing infants.
  • Goldenseal should not be given to infants and young children.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

How Goldenseal Works

source: wikipedia verbatim

While most people assume that goldenseal has direct antimicrobial effects, it may work by more diffuse means. Herbalist Paul Bergner investigated the research and has been unable to find case reports where the level of intestinal pathogens are lower after taking goldenseal, although he has found many reports where symptoms were reduced. In fact a study by Rabbani[11] where men with E. coli induced diarrhea had 42–48% reduced symptoms after taking berberine showed unchanged levels of intestinal bacteria, pathogenic or otherwise. His conclusion on how it works:

One traditional use of goldenseal is as a mucous membrane tonic. Note that it does not have to come in contact with the mucous membranes to have this effect. Hold some goldenseal in your mouth for a minute or two, and you can feel the effect on the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses. Traditional doctors stated that goldenseal increases the secretion of the mucous membranes. At the same time, goldenseal contains astringent factors, which also counter that flow. Thus it was referred to as a mucous membrane "alterative", increasing deficient flow but decreasing excessive flow. How this happens has not been determined by science, but is thoroughly supported by the traditional uses.... 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.

It appears likely that goldenseal shares with Mahonia (Oregon grape) and Berberis (Barberry) the ability to inhibit the drug resistance efflux pumps (MDR pumps) of bacteria, as discussed below.

Traditional usage of GoldenSeal

section source: wikipedia verbatim

At the time of the European colonization of the Americas, goldenseal was in extensive use among certain Native American tribes of North America, both as a medicine and as a coloring material. Prof. Benjamin Smith Barton in his first edition of Collections for an Essay Toward a Materia Medica of the United States (1798), refers to the Cherokee use of goldenseal as a cancer treatment. Later, he calls attention to its properties as a bitter tonic, and as a local wash for ophthalmia. It became a favorite of the Eclectics from the time of Constantine Raffinesque in the 1830s.

Goldenseal was extensively used for cancers and swellings of the breasts by the Eclectics, although it was not considered sufficient for cancer alone. Hale recommended its use in hard swellings of the breast, while conium was used for smaller painless lumps. The two herbs alone or with phytoplankton Americana were used for cancers, along with alternatives like red clover.

Ellingwood's American Materia Medica lists goldenseal as being useful for functional disorders of the stomach, catarrhal gastritis, atonic dyspepsia, chronic constipation, hepatic congestion, cirrhosis, protracted fevers, cerebral engorgements of a chronic character, uterine subinvolution, in menorrhagia or metrorrhagia from the displaced uterus, post partum hemorrhage, catarrhal, ulcerating, aphthous, indolent and otherwise unhealthy conditions of mucous surfaces, leucorrhea, gallstones and breast swellings associated with the menses. Ellingwood cites one unusual use:

Cuthberton gave hydrastis canadensis as a tonic to a pregnant woman who had a goitre of recent appearance. The goitre was promptly cured. As a result of this observation, he treated twenty-five other cases of goitre at the time of puberty, or during the pregnant state. At times when interference with the function of the reproductive organs seemed to produce reflex irritation. He claims that every case was cured by this remedy. He gave the agent from six weeks to three months, three times a day after eating. One of the patients had become steadily worse under the use of iodine, the iodides, and thyroid extract. This patient began to improve as soon as hydrastis was given, and was promptly cured with this remedy alone.

Herbalists today consider goldenseal an alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, anti-diabetic and muscular stimulant. They discuss the astringent effect it has on mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, the bladder, and rectum (applied topically), and the skin. Goldenseal is very bitter, which stimulates the appetite and aids digestion, and often stimulates bile secretion.

News About Golden Seal

Goldenseal (bai mao liang)

(Acupuncture Today)
What is goldenseal? What is it used for?

Goldenseal is a small herb with a single, hairy stem, two five-lobed, jagged-edged leaves, small flowers, raspberry-like fruit and a bright, yellow-brown root. It is native to the northern United States, and is cultivated mostly on farms in Oregon and Washington state. It was originally introduced to American settlers by Native American tribes, who used it to dye clothing and as a wash for skin diseases, sore eyes and colds. In recent years, it has been overharvested to the point that it is now a threatened species. Although commercial cultivation has relieved some of the problem, it is still quite expensive.

Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine, which has been shown to kill many of the bacteria that cause diarrhea. Berberine has also been shown to kill germs that cause yeast infections and parasites such as tapeworms.

Goldenseal has a variety of applications, especially for digestive conditions. It may be useful in fighting gastric and enteric inflammations; urinary infections; respiratory infections; and constipation. Externally, it can be used to reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes; skin fissures and ulcers; and as a lotion to stop excess sweating.

How much goldenseal should I take?

The amount of goldenseal taken depends on the condition it is being used for. For general inflammation, goldenseal can be taken in doses from 500 to 2,000 milligrams up to three times a day. To disinfect cuts and scrapes, goldenseal extract can be used with a clean, wet cloth. For other cases of irritation, goldenseal powder can be used in conjunction with salt and warm water.

What forms of goldenseal are available?

Goldenseal is available (in various concentrations) in both capsule and tablet form. It is also available in alcoholic tinctures and low-alcohol extracts.

What can happen if I take too much goldenseal? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Large doses of goldenseal may interfere with the body's ability to absorb B vitamins. If used for an extended period of time, goldenseal can irritate the skin and can reduce the amount of some types of digestive bacteria, which can lead to nausea and diarrhea. In addition, the American Herbal Products Association has given goldenseal a class 2B rating, meaning that it should not be used during pregnancy. Pregnant women and patients with a history of high blood pressure should not take goldenseal.

As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions associated with goldenseal. As always, consult with your health practitioner before taking goldenseal or any other herbal product or dietary supplement.


(Life Script)

Although goldenseal root is one of the most popular herbs sold today, it is taken almost entirely for the wrong reasons. Originally, it was used by Native Americans both as a dye and as a treatment for skin disorders, digestive problems, liver disease, diarrhea, and eye irritations. European settlers learned of the herb from the Iroquois and other tribes and quickly adopted goldenseal as a part of early colonial medical care.

In the early 1800s, an herbalist named Samuel Thompson created a wildly popular system of medicine that swept the country. Thompson spoke of goldenseal as a nearly magical cure for many conditions. His evangelism led to a dramatic upsurge in demand, followed by over-collection and decimation of the wild plant. Prices skyrocketed and then collapsed when Thompsonianism faded away.

Goldenseal has passed through several more booms and busts. Today, it is again in great demand, but now it is under intentional cultivation.

What Is Goldenseal Used for Today?

Goldenseal contains a substance called berberine that has been found to inhibit or kill many microorganisms, including fungi, protozoa and bacteria. On this basis, contemporary herbalists often use goldenseal as a topical antibiotic for skin wounds, as well as to treat viral mouth sores and superficial fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. However, there is no direct scientific evidence that goldenseal is effective for any of these purposes.

Note that goldenseal probably is not likely to work as an oral antibiotic, because the blood levels of berberine that can be achieved by taking goldenseal orally are far too low to matter. 3 However, goldenseal could theoretically be beneficial in treating sore throats and diseases of the digestive tract (such as infectious diarrhea ) because it can contact the affected area directly. Similarly, since berberine is concentrated in the bladder, goldenseal could be useful for bladder infections. Nonetheless, again there is as yet no direct evidence that goldenseal is effective for any of these uses.

Extremely weak evidence (far too weak to rely upon at all) suggests that goldenseal or berberine may be helpful for various heart related conditions, including arrhythmias , congestive heart failure , high cholesterol , diabetes , and high blood pressure . Similarly, infinitesimal evidence hints that goldenseal could be helpful for conditions in which spasms of smooth muscle play a role, such as dyspepsia (nonspecific stomach distress) and irritable bowel syndrome , as well as various forms of pain caused by inflammation.

Ironically, goldenseal’s most common uses are entirely inappropriate. Goldenseal is frequently combined with the herb echinacea to be taken as a "traditional immune booster" and "antibiotic" for the prevention and treatment of colds. However, as the noted herbalist Paul Bergner has pointed out, there are three things wrong with this packaging:

• There is no credible evidence that goldenseal increases immunity. Only one study weakly hints at an immune strengthening effect.
• Colds are caused by viruses and don't respond to antibiotics, even if goldenseal were an effect systemic (whole body) antibiotic, which it almost certainly isn't.
• Goldenseal was never used traditionally for the common cold.

The other myth that has helped drive the sales of goldenseal is the widespread street belief that it can block a positive drug screen. The origin of this false idea dates back to a work of fiction published in 1900 by a pharmacist and author named John Uri Lloyd. In Stringtown on the Pike , a dead man is found to have traces of goldenseal in his stomach. In fact, he had taken goldenseal regularly as a digestive aid, but a toxicology expert mistakes the goldenseal for strychnine, and deduces intentional murder.

This work of fiction sufficed to create a folkloric connection between goldenseal and drug testing. Although the goldenseal in the story actually made a drug test come out falsely positive, this has been turned around to become a belief that goldenseal can make urine drug screens come out negative. A word to the wise: it doesn't work. Dosage

When used as a topical treatment for minor skin wounds , a sufficient quantity of goldenseal cream, ointment, or powder should be applied to cover the wound. Make sure to clean the wound at least once a day to prevent goldenseal particles from being trapped in the healing tissues.

For mouth sores and sore throats, goldenseal tincture is swished or gargled. Goldenseal may also be used as strong tea for this purpose, made by boiling 0.5 to 1 g in a cup of water. The herb has a bitter taste. Goldenseal tea is also used as a douche for vaginal yeast infections .

Safety Issues

Although there are no reports of severe adverse effects attributable to use of goldenseal, this herb has not undergone much safety testing.

One study suggests that topical use of goldenseal could cause photosensitivity (an increased tendency to react to sun exposure).

Goldenseal should not be used by pregnant women because the herb has been reported to cause uterine contractions. Also, berberine may increase levels of bilirubin and cause genetic damage. The last of these effects indicates that individuals with elevated bilirubin levels (jaundice) should also avoid use of goldenseal. Safety in young children, nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is also not established.

Just as there are incorrect rumors regarding the benefits of goldenseal, there are popular but incorrect beliefs regarding its health risks. For example, it is often said that goldenseal can disrupt the normal bacteria of the intestines. However, there is no scientific evidence that this occurs. Another fallacy is that small overdoses of goldenseal are toxic, causing ulcerations of the stomach and other mucous membranes. This idea is based on a misunderstanding of old literature.

Some evidence suggests that goldenseal might interact with various medications by altering the way they are metabolized in the liver. 9,23 One study found that berberine impairs metabolism of the drug cyclosporine , thereby raising its levels. 22 This could potentially cause toxicity. It is important, therefore, to speak with a physician before taking goldenseal with other medications.

6 Natural Flu-Fighting Remedies

By Yuri Elkaim (Contributor)

How to beat and treat the flu with food and herbs as medicine.

Influenza, AKA the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection in the respiratory tract. The worst part about it is that a person is contagious for about two days before symptoms appear and remains contagious for about five days after symptoms appear.

If you have ever had the flu, you understand how terrible it can be. As we move into flu season, it is important to focus on flu prevention as much as possible. Luckily, there are several natural remedies that can help prevent you from getting the flu and help you recover if you do. These natural remedies also decrease the likelihood of the flu turning into something worse such as pneumonia.

Below are several all-natural "flu fighters" you can use to keep yourself healthy and happy this flu season:

• Healthy Foods

When it comes to preventing the flu, what you eat plays a huge part. Your body's tissues and cells are essentially made out of the foods you consume. If you consume unhealthy foods, you will have an unhealthy body. Unhealthy bodies are not equipped to fight off illnesses like the flu.

Basically, what you need to do is stay away from processed foods. If it was made in a lab or factory, you do not want it in your body! Try to focus your diet on things that grew out of the earth. Fresh fruits and vegetables are fantastically nutrient-dense and will help fortify your body's flu-fighting defenses.

I understand that eating in this way can be a little tough around the holidays. When I say you need to eat healthy, that doesn't mean you can't indulge from time to time. If you eat health-promoting foods MOST of the time, your immune system should stay strong all flu season long.

• Echinacea

Echinacea is antimicrobial, which means it fights microorganisms including viruses like the flu. Echinacea does not act directly on the virus itself but rather stimulates the immune system to fight the virus. It raises the white blood cell count and increases the body's inherent powers of resistance. Echinacea can also help to sooth and heal the mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs, which are often inflamed by the flu.

• Elderberry

Elderberry is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberry also helps to dry up mucus and bring it up from the lungs. This is particularly helpful for respiratory infections like the flu. It is also high in flavonoids, rutin and quercetin, which help to bulk up the immune response.

• Goldenseal

An antiseptic, goldenseal reduces inflammation and fights microorganisms in the body. Goldenseal also has a healing affect on mucus membranes of the respiratory tract and can help to help to dry up mucus. It's also rich in alkaloids, which increase the immune response and activate macrophages, the type of immune cells that fight off viruses.

Goldenseal works well with echinacea in the treatment of respiratory tract infections. It can be used in rotation with or combined with echinacea directly. Many supplements come in this combination.

Caution: Goldenseal should not be used when pregnant, lactating or if you have high blood pressure.

• Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries as an antibacterial/antimicrobial agent. Once consumed, the garlic's oil is excreted through the lungs (think garlic breath!). This is the main reason it is especially effective in fighting off respiratory infections like the flu.

Garlic's characteristically strong smell is a result of sulfur compounds, which are beneficial to respiratory and circulatory systems. For the best immune support, garlic should be consumed in the diet regularly.

Garlic also acts as an expectorant, making it easier to cough up mucus and clear the sinuses.

• Oregano oil

Oil of oregano has two key ingredients, carvacarol and thymol, both of which have been shown to help fight and inhibit the growth of microorganisms. It has strong antiviral, antibacterial properties and helps to fight off infections.

Interestingly, oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and four times more than blueberries!

• Zinc

The mineral zinc is involved in almost every metabolic process in the body, yet, due to improper farming practices, there is less in our fruits and vegetables than ever before. Zinc is involved in the growth, development and maintenance of body tissues. It is also needed for the synthesis of DNA, which is critical for healing.

Zinc is required for optimal immune cell function, and zinc deficiency can compromise white blood cell numbers. Many other elements of the immune system are also hindered by zinc deficiency. If you have frequent colds and infections, it could mean you have a zinc deficiency.

If you have the flu

If you have the flu, it is important to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not eat or drink dairy products as they increase mucus production. Finally, if you have a fever, drinking peppermint tea can help to decrease chills and increase perspiration, both of which will help to bring your fever down.

Hopefully, this list of "flu fighters" will keep you flu-free all season long.

Goldenseal: Herbal Remedies

By Jennifer Brett (N.D.)
Preparations and Warnings for Goldenseal

Aside from the many benefits of goldenseal, there are some downsides. Learn more in the sections below.

Goldenseal Preparations and Dosage

Goldenseal's extremely bitter taste makes it more appropriate for tinctures and capsules than for teas. The following doses are recommended.

Tincture: Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon every one to two hours in adults with an acute sore throat or intestinal infection. When treating infections with herbal preparations, it is usually best to take a dose fairly frequently at the onset of symptoms and reduce the frequency in the following days as symptoms improve.

Capsules: Take 1 or 2 capsules every two to four hours when an infection first begins, and then reduce the frequency over several days' time. This botanical is fine for children and the elderly, but they require a lower dosage. Be sure to check with an herbalist for the appropriate dosage.

Goldenseal Precautions and Warnings

Because of the overharvesting of goldenseal, many herbalists recommend using goldenseal only occasionally, suggesting use of other antimicrobial herbs, such as Oregon grape, thyme, or garlic in its place whenever possible.

Be aware that goldenseal is also used as a yellow dye, so medicinal tinctures and teas will permanently stain clothing. Don't worry, though: Topical applications won't stain your skin or your eyes if you use the eyewash.

Side Effects of Goldenseal

Goldenseal is considered quite safe but due to its alkaloid content, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Researchers and herbalists disagree, however, about whether goldenseal can impair the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract the way that pharmaceutical antibiotics can.

Not all bacteria are harmful; our bodies need some types of bacteria to assist in digestion, for example. So if you are one of the rare individuals who needs to use goldenseal long term, you should supplement your diet with Lactobacillus acidophilus bacterial strains, such as those found in active-culture yogurt, to replenish the body's supply of beneficial bacteria.

Remember Hydrotherapy

By Amy Rothenberg (ND)

Some years ago a patient came into my office with an unusual complaint: He said he had a capillini condition. For those less familiar, capillini is a very thin, rod-shaped spaghetti enjoyed by many pasta lovers. He held out his hand to show me the problem. He had an infection around his thumb nail, an acute paronychia. He had been washing dishes a few days earlier and could not dislodge a piece of capellini adhered to the bottom of a pot. Scrub as he might, it would not come loose, so he used his thumbnail to get under the pasta to try to dislodge it. Up it came, but unfortunately, it wedged between his nail and his nail bed and snapped off, a small splinter under the nail with no part of the splinter protruding.

There is very little space between the nail and the nail bed, and the pressure and pain were mounting. The throbbing and discomfort were such that in the middle of the night, he went to the emergency department. Generally speaking, a splinter under a nail can be removed carefully if a bit is sticking out, by clipping the nail around the splinter and employing a good pair of tweezers. But this was deeper in and an infection had started to brew, with tenderness in the area beginning to spread to the rest of the finger. He came home from the ER without removal of the splinter or resolution for the finger.

As a naturopathic doctor, I thought about the best ways to treat him. I knew he did not want to go back to the emergency department where they would need to cut a deep V in the nail reaching to where the hard pasta was embedded. Due to the infection, he would likely be prescribed oral antibiotics. I know that infections of the fingertips and nails must be treated carefully to prevent the infection from spreading and that treatments must be individualized to the patient. I suggested the use of botanical and nutritional antibiotic substances alongside aggressive hydrotherapy.

Some might think of hydrotherapy as a quaint approach used in times gone by, but it is commonly used in both occupational and physical therapy. Harkening back to naturopathic medicine roots, hydrotherapy is a treatment many naturopathic doctors also embrace. It refers to a wide array of treatments that make use of the mechanical and thermal influences of water when applied to particular areas of the body. Depending on the patient’s complaint, the goal is to stimulate, calm or balance the nervous, immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems or to offer pain relief.

Hydrotherapeutic actions rely on the temperature of the water and the length of immersion or application. Cold water makes superficial blood vessels constrict, which pushes blood toward internal organs. In contrast, hot water encourages blood vessels to dilate, which aids in waste removal from tissues. Cold water is stimulating and invigorating; hot water is relaxing and soothing. Alternating hot and cold water decreases inflammation, improves elimination, and stimulates circulation. Moving water impacts touch receptors at the skin, which helps relax tight muscles and supports the circulatory system. Total submersion minimizes pressure on joints and internal organs. We also now know that hydrotherapy impacts nerve impulses, which play a role in the creation and release of stress hormones, hence why the hot bath or hot tub is so relaxing. Like all medical and healing approaches, hydrotherapy must be applied appropriately for the right conditions. The CDC maintains a lengthy and updated set of guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health Care Facilities-Hydrotherapy Tanks and Pools and other organizations such as The American Cancer Society also maintain a webpage on hydrotherapy.

In practice, I use particular hydrotherapy treatments directly on an area in question, like soaking for a local infection, described below; other times water is applied remotely to have a more derivative impact, for instance, employing a hot foot bath to relieve the pressure of sinus congestion.

For my capillini patient, I recommended alternating hot and cold soaks to the finger. I told him the greater the contrast in temperature, the more effective. The hot water should be as hot as he could tolerate without burning himself, and the cold water should be ice cold. I suggested he immerse his whole thumb and to do three-minute immersions in the hot and 10 seconds in the ice water, back and forth for 10 minutes, repeat every 2-3 hours while awake. I had him put Hydrastis canadensis tincture, a dropperful or so, in the hot water. This herb, commonly known as goldenseal, has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities.

I also recommended extra vitamin C, zinc, garlic pills, and a multi-strain probiotic, to be taken by mouth, all things to help to fight infection. I asked him to refrain from alcohol and refined sugar, to be sure to drink plenty of water and to rest as much as he could.

By the next day, the splinter had come out and though the area was still pink, the swelling had gone down and it was less tender to touch. I felt comfortable continuing this approach; he carried on with the plan and by the following day, the swelling and inflammation had resolved. His finger was back to normal without the need for the deep V cut to the nail or oral antibiotics. He was happy he was able fight off the infection and glad to have side-stepped antibiotics, which had historically been difficult on his digestive system. He loved using the hydrotherapy, felt like it supported better circulation to and away from his finger and helped get the infection moving out of his system. He has vowed to let pots with food debris caked on soak overnight from here on out!

Goldenseal: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions And More

(Herbal Tea Recipes)

Goldenseal is an herb that has been used medicinally for centuries throughout history. The same healing properties that made it an effective natural medicine then still hold true now, and it is one of the most popular herbs in the world. However, before exploring the wealth of purported goldenseal tea benefits available, it is important to rule out one popular use for the herb that is false and unsubstantiated. Believe it or not, the naming of the herb in a popular piece of literature led to its becoming known as a tool to mask illicit drugs in laboratory tests. While goldenseal won’t mask the presence of drugs in the urine, it may very well provide numerous other health benefits, many of which are less discussed now thanks to the herb’s unfortunate popularity as a natural urine composition changer.

The herb’s quick rise to fame as a urine masker means that it is incredibly easy to buy both the dried herb and a slew of already prepared tea products. However, because the herbal industry is largely unregulated, it is always best if possible to brew a concoction at home. Not only does this ensure that the product is pure but also allows for the experimentation and development of various herbal tea recipes, combining various herbs for new and unique flavors at home. In its simplest form, a typical goldenseal tea recipe for home brewing involves boiling a teaspoon of the herb in its dried form with eight ounces of water for at least ten but up to twenty minutes and then straining before enjoying. Goldenseal tea benefits may be plentiful, but the tea tends to have an unpleasantly bitter flavor and honey is often used as a sweetening agent to make the beverage more enjoyable. The top ten health benefits associated with the tea follow, and although passing drug tests is not on the list, most will find far more valuable uses below!

1. Improving Appetite: There were various reasons why American Indian tribes used goldenseal, but the Iroquois tribe found the herb useful for both relieving a sour stomach and improving appetite as well. The herb’s appetite improving properties made it a popular remedy for anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder, in the 1800’s.

2. Reducing Blood Pressure: Herbal medicines are effective because many plants contain chemical compounds that promote healing. Goldenseal contains berberine, and although much further study is needed, this chemical is associated with both lowering blood pressure and also helping individuals with irregular heartbeats. Berberine is also responsible for other various goldenseal tea benefits.

3. Diarrhea: It is the berberine found in goldenseal that is thought to be responsible for the plant’s various antifungal and antibacterial properties. As a result, the herb is thought to be particularly useful in combating diarrhea caused from various pathogens. While goldenseal tea benefits may largely benefit internal processes in this way, historically the herb was used as an astringent and antibacterial agent externally as well, becoming one of the most popular remedies for “pink eye.”

4. Urinary Tract Infections: The antibacterial properties associated with goldenseal are likely what make it a popular folk remedy for urinary tract infections. Modern day studies may support this statement as some clinical trials have found that berberine, a chemical found in goldenseal, may actually keep the dangerous bacteria E. coli from adhering to the walls of the uterine tract.

5. Cholesterol Reduction: Studies are in still in the works to determine how much berberine is required for certain medicinal benefits and whether or not those benefits are obtainable from natural sources of the chemical. But, it is possible that thanks to berberine, goldenseal tea benefits may include reducing bad cholesterol which may reduce the risk for diseases of the heart. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that American Indians also used goldenseal for heart trouble, combined with whiskey, of course.

6. Blood Sugar Management: In a similar state of study as bad cholesterol reducing benefits, there is also some evidence to suggest that berberine, as is found in goldenseal, may also help to support healthier levels of glucose in the blood. Although preliminary at best, this naturally occurring chemical compound may hold a wealth of benefits related to numerous chronic health problems.

7. Immunity Support: In addition to berberine, there are other alkaloids thought to be contained in the root of goldenseal, including canadine and hydrastine along with numerous vitamins and minerals. It is likely that these are what are responsible for the herb’s use as an immunity booster to help stave off illness. This supports past believed goldenseal tea benefits relating to the cold and flu, where when taken at onset, the brew is believed to help shorten the duration and reduce symptoms associated with the common ailments.

8. Digestive Gas and Flatulence: Although hardly a serious health concern, few can debate that intestinal gas can be uncomfortable and excessive flatulence can be downright embarrassing. Thankfully, goldenseal tea benefits include many relating to digestion and in terms of gas and flatulence, likely because the chemicals found in the plant are thought to boost digestive enzyme production and the flow of bile.

9. Liver Problems: Issues with the liver require medical evaluation and care, and herbals should not be considered in place of medicines and other treatment. That being said, goldenseal tea benefits may include supporting the liver for conditions like jaundice and liver disease. It is possible, then, that promoting a healthy liver may also be included in the potential health benefits of goldenseal.

10. Congestion and Mucus: The supposed ability of goldenseal to relieve inflammation throughout the body is what likely led to its use in people with congestion related to illness or allergies or excessive production of mucus resulting from same. Reducing inflammation in various sources of mucus throughout the body may be another of the many potential goldenseal tea benefits that led to the herb’s prolific medicinal use historically.

Goldenseal: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions And More

By Corinne Martin

The wind carries both warm and cool breezes as the spring sun begins to brighten. The ground is sodden in the fields, and wild strawberries and violets grow in resplendent bloom along the roadside. Down in the woods, the pussy willows are out and salamanders slip across paths to lay their eggs. And as we celebrate this gentle explosion of nature, this cause for joyful celebration, we suddenly remember—with itchy throats and runny noses—that pollen is back.

After a childhood of hay fever attacks so severe that my jaw often ached from sneezing, I have learned to use Earth's medicinal plants to heal my allergic symptoms instead of aggravate them. I have found that some herbs help stabilize the immune system, some act as astringents to reduce inflammation of mucous membranes, and some stabilize the cells that produce and release histamines (the chemical culprit that causes redness, swelling, and increased mucous production). Other herbs act on metabolism to make the body less susceptible to allergies, and some support the lymphatic system, helping to rid the body of toxins. Along with lifestyle and dietary changes, it is often possible to reduce allergic symptoms, if not eliminate them altogether. You will also be able to breathe easier and happier as you wave goodbye to all those expensive pharmaceutical antihistamines.

Herbs that Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms

Several of the herbs listed below can be found right outside your front door or can be easily cultivated in a garden or landscape. A few of them are becoming less abundant due to over- harvesting, however, so if you wish to use one of the more at-risk herbs, try to obtain seed and then find out the appropriate cultivation requirements. This will ensure that the Earth can continue to flourish and provide for our health needs on a continuing basis.

Echinacea ( Echinacea Purpurea or Angustifoliaor Pallida, use separately or in combination. ): Known commonly as purple coneflower, the root—and to a lesser degree, the leaves, flowers, and seed heads—of Echinacea species promote health by boosting and balancing the immune system. Echinacea stimulates the lymphatic system, promoting drainage and elimination of toxins, and helps to prevent and fight potential infections. This plant is a hardy perennial with beautiful daisy-like magenta blooms. It can be found in the wild in several midwestern states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and can be easily grown in home flower beds, where it will bloom summer through fall.

Dosage: Take in tincture form (five to 30 drops, four to six times daily) or buy freeze-dried tablets from a health food store. This plant is not particularly water soluble, and therefore unsuitable for tea.

Eyebright ( Euphrasia officinalis ): The aerial parts (any part of the plant above ground) of this tiny plant are both astringent and anti-inflammatory, and decrease the hypersensitive response of the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, throat, and ears. In other words, this herb is the perfect remedy for hay fever sufferers. Eyebright is not readily propagated, however, since it grows symbiotically from the roots of grasses. While it grows wild in some eastern and northeastern states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, you can purchase preparations of eye-bright in most herb or health food stores.

Dosage: Take as tea (one teaspoon of dried plant per one cup of boiling water, taken four to six times daily) or in tincture form (approximately 30 drops, four to six times daily). Making a Fresh Plant Tincture

A tincture is a concentrated form of herbal medicine in which some liquid, other than water, has been used to extract the medicinal properties. The resulting tincture will be stronger than a tea, so one need only take drops of it at a time. Cider vinegar and some types of drinking alcohol are two commonly used tincture mediums. The drinking alcohol may be grain alcohol, which is 190 proof and has the greatest potential for extraction, or you can use high-proof vodka (110 proof). Other drinking alcohol may be used, such as brandy, but they are less potent and have less potential to extract the non-water soluble properties. If cider vinegar is used, the resultant tincture will be weaker than an alcohol-based preparation, and dosages may be doubled.

To make a fresh-plant tincture, harvest the herb and clean it, scrubbing the roots or rinsing other plant material if necessary. Cut the plant parts into small pieces and pack the cut herb into a glass jar with a screw-top lid. Pour the tincture medium over the fresh herb just to cover the plant parts. If the herb rises in the liquid, you may place a clean stone on the plant to keep it immersed. Pour about ¼" inch more liquid in than you have herb. Then, close the jar tightly, and set it away in a dark place, such as a cupboard, for two weeks. Occasionally, check the jar and swish the liquid around gently to allow for good exposure of all plant parts to the tincture medium. At the end of two weeks, pour off the liquid and strain it through coffee filters or several layers of cheesecloth. This liquid is now your tincture. Pour it into a clean jar, and label the contents with the name of the herb, the medium used, and the date. Tincture prepared in alcohol will last almost indefinitely.

Tinctures in cider vinegar will be stable for about two to three years.

Golden Seal ( Hydrastis canadensis ): The bitter, yellow root of this wildflower has antibiotic properties and is useful in preventing secondary infection in hay fever, sinusitis, or chest congestion. It is also anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, and helps reduce and soothe swollen, irritated tissues. Therefore golden seal is helpful in all types of airborne allergy responses. It grows wild in southern and midwestern states such as Indiana, Missouri, and the Ozarks and also in the Northeast as far north as Vermont. However, due to its tremendous popularity, several states protect golden seal from extinction with laws restricting or forbidding picking. You can grow this herb in rich, loose soil, but this woodland plant does take patience and special attention. For instance, you will have to trellis the plant and keep it away from intense and direct sunlight. It is probably best purchased from organic growers. ( Caution: Golden Seal may stimulate mild uterine contractions, so it unsafe to ingest during pregnancy.)

Dosage: Take as tincture (30 drops, four to six times daily,) or as tea (use one tea-spoon per one cup water; and be warned that it tastes extremely bitter).

Mullein ( Verbascum thapsus ): The fuzzy leaves of this common biennial weed are expectorant, decongestant, and mildly sedative to respiratory mucous membranes. Mullein calms inflamed lung tissue and enhances moistening of the tiny air sacs in the lungs. Therefore it is especially helpful for bronchitis sufferers and those who have long term allergy-induced asthma. Mullein is a common roadside weed throughout the entire country. In some European countries, this tall herb forms, the centerpiece of herb gardens.

Dosage: Take as tea (one tablespoon dried herb per one cup boiling water, four to six times daily), or tincture (30 to 60 drops, four to six times daily).

Mormon Tea ( Ephedra viridis ): The small twigs and branches of this southwestern desert plant act as a decongestant and help shrink swollen mucous mem-branes. Mormon tea also alleviates or reduces symptoms of hay fever and other related allergies. The plant can be found in arid or semi-arid areas, such as Texas and New Mexico.

Dosage: Take as tea (one tablespoon per one cup of water), or tincture (30 drops, four to six times daily).

Violet ( Viola odorata ): The leaves and blossoms of this common plant are both an expectorant and decongestant, and soothe irritated mucous membranes of the lungs. Violets also act as a lymphatic-system stimulant, helping to relieve buildup of toxins in the body. These properties make it useful for chronic allergic asthma and bronchitis. This violet can be harvested in the wild or purchased from a local plant nursery and transplanted into flower beds where it will flourish.

Dosage: Take as tea (one tablespoon per one cup water, four to six times daily) or take in tincture form (30 to 60 drops, four to six times daily).

Thyme ( Thymus vulgaris ): The leaves and blossoms of this common culinary herb are both anti-bacterial and expectorant. Therefore thyme is the perfect herb for alleviating coughs due to asthma and bronchitis. Thyme can be planted in vegetable or flower gardens, where it will maintain a low growth and produce beautiful, fragrant leaves and blossoms.

Dosage: Take as tea or broth (one to two tablespoons of herb per one cup of water or broth).

Stinging Nettles ( Urtica dioica ): The aerial parts of this weed help stabilize the mast cells that line the mucous membranes, and they literally burst to release histamines when encountering an allergen. This makes nettles an excellent stabilizing herb to use for prevention or to reduce symptoms in any allergic response, including hay fever, sinusitis, and asthma. This natural antihistamine is a noxious weed in some places (due its stinging hairs), and can often be found in moist, fertile soil throughout the country. The seed can also be planted in the perennial garden, but should be kept well away from other plants because its growth can become rampant.

Dosage: Take as a fresh-plant tincture (30 drops, four to six times daily).

Yerba Santa ( Eriodiction califormicum ): The leaves of this western shrub help liquify mucous in the lungs, facilitate expectoration, and prevent infection. Yerba santa also aids in upper respiratory tissue repair and slows down the production of excess mucus. It is specifically indicated in asthma, bronchitis, and coughs when there is copious mucuos. Yerba santa prefers a light, gravelly, well-drained soil. It is located primarily in western states such as California and Colorado.

Dosage: Take as a tincture (10 to 30 drops, four to six times daily).

Osha ( Ligusticum porteri ): The root of this high-country plant stimulates resistance to viral infections and reduces respiratory-tissue membrane inflammation. It helps prevent infection, making it useful for allergic bronchitis, asthma, and other types of allergic coughs. Osha is presently being over-harvested, and cultivation on a large scale is usually unsuccessful thus far. Osha preparations can be obtained from herb or health food stores.

Dosage: Take as a tincture (20 to 60 drops, four to six times daily).

Coltsfoot ( Tussilago farfara ): The leaves of this low-growing perennial act as a bronchial decongestant and expectorant, and also help stabilize mast cells of the respiratory tract and reduce lung-tissue inflammation. This makes it a useful remedy for allergy-induced asthma. Coltsfoot is found throughout the country and can be planted in a shaded, moist spot where it tends to grow rapidly. ( Caution: Coltsfoot should not be taken during pregnancy. Whether or not the herb has negative effects for pregnant women is in question and being researched at this time.)

Dosage: Take as tea (combine one tablespoon per one cup water, four to six times daily) or tincture (30 drops, four to six times daily).

Dandelion ( Taraxacum officinalis ): The root of this common weed boosts liver function gently and stimulates the organ to break down inflammatory compounds, such as histamines, which are released in response to allergen exposure. This takes them out of circulation in the bloodstream, where they might continue to trigger allergic reactions. Dandelion root can be used along with other herbs to help reduce seasonal allergic responses. This notorious plant is commonly found in lawns, fields, and waste places throughout much of the country.

Dosage: Take as tincture (30 to 60 drops, four times daily), or tea (one table-spoon root per one cup of water; this tea is also bitter tasting).

Horseradish ( Cochlearia amoracia ): The root of this culinary herb is quite stimulating and can be used to break up sinus and chest congestion. To reduce the bitter taste, grate the root and cover it with an equal amount of honey; set it aside to "steep" for a few weeks, and take when needed. Horseradish is easy to grow in moderately rich, loose soil, and likes partial shade to full sun.

Dosage: Make a mixture of grated root and honey (take one teaspoon, four times daily as needed).

Elecampane ( Inula helenium ): The root of this robust wildflower is expectorant and decongestant, anti-spasmodic, and anti-bacterial, and is useful for mucuosy coughs of asthma and bronchitis. Elecampane is found in the wild in Northeastern states, such as Maine and New Hampshire, and can be cultivated in a flower or herb garden where it takes a prominent place due to its size.

Dosage: Take as tea (one tablespoon root per one cup water, four times daily) or tincture (30 drops, four times daily).

Favorite Remedies

None of these 14 medicinal plants have particular toxicities, other than those which have been discouraged during pregnancy. Several of the herbs can be taken together in order to relieve the symptoms in your own particular allergic reaction. In putting together a formula for yourself, it is not necessary to include every herb with potential benefit for your condition. Choose a few herbs that are appropriate for your symptoms. If some are locally available or are plants that you can grow yourself or purchase readily from a local store, use those. However, if one of the more "exotic" herbs sounds perfectly suited to your needs, try ordering it from an herb or health food store.

One of my favorite remedies for hay fever is a mixture of tinctures of echinacea, golden seal, eyebright, stinging nettles, and siberian ginseng. People I've offered it to swear by it and call every allergy season for more. One asthma tea mix that I frequently make contains mullein leaves, echinacea root, violets, coltsfoot leaves, and yerba santa leaves. If taken over a long period of time, the herb will help tone lung tissues and get rid of excess mucus.

The herbs above can be taken as teas or you may extract the medicinal compounds from drinking alcohol and/or cider vinegar to create a concentrated tincture form. If you're using herbs for the first time or are sensitive to many substances, it is best to start with one herb at a time in very small amounts, and begin using the herbs under the direction of a health care practitioner.

Also, herbs often work in different, less dramatic ways than prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. It may take a day or two for the herb(s) to take effect. If you know when your allergy season starts, you may want to take the herb(s) a week or so beforehand.

If you have difficulty finding the plants themselves, you might consider buying the herb, already extracted or prepared, through a local herb or health food store. Remember, too, to take it easy. Be gentler with yourself when allergies strike.

Most important, make friends with the planet and your environment. Letting plants help you to return to balance can be a step in the direction of a sustainable and joyful celebration of life on earth.

General Health Recommendations

Allergic reactions and symptoms are less likely to become severe if general health is good. An already at-risk immune system, taxed with other chronic diseases or burdened with many stresses, is more likely to overreact. Following general guidelines of getting enough rest and exercise can be a good start to healthy maintenance.

Stress places a heavy burden on the immune system. Fewer lymphocytes (white blood cells that recognize and destroy bacteria and other foreign particles) are produced when the body is under stress. This can lead to greater susceptibility to colds, flu, and viruses. Allergic reactions are more likely to be triggered if the body is overworked or over-stressed. Physical stress, such as long periods of hard labor or extreme weather changes, as well as emotional stress (for example, a poor relationship) should be taken into account and dealt with as best as possible.

Environmental factors should also be taken into account. If the place you live cannot be changed, change your own personal environment, such as reducing household toxins by switching to non-toxic cleaning products. Also, some people react to animal dander and hair, and the pros and cons of keeping pets indoors might be considered if chronic allergies to airborne substances occur.

Goldenseal: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions And More

(Consumer Health Digest)
About Goldenseal

Goldenseal is also known as Eye Root and Indian Plant. This is a herb and the root of their herb is dried out and used to make medicine. People have used this in the past to cover illegal trusts that will show up in urine. This herb is not illegal to use and there is no evidence that is effective for this purpose. Goldenseal has also be used to treat common conditions including pink eye, rashes, and the common cold.

Origin Of Goldenseal

Goldenseal has been used for a number of years in western medicine. This herb was picked and the roots were dried out. The roots were then crushed and added to medicine. The medicine was then given to people experiencing number of different health alignments.

Health Benefits Of Goldenseal

This herb can be used for many different health conditions. Commonly it is used to treat colds and upper repository infections. It has also been given to people suffering from hay fever. Some people also use this herb to help with stomach pain and other stomach conditions such as diarrhea and constipation. This herb has been used to help ease the pain of hemorrhoids as well. Goldenseal has been given to people with urinary tract infections to ease the pain and help treat the infection. It has been given to women to stop internal bleeding after giving birth. Goldenseal has been used to ease the symptoms of gonorrhea. This herb can be used to help people with serious health conditions including pneumonia, whooping cough, and chronic fatigue. It has been given to anorexia people to ease nausea and increase their appetite. Goldenseal can be used to treat a number of skin conditions. This includes rashes, ulcers, infections, itching, ringworm, blisters, and even cold sores. People have used this herb as a mouthwash to help their gums stay healthy. This herb has even been used to treat pink eye and other eye infections. Goldenseal contains chemical berberine which has been used to treat bacterial infection and fungi. This is why it can be used to treat many different health conditions.

Side Effects Of Goldenseal

Goldenseal is safe for adult use. It is not recommended for pregnant women or children. In small infants, this herb may cause brain damage. When taking certain medication a person has to be cautious as this herb may increase side effects from these medications.

Recommended Dosage For Goldenseal

There is not set dosage for Goldenseal. The dosage that is safe to take will depend on a person’s height, weight, and current health conditions. Before using this herb, it is recommended that a person speak to their healthcare professional to make sure they are taking a safe amount.

Use Of Goldenseal Supplements

Goldenseal is taken orally. When it is used in supplements, a person has to make sure that the supplement is from a reputable company and that does not contain binders and fillers. The root of the herb is dried out before it is added to any medications or any forms of supplements.

Must Watch: Goldenseal

Goldenseal Interactions

Goldenseal can interact with some medications that people are using. People that are taking medications including Neoral and Sandimmune should not take this herb as it will decrease effectiveness. People that take Lanoxin should also avoid this herb. If these medications mix and are broken down by the liver, a person can see increased side effects from their medication. A person should talk to their health care professional if they are taken any medications that are broken down by the liver before taking this herb.

Goldenseal can be used to treat a number of different health conditions. It can be used to treat everything from the common cold to internal infections. Many people like that this herb is natural and has been used for many years to treat various health conditions. Before taking this herb or any medications be sure to speak to a health care professional. While Goldenseal has been shown to be effective, a person may need additional treatment for more serious health care conditions. There are both skin and internal conditions that this herb can be used to treat. It is most commonly used for the common cold as there are less side effects then pills and other forms of medications.

What Is Goldenseal Used For

By Kathleen Roberts (Site Editor)

What is goldenseal used for? You may wonder this as you browse the shelves of a natural foods store. If so, you will find it interesting to know that goldenseal has many uses. It may be great for certain health issues, but it isn't for everyone.

About Goldenseal

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a member of the buttercup family and is generally found growing wild in wooded areas. Unfortunately, it isn't found as commonly as it once was. Prized for it's medicinal qualities, goldenseal is heavily hunted and collected. Today it is much more difficult to find than back when it was first used by Native Americans

The part used is the rhizome and root. This is why these plants are disappearing. Once a plant is harvested, it's destroyed. Unlike many herbs that allow the harvesting of leaves or flowers while still keeping the plant intact, harvesting goldenseal removes that plant from the environment. Seeds take five to seven years to be harvestable plants, so it is difficult to replace this herb at the same rate it is harvested. If you must collect wild goldenseal, please do so responsibly so others can continue to benefit from this herb in the future. Be sure to check the legalities of harvesting wild goldenseal as well, as it is considered endangered.

What Is Goldenseal used For

So, what is goldenseal used for? Native Americans used goldenseal to treat many conditions. Common uses for goldenseal included skin diseases, digestive problems, liver problems and infections. It was also used as a yellow dye.

Today, goldenseal is used for it's anti inflammatory, anti fungal and antimicrobial properties. It is commonly used as a treatment for cold and flu as well as for bladder infections. There is also evidence that goldenseal kills Candida.

Taking Goldenseal

Taken medicinally, goldenseal is commonly used as a tincture or in dried form in a capsule. You may also find it in ointments, powders or tablets. It has been proven beneficial in treating periodontal disease, Meniere's disease and heartburn.

If you are pregnant or nursing, have high blood pressure or have heart problems, you should not take goldenseal. You should also avoid it if you take heparin or warfarin because it can reduce the effectiveness of these drugs. For Astringent Properties

Because goldenseal has astringent properties, it is often taken for the following conditions:

• Menorrhagia
• Eczema
• Ringworm
• Impetigo
• Athlete's foot
For Antimicrobial Properties

As an antimicrobial, goldenseal is thought to be effective for treating:

• Streptococcus
• Staphylococcus
• Salmonella typhi
• Candida albicans
• Giardia lamblia
• Many other bacteria and fungi

This is not proven however. Tests involving antimicrobial benefits were done using berberine salts specifically. Berberine is the active substance in goldenseal that has been found to have antimicrobial properties.

Native American Mosquito Repellent

(San Francisco Gate)

From modern times through the distant past, American Indians, like most other people who spend time outdoors, have had to deal with mosquitoes. Native cultures relied on the land and viewed all elements upon Earth, including plants, with respect. Plants provided a means for them to repel mosquitoes without harming the creatures.

Golden Seal

Cherokee Indians smashed the roots of golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis) into a pulp and mixed it with bear fat as a means to spread over the body for protection from insects. Golden seal is a herbaceous perennial that is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 3 through 8.

Western Yarrow

American Indians used Western yarrow (Achillea millefolium L. var. occidentalis DC) as both a mosquito repellent and as a poultice to treat infected wounds. When used as a mosquito repellent, its leaves are placed on hot coals to make a smudge. Western yarrow is a food source for bighorn sheep and is one of the most widely available wildflowers in the western United States. It grows from Alaska through parts of northern Mexico, according to the USDA.


Although it may not seem fancy, mysterious or something a medicine man might whip up, mud provided American Indians protection from mosquitoes when they applied it to their exposed skin. A thick layer of mud is seemingly less attractive to mosquitoes than plain old skin, potentially masking some of the aroma that attracts mosquitoes in the first place.

Rancid Alligator Fat

Most humans may not think rancid alligator fat would be delicious, and apparently the same holds true for mosquitoes' tastes. This greasy substance was applied to exposed skin by the Akokisa tribe of the Houston, Texas, area. Other tribes used a similar method, smearing on a grease made from the fat of raccoons, opossums or bears, using the fat of whichever animal was available in their region.

Curing naturally / A show on the healing power of herbs points up the importance of knowing their strengths, limitations -- and dangers

By Ron Sullivan (Special to The Chronicle)

The exhibition tells us that "one in every four of the 500 million prescriptions U.S. doctors write is for a drug that started out as a plant." Many other drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, are synthetics of compounds that were first found in plants: Aspirin is a common example. Acetylsalicylic acid is a refinement of salicylic acid, which, if you read the "salix" hidden in the "salicylic," you'll see comes from willows, genus Salix. To be precise, it's hidden in the interior bark of willows, which for centuries was a folk cure for headaches.

Folk medicine, herbal medicine and assorted "alternative healing" techniques present us with some interesting dilemmas. Many remedies are valid enough to justify research by major pharmaceutical companies, with the big investment that serious science can require. Some get hyped -- look at those vague, mysterious TV commercials for drugs, never mind the stuff you have trouble explaining to the kids.

Some drug development requires pricey labs and deservedly well-paid brains, but it's not forbiddingly expensive to set up a controlled double- blind experiment, and the procedures for a good clinical trial aren't exactly a secret. There's the rub -- when something is proven workable and doctors start using it a lot, it stops being "folk" or "alternative." Getting snapped up by mainstream medicine can make a remedy easier and cheaper to get, or it can put it out of reach by making it expensive, proprietary or strictly regulated. Can we grow our own cures in self-defense?

Maybe. That certainly works well for food, when we have a few square feet of dirt to work with. But there's a reason we call that stuff on the bathroom shelf "drugs" and not "dessert." If it has power to help it also has power to harm. As the Conservatory's exhibit carefully points out, "natural" does not equal "safe."

If you're growing your own, it certainly makes sense to know all you can about it. First thing to think about is just how reliable your information is. Get to know as much as you can from as many unrelated sources as possible - and watch out for people who just uncritically pass along what they've heard, for the pharmaceutical equivalent of an urban legend or a smarmy commercial. That includes your sweet old grandma, no matter how long she's survived thanks to her special tonic.

(My sweet old grandma had an asafetida bag, which was worn around the neck to ward off flu, rather than used as hing in curries. The cuisine she knew wasn't spicy or garlicky except for the occasional kielbasa at a Polish wedding. I suspect the "assafiddity" worked by reducing close interpersonal contact.)

Remember that relying on personal testimonies is a sign of quackery, that the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence" and that the point of double-blind trials is just to filter out other factors that can affect results. This includes the placebo effect and the experienced clinician's favorite healer, Tincture of Time.

Next, consider two things: Just how serious is the problem you're using the homegrown or folk-remedy stuff for? And how risky is the stuff to use, whether it helps or not?

I have anecdotal evidence, including personal experience, that ginger is good against nausea. I don't hesitate to recommend it because it's nontoxic, it doesn't interfere (so far as I know) with any anti-nausea agents you might try if it doesn't work, and nausea by itself is usually not life-threatening. Besides, it's tasty. I keep a bag of crystallized ginger around just 'cause.

I like an aloe vera plant on the kitchen windowsill, too. That's a traditional cure with a long history, for burns and skin irritations. Serious burns - even just blistering, if it's big enough - want professional attention, but the average kitchen burn responds well to the goo from a bit of split aloe vera leaf. And the stuff works best when it's fresh, not preserved in a jar. I wouldn't take it internally because I know it can be a powerful purgative.

Toxic 'remedies'

Other herbs are just plain dangerous, and people who prescribe them ought to be busted. Aristolochia (pipevine, birthwort) just for example, has destroyed kidneys and killed people, and there's valid documentation of this. No matter how much you trust your prescriber, do your own research. Yes, that goes for mainline meds, too. Check accreditation and credibility from authoritative resources online or elsewhere. Ask hard questions. Don't settle for vague stuff like "It balances the system."

There's another caution about homegrown - or store-bought - herbal remedies: It's not easy to predict how concentrated the active ingredient, or any other ingredient that happens to accompany it, is. "Supplements" aren't regulated as tightly as official drugs are. Even in your own garden, a given quantity of a root might have more or less of whatever's good for what ails you depending on how much sun, fertilizer or water the plant gets, how fast it grew, or even the plant's immediate ancestry. Plants vary just as much in other compounds as they do in the compounds that make flower color. If it's mint tea to settle your stomach, that might not matter much. If you're looking for some hinky alkaloid to lift your depression, that's a bigger deal.

Armed with information

Whether you get your herbal goodies from your garden or from the store, remember that they're drugs and treat them as such. There are cross-reactions among pharmaceuticals, including those used in medical emergencies, and herbal remedies. There are even cross-reactions between pharmaceuticals and grapefruit juice. So be sure every health-care professional you work with knows everything you're ingesting; carry a list with your ID. Some folks are allergic to some herbs, like chamomile and even aloe, so test a little first. Knowing a little botany is useful here; if you're allergic to a plant's relatives, you might be allergic to it, too.

There's responsibility beyond the personal with any drugs we use, including "naturals." First, there's enlightened self-interest: care for the resources. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) are both in trouble from too much collecting, and plants in less- regulated parts of the world can quickly be exploited. Prunus africana, used in prostate remedies, is close to extinction from intensive harvesting in its African home range.

Thousands of plants are being researched by labs and bio-prospectors, but many are being forced to extinction as their habitat - rainforests, savanna, wetland - is plowed or paved. This impoverishes all of us, but especially the local people who rely on these plants as frontline medicine. Take a look at the plants and drugs on show at the Conservatory and be impressed at how much we can lose before we even learn about it.

Knowledge is another thing in danger of extinction. As traditional communities dissolve or die out, their cultures go with them, including the medicinal lore that alerts other researchers as to what plants exist and are useful. So many species exist that, while they're looking for a lot of needles, they have 10 times as many haystacks to search. Again, the locals suffer first, in a vacuum of knowledge and available cures.

That knowledge itself is intellectual property, and researchers who ignore locals' rights and profit exclusively do great injustice. They also endanger their successors' access to place, plants and lore. Why would exploiters be welcomed? As understanding grows among the holders of traditional knowledge (as well as the perpetuators of food and medicine plant breeds), a legal evolution is taking place to define indigenous intellectual property rights.

Goldenseal: An herbal antibacterial agent and digestive

(Clinical Advisor)

Goldenseal, one of the most popular herbs in the United States today, is used as a base in many herbal preparations. Also known as yellow root, ground raspberry, or Indian turmeric, goldenseal is credited with a number of different medicinal properties. It is typically associated with supposed anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

The plant grows in the wilds of southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, and is a perennial with a thick, yellow root characterized by knoblike sections and hairlike root fibers.


Native goldenseal has actually been overharvested in the United States to the point that it is listed as an endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an organization dedicated to ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.2 Today, commercial growers supply the bulk of the plant products for use in supplements, with most production originating from the area of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Goldenseal is a member of the buttercup family and appears as a purple-stemmed, fuzzy plant with pointed, saw-tooth-edged leaves.3 These dark-green hairy leaves bear a single white flower that yields a late summer fruit resembling a raspberry.

In spite of its widespread use as a medicinal herb, goldenseal is frequently used as an additive to other herbal mixtures because of its synergistic effects.3 The primary active ingredients in goldenseal are the alkaloids hydrastine and berberine, which function primarily as anticholinergics and antioxidants.


Goldenseal is most commonly used as an antibacterial agent and an aid to digestion.3 One interesting bench trial examined the antimicrobial effect of goldenseal on cell cultures of Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium known to induce duodenal ulcers. The extract of goldenseal rhizomes showed a robust in vitro mean inhibitory concentration of 12.5 mg/mL in all of the 15 strains of the bacterium cell lines. 
 One hypothesis regarding goldenseal's efficacy against bacterial infection is that it blocks the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from the macrophages in the system, thereby reducing the symptoms and longevity of the infection. In a study of goldenseal extract with lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages, the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and IL-12 was inhibited in a dose-dependent curve.

Goldenseal extract was measured against cultured cell lines of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus sanguis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.6 Each bacterium was subjected to direct exposure to the golden­seal extract. The measured "killing time" and mean inhibitory concentration values supported 
goldenseal's antibacterial claims.

Another study explored goldenseal's antioxidant activity as it applied to cholesterol. In an in vivo study with rats, all rats were given a high-cholesterol diet and then randomly assigned to either placebo treatment or goldenseal treatment. At the end of the 24-day treatment period, serum lipid levels in both groups of rats were examined. The goldenseal cohort showed a total cholesterol reduction of more than 31%, a 25% drop in LDL, and nearly a 33% decrease in triglycerides.

Goldenseal is being evaluated for its potential use in the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD). Chinese researchers recently explored goldenseal's potential to slow the progressive degeneration associated with AD.8 Berberine, an active ingredient in goldenseal, is a natural isoquinolone alkaloid with a wide range of pharmacologic effects. In this new study, berberine was reviewed for its antioxidant properties as well as for its activities as an acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, a beta-amyloidal peptide blocker and a cholesterol-lowering agent.8 All of this suggests that berberine may act as a promising multipotent agent to combat AD.

Safety, interactions 

Toxicity from goldenseal has been reported. The lethal dose of the berberine isolate is thought to be 27.5 mg/kg.1 Goldenseal is not recommended for use in pregnant or nursing women or in children.2 Patients using warfarin or cardiac glycosides should also avoid using goldenseal.

Dosage and cost

Recommended doses of the extract are 250 mg by mouth three times daily, or 0.5 to 1.0 g, three times daily for the dried rhizome powder-filled capsules for short periods of time. The powder-filled capsules, used to treat such minor illnesses as respiratory infections, are not recommended for use longer than a period of 14 days.1 The total cost varies depending on the dose concentration, but a typical month's supply of goldenseal ranges from $20 to $30. 


The use of goldenseal as an adjunctive therapy is safe in appropriate patient groups. As long as proper dosing guidelines and safety issues are addressed, health-care providers may find the short-term use of goldenseal a reasonable recommendation.

Health Benefits of Echinacea & Goldenseal

(Fitday Editor)

Echinacea, a native North American plant, is something that horticultural experts are often very familiar with. Its brightly colored and attractive flowers dot the landscapes of large portions of the continent. They also show up in lots of home gardens and commercial landscaping installations, as well as some authentic horticultural restoration projects.

Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea has been known to have some restorative qualities and medicinal uses. Today, the effectiveness of echinacea is somewhat debated, but modern research has shown the potential for echinacea as a tool for fighting viruses and keeping the immune system healthy.

Echinacea is most commonly used to ward off the common cold. It can be used to treat a range of illnesses, such as fever, cold, flu or viral illnesses, as well as some kinds of infections. Researchers say that echinacea can help boost the immune system by fighting off virus microbes. It is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some herbalists and others call echinacea a "blood purifier" and refer to phagocytes, natural elements that the body develops to combat viral microbes. Experts claim that echinacea can help the body produce these phagocytes.

Although some studies have not found that echinacea is effective in treating colds and viruses, other studies have found that taking echinacea supplements can cut down the risk of contracting a cold by nearly 50% in some individuals. That makes echinacea a popular herbal remedy, even though it's hard to say how effective it is in any given case. Trials at universities and other research centers continue to look at how the herb might aid the body in its natural capacity to shrug off some of the common seasonal viruses that currently threaten the global community.

Echinacea and Goldenseal

Echinacea is often taken together with goldenseal. This herbal remedy can help fight the inflammatory and congestive elements of the common cold by soothing conditions in the inner membranes of the nose and throat. It also has some anti-inflammatory and immune boosting abilities, according to researchers. Lots of herbal remedy providers package echinacea together with goldenseal for a double punch against cold and flu viruses.

Potential Risks of Echinacea

Potential side effects for echinacea range from minor issues like dizziness to larger problems. Echinacea can trigger asthma attacks in individuals with respiratory conditions. Doctors often warn against using herbal supplements like echinacea for those who are already on a lot of medications, as some kinds of drug interactions can apply. Before starting on a regimen of echinacea or some other herbal home remedy, it's a good idea to have an in-depth discussion with your local family doctor about the risks and benefits of echinacea or another herbal supplement product. With the right care and attention to detail, echinacea could be worth looking at as a helper for fighting off the kinds of viruses that are creating epidemics in today's population during each flu season.

Goldenseal: The Latest and Greatest Herbal Cure

By Steven Foster

Goldenseal is slowly gaining ground as one of America's most popular herbs

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) has taken an interesting journey in the last decade. In the 1970s and ‘80s it emerged as the herb of choice among “in-the-know” herb consumers for topical and internal use, perceived as a natural antibiotic. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it emerged as an underground and unproven natural ploy to beat urinalysis for drug tests. The theory was that if you took goldenseal capsules, tincture, or tea the day before a drug test, the goldenseal in your system would interfere with the chemical detection of illicit drugs in your system. I heard more than one story of athletes complaining that steroids were still detected in their urine or truck drivers who tried the technique and were disgruntled when marijuana showed up in their tests. In addition, during the 1990s, echinacea/goldenseal combination products emerged as the best-selling herbal combination product in the American market. Then in 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act catapulted herb products into the mass market, and for a few short years between 1996 and 1998, demand for goldenseal skyrocketed. Even the demand in health-food stores increased as more consumers came to shop, looking for the latest and greatest herbal cure.

The new market demand for goldenseal created supply shortages at the wholesale level. To some well-meaning individuals and even companies, this supply shortage (sparked by increased demand, hence higher prices), along with observations of increased difficulty in obtaining the supply from the wild, translated into a slogan: “Save the Endangered Species—Goldenseal.” The former Frontier Herb Cooperative (now Frontier Natural Products Coop) of Norway, Iowa, produced bumper stickers and buttons with the slogan. With no information on the biology or economics of the plants, what in essence seemed to be a supply-and-demand problem translated into a conservation problem by association. Consumer awareness became heightened and plant biologists took notice.

To discover just how much goldenseal was being used, the American Herbal Products Association commissioned a survey to measure the status of cultivated and wildharvested goldenseal root for 1998. The survey, conducted by the Arthur Andersen consulting firm, surveyed companies known to be engaged in the whole trade or cultivation of goldenseal. The report represents the first modern study on the total annual harvest of goldenseal roots. Wildharvest of goldenseal for 1998 was just over 250,000 pounds of dried root. An additional 3 tons were produced in cultivation.

Since 1998, use of goldenseal has declined, though no new figures are available. However, the percentage of wildharvested versus cultivated material has changed. Upwards of 30 percent of the supply now comes from cultivated sources, whereas in 1998 only 2.4 percent came from cultivated supplies.

In the submission for the goldenseal listing for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), it was noted that the plant is designated as threatened in Canada, is endangered in six states in the United States (primarily at the edge of its natural range where it is inherently rare), and threatened in five. In none of the states in which it occurs naturally was it considered to be common, according to the report. However, it should be noted that goldenseal has only been abundant historically in four states—Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana. By its very natural distribution it is therefore relatively non-abundant in twenty-three of the twenty-seven states in which it is known to occur. Declines in populations were observed in the late nineteenth century and such observations continued to accelerate, though no inventories were conducted to substantiate observations by a few individuals. This is the greatest problem with conservation of wild herb species—actually determining the exact status of the population in the wild. This includes a range-wide inventory of how many individuals or populations exist, the plant’s population biology, the dynamics of those populations, and even their reproductive biology. For goldenseal, this information did not exist except for a few obscure, dated scientific reports of limited scope. The research had simply not been conducted.

In response to the CITES listing of goldenseal, research on cultivation and wild populations of goldenseal has increased. One location in which the research occurs is Meigs County, Ohio, in the heart of goldenseal country. Research on wild populations at the United Plant Savers (UpS) sanctuary in Ohio has been ongoing for several years. At the neighboring National Center for Preservation of Medicinal Herbs (NCPMH), begun in 1998 by Frontier Natural Products Cooperative, goldenseal trials are entering their fifth year under the direction of Erica Renaud, research director at Frontier’s Organic Research Farm in Norway, Iowa.

According to Renaud, “Since 1998, twenty-eight on-farm research trials have been underway at the NCPMH. The on-farm research focuses on agronomic production models for the ‘critical to cultivate’ species to help develop effective models for bringing the plants under cultivation. Specifically, the research strategy is to evaluate the effects of fertility levels, shade levels, harvest dates, propagation techniques, mulches, and plant spacing on growth, yield, and medicinal quality of herbs such as goldenseal.

“Our first root weight harvest of the three-year-old goldenseal roots began in the fall of 2001. Goldenseal roots of the six different propagation methods and fertility levels will be evaluated for root weight yield and important chemical constituents such as hydrastine and berberine,” Renaud states.

I was in Meigs County, Ohio, in October 2001 and observed the harvest and weighing of hundreds of goldenseal roots in this phase of the research. Then-NCMPH manager Diane Don Carlos, her apprentices, volunteers from Rural Action, and Renaud worked tirelessly over a three-day period digging the roots, cleaning them, weighing them fresh, drying them, weighing them again, and meticulously recording the data. Next they took the roots to the lab for chemical testing. Much detailed work goes into producing information of use to growers. Initially, all of the roots planted in the dozens of experimental plots in the forest of Meigs County in the spring of 1998 were from wildcrafted sources. Since that time, NCMPH staff and volunteers have been monitoring the plantings and conducting experiments that will determine the effects of different mulching, shade, fertilizers, and disease observations on goldenseal and other woodland herbs currently in experiment plots at the center.

With a great deal of data collected, most of which has yet to be analyzed and published, look for the results to provide useful information for home herb gardeners and commercial growers alike.

Facts on Echinacea & Goldenseal

By Sandi Busch

Echinacea and goldenseal are sometimes combined and marketed as a supplement to support your immune system. While the effect may be true for echinacea, the active ingredient in goldenseal does not impact the immune system. Goldenseal is dangerous for pregnant and breast-feeding women, and both herbs may interact with prescription medications, so consult your health-care provider before taking these supplements.

Echinacea Basics

Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, belongs to the daisy family and includes nine different species. Laboratory tests show that it stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of cells that fight bacteria and infections, but research continues to explore exactly how it works. Echinacea significantly reduces the severity of cold symptoms and may help you get over a cold faster, but it doesn't prevent colds, according to New York University Langone Medical Center.

Echinacea Evidence

In the December 2010 issue of the "Annals of Internal Medicine," researchers reported that echinacea did not affect the duration or severity of the common cold in their study. But it did successfully reduce the number and length of colds in a 2012 study published in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” Contradictory studies may be explained by differences in the way the study preparations are made. "Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews" reported that the ingredients in echinacea preparations vary depending on the species and the part of the plant used. Evidence to date indicates that using the above-ground portion or whole plant extract from the species Echinacea purpurea works the best.

Goldenseal Basics

You can tell from goldenseal's various names -- turmeric root and goldenroot -- that the root is the part used for medicinal purposes. Goldenseal contains a substance called berberine that kills bacteria and fungi. Research shows, but does not yet prove, that berberine may lower blood pressure. When used topically or as a gargle for a sore throat, it may help wounds heal and prevent infections, but insufficient research exists to support its effectiveness. Goldenseal is often sold with echinacea, but as of 2013, no evidence existed to show that it increases immunity or helps treat colds.

Health Warnings

Women who are pregnant should never take goldenseal because it may harm the baby or stimulate contractions; breast-feeding women should also avoid it. Echinacea is generally considered safe, but may cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you have allergies to ragweed, daisies or marigolds, you may also be allergic to echinacea. It can slow down the absorption of caffeine, making you jittery from excess caffeine in your system. In addition, echinacea may worsen some autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Consumer Warnings

A 2003 survey of echinacea products found that 10 percent of the supplements contained no echinacea and half did not accurately label the species used. More than half did not contain the amount of ingredients as stated on the label. Look for the USP Verified mark on the products you buy, which indicates the supplement was tested for quality.

How papaya, fenugreek leaves can control dengue'

(Agencies, The Health Site)

Giloy is helpful in building the immune system and papaya leaves cure dengue fever, an expert says. Pankaj Aggarwal, from the capital-based Agrawal Homoe Clinic, has suggested some easy home remedies

Giloy is helpful in building the immune system and papaya leaves cure dengue fever, an expert says. Pankaj Aggarwal, from the capital-based Agrawal Homoe Clinic, has suggested some easy home remedies to control platelet loss and recovery from dengue fever.

• Giloy (herb): This is helpful in building the immune system, giloy stem marks immediate recovery when consumed in frequently during the fever. Boil two or three giloy stems for ten minutes and serve the patient for better immunity.
• Papaya leaves: The budding leaves of papaya tree cure dengue fever and helps in removing excess toxins from the body. The intake of its juice from crushed leaves can helpin rising the platelet count.
• Fenugreek leaves: Fenugreek leaves help in reducing the pain of the patient and help in restful sleep. It reduces the level of fever stabilizing the blood pressure and heartbeat of the patient. Read more about treatment of dengue fever.
• Goldenseal: The herb proves to be an excellent remedy for its ability to clear up the symptoms of the dengue fever. The leaf when consumed in form of juice helps in eliminating the dengue virus from the body strengthening the immunity of the body against its signs.



Distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted root, Goldenseal is a valuable multi-purpose herb for treating a range of health conditions.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a herb in the buttercup family containing anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and laxative properties. These make it a fantastic, multi-purpose remedy used to treat a variety of ailments from upset stomach to hay fever, to conjunctivitis and canker sores.

Where it's found

Native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, Goldenseal is a plant with a single stem, small flowers, and raspberry-like fruit. It can be found growing wild in rich, shady soil but is now mostly grown on farms.

The dried root of the Goldenseal herb is used to make medicine and can be bought as a topical salve, in tablet form, or as a bulk powder. It’s often used to boost the medicinal effects of other herbs it’s blended with, such as echinacea.

How it can benefit you

Taken internally as a digestion aid, Goldenseal can help soothe upset stomach, acting as an antibacterial agent. It’s most often combined with echinacea to help strengthen the immune system but has a host of other benefits. These include:

• disinfecting cuts and scrapes
• to treat skin, eye inflammations
• to aid the relief of urinary tract infections
• available in mouthwashes for sore throats and canker sores
Naturopath Mim Beim says:

“It's a herb, often called the “king of the mucus membranes”. It helps with any infection of the membranes that line the body, such as the throat, bowel and lungs. So it’s helpful when treating conditions such as tonsillitis, sinusitis or, diverticulitis. For a sore throat, mix it with Thyme and Myrrh and gargle. You only need it in tiny amounts. Watch for staining if you have it as a tincture or extract…. That yellow is hard to remove!”

7 herbal remedies for urinary tract infections


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. Around one in two women and one in 20 men will get one and for a lot of women, it's a recurring thing.

Most of us are familiar with the symptoms: burning sensation when passing urine, frequent urination, a cloudy, bloody or very smelly urine and general discomfort in the area. High fever, back pain and vomiting occur when the infection becomes more serious and moves to the kidneys. If this occurs, it is very important to see your GP as left untreated an infection can lead to kidney damage.

A urinary tract infection can range from an infection of the bladder to an infection of the kidney. Cystitis, an infection in the bladder, is the most common UTI.


Bacteria do not normally live in the urinary tract, it is a sterile area but they can enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing an infection. This can occur during intercourse or wiping back to front after urination (for women). The urethra is fairly short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder.

Changes to the immune system may make a person generally more vulnerable to infections as well as changes in hormonal levels. Infections are more common just before a period and in pregnancy. As women age, tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age, as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy leading to a greater chance of infection.

Diagnosis is simple. A urine test ordered by a GP can identify the cause of infection and treatment is usually a course of antibiotics. However, recurrent infections are common and studies have shown that women are at a 20 per cent - 30 per cent higher risk of experiencing a recurrence of infection within three to four months of an initial UTI.

According to Kidney Health Australia, women are also more at risk of repeated urinary tract infections if they:

- use spermicide jelly or a diaphragm for contraception
- have had a new sexual partner
- suffer from constipation
- had their first urinary tract infection at or before 15 years of age
- have a family history of repeated urinary tract infections.

We know that overuse of antibiotics can cause a disruption in gut flora health leading to a greater susceptibility to more infections. Gut flora makes up two thirds of our immune system.

This is where herbal remedies can be useful. Herbalists have used the following seven herbs successfully.

• Bearberry

also known as uva ursi. In a double blind placebo study of 57 women with recurrent UTIs, bearberry was shown to effectively suppress further infection. Bearberry acts as an antibacterial, urinary antiseptic, astringent and healer to the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. It is also a diuretic.

• Dandelion leaf

Different to the root which has a focus on balancing digestive and liver health, this herb is potent diuretic used to flush the bladder and relieve symptoms.

• Cornsilk

Has soothing mucilaginous or demulcent properties. This soothes the irritated mucous membranes. It also has a diuretic effect. Rich in silica and other minerals, which help strengthen the tissues.

• Horsetail

Acts in a similar fashion to corn silk.

• Marshmallow root

Yes, original marshmallow candy was made from this plant. As you could imagine, marshmallow has a softening demulcent effect on irritated mucous membranes of the urinary tract.

• Cranberry

Technically not a herb but used by herbalists. Flordis, a natural health company, has performed extensive studies on cranberry extract. Cranberry helps prevent potentially harmful bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls and effectively flushes out the bacteria from the urinary tract to help promote urinary tract health. By helping to maintain a clean urinary tract this will reduce the frequency of recurrent cystitis.


Is a potent antibacterial and mucous membrane healer indicated for inflammation of the urinary tract wall.


All of these herbs, with the exception of Goldenseal and Cranberry, may be taken in a herbal tea form. Add 1 teaspoon of each in a litre of boiling water, steep for 7 minutes and consume daily. I recommend organic herbs. You may also take these herbs in a herbal tincture form which contains concentrated constituents of herbs and offer maximum therapeutic benefits. They are only available with a prescription from your naturopath or herbalist. A qualified health practitioner will ensure your medication; supplements or disease state does not interact with your herbs. When a herbalist prescribes herbal remedies they consider one's constitution, age, allergies, sensitiveness, robustness, weight, temperature, current status of health and personality. From this understanding they can choose the most successful remedies for you. Ellura by Flordis is a brilliant cranberry supplement that I use quite successfully in my clinical practice.

Note: Always remember to tell your health practitioner if you're pregnant or breast-feeding as many herbs like medicine may be contra indicated. These herbs do not replace antibiotics when they are needed. They may be used in conjunction, to strengthen the urinary tract mucous membranes or to prevent an infection.

Killer! Dengue Fever, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Tips To Prevent From Dengue?

By Kavi Sehrawat

Killer! Dengue Fever, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Tips To Prevent From Dengue? : Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. There are four distinct serotypes of the dengue virus (DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 and DEN 4). Symptoms appear in 3–14 days (average 4–7 days) after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.” Dengue fever is a specific syndrome that tends to affect children under 10 years of age which can cause abdominal pain, bleeding and affect the circulatory system.

Dengue Fever Symptoms

How to Know the Signs and symptoms of Dengue?

Dengue fever symptomps includes A drop in platelet count .It doesn’t spread from person to person. The most common symptoms of Dengue are Sudden high fever, Severe headaches, Fatigue , exhaustion, Severe joint and muscle pains, Nausea, Vomitting and Skin rashes. Tips To Prevent Dengue Fever & Home Remedies

Doctors can diagnose dengue infection with a blood test. There are no particular medicines or antibiotics to cure the same since it’s caused by a virus but you are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Currently there is no vaccine for dengue.We bring you some of the most effective home remedies as shared by health experts and doctors.

1. Giloy: It is a very important herb in Ayurveda. It helps in maintaining the metabolic rate, strengthening the immune system and protect your body against infections, explains Dr. Gargi Sharma from New Delhi. She recommends that you can boil the stems and serve it as a herbal drink. You can also add few Tulsi leaves in the drink.

2. Papaya Leaves: “It helps in increasing platelet count and it helps in reducing the symptoms of fever like body-ache, chills, feeling low, getting tired easily and nausea,” says Dr. Gargi. You can crush the leaves and consume or drink the juice which helps in flushing out the toxins

3. Golden seal: Its a natural antiviral capacity can essentially cure dengue fever in a matter of days.

4. Turmeric: It is known to boost the metabolism and it helps in making the healing process faster. You can consume turmeric along with milk.

5. Tulsi Leaves and Black Pepper: Dr. Simran Saini from New Delhi suggests to consume a drink made by boiling Tulsi leave and adding about 2grams of black pepper to it. This drink helps in building your immunity and acts as an antibacterial element.

6. Barley Grass: It has the unique ability to significantly increase the body’s blood platelet count by stimulating the production of more blood cells. You can drink barley tea or eat barley grass directly and see a rapid increase in platelet count

7. Water: Drink as much water as possible to keep the body hydrated, which will also help to ease symptoms like headaches and muscle cramps, both of which are exacerbated by dehydration

8. Neem Leaves: It is commonly prescribed for a variety of ailments, and dengue fever is no exception. Drinking the subsequent brew has been shown to increase both blood platelet count and white blood cell count, two of the most dangerous side effects of the virus.

9. Orange Juice: It helps to promote antibodies of the immune system, increase urination and the release of toxins, and stimulates cellular repair due to vitamin C’s crucial role in the creation of collagen.

10. Basil Leaves: It is known to be an important immune-boosting technique, and has long been recommended in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of dengue fever.

Be Safe! Be Happy

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Goldenseal

By Beth Buczynski

When I was little, I had an eye infection, and I remember that my mom used a goldenseal “tea” to wash out my eye. I don’t remember very much about the tea except the very bitter taste when some of it got in my mouth.

Turns out this pungent herb is actually a powerhouse medicinal herb that can be used as a home remedy for many things!

Choosing Ethical Goldenseal

Like ginseng, goldenseal is also a very powerful and popular medicinal herb. Because of their high value and potency, both plants have been the victim of unsavory harvesting practices that put their entire species at risk.

In order to meet global demand, ginseng and golden seal harvesting routinely occurs in places where it’s not legal, like national parks, nature preserves, state parks and state forests. Additionally, harvest often occurs out of season, making it impossible to harvest sustainably because seeds are not yet ripe and before plants are fully matured, reducing the overall population.

“Goldenseal is protected on a federal and international level and is listed on Appendix II of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international treaty monitoring trade in threatened and endangered species,” reports “This means that a CITES permit is required to sell goldenseal to other countries. To get such a permit, you need to be able to show that the plants are at least four years old and were obtained legally.”

To avoid supporting illegal practices, choose ethically-wildcrafted or verifiably cultivated sources of goldenseal bulk herbs or supplements from brands you trust.

Health Benefits Of Goldenseal

The source of goldenseal’s strength comes from a compound called berberine that kills many types of bacteria and germs, such as those that cause candida (yeast) infections and parasites such as tapeworms and Giardia. Berberine may also “activate white blood cells, making them better at fighting infection and strengthening the immune system” and has been shown to have some antibiotic properties, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Taking goldenseal in small doses as tablets/capsules (containing the powdered root), liquid extracts, glycerites (low alcohol extracts) or using it topically as a skin wash, is considered safe and can be an excellent natural remedy for the following health conditions:

Hay Fever
Common Cold
Upper Respiratory Infections
Sore Throat
Fungal Infections
Minor Cuts & Scrapes (Disinfectant)
Skin, Eye, and Mucous Membrane Problems (sinusitis, pink eye, and urinary tract infections)

Goldenseal Healing Benefits – Detoxification, Immune Boosting and More

By Denice Arthurton

As with so many of the natural herbal remedies, the healing benefits of goldenseal have been known and utilized by man for many centuries. Native Americans used the plant extensively and claimed it was an aid to curing cancer.

Goldenseal, also known as golden-root, yellow-root and orange-root, is actually a member of the buttercup family. It is the root of the plant that is used and where most of its medicinal properties are contained. Healing Properties of Goldseal

Goldenseal can be used in the treatment of a vast range of bodily dysfunctions and medical conditions due to the properties it contains. Anti-inflammatory – particularly effective for inflammation of the ear, nose and throat so conditions such as sinusitis and inflammation from colds and flu can be soothed by goldenseal.

1.) Antimicrobial/antibiotic – goldenseal contains agents that have abilities to fight infection, bacteria and disease carrying micro-organisms. It can be used to disinfect and treat wounds and conditions where infection is present in the body.

2.) Anticatarrhal – this will help to counteract or suppress the overproduction of mucus that occurs in some conditions particularly colds and flu.

3.) Relaxant or sedative – goldenseal can be used as a mild sedative and can therefore be useful to aid sleep.

4.) Detoxification and efficiency stimulation– the plant has the ability to aid in the detox of the internal systems, aiding lymph drainage and promoting more efficient internal functioning. This can help with all the internal organs and systems including liver, bladder, digestive tract, blood stream and circulatory system.

5.) Boosts immune system – using goldenseal in this way can protect the body against infections and contagious conditions and is particularly useful as a flu and cold prevention.

6.) Excessive bleeding in menstruation – many women suffer from this condition and goldenseal is effective in regulating menstruation and controlling the amount of blood loss.

7.) Lowers levels of stomach acid – this can be useful for relieving the symptoms of digestive problems such as indigestion, reflux, duodenal ulcers and gastritis.

It would appear that goldenseal is particularly effective when combined with echinacea, another herbal remedy.

Goldenseal can be purchased as tablets or pills, salves, tinctures and as consumption as a tea. All these are produced from a powder of the plant’s roots. Do carefully check the source of any product you are buying. Goldenseal in its natural, wild form is becoming scarcer due to over-harvesting and some producers are supplying sub-standard, non-organically grown plants.

It is recommended that pregnant women and children should avoid taking goldenseal and it is advised that anyone using it should follow daily dosage guidelines. Goldenseal may act as a contra-indicator for other medicines so always consult a doctor if you are on existing medication.

Although there is little scientific evidence to support the healing benefits of goldenseal there are many individual testimonies to its healing efficiency for many different problems.

Fresh Clips: Benefits of Goldenseal

By Steven Foster

About a decade ago, the price of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) shot up from historic levels of around 13 dollars a pound to more than 100 dollars a pound, prompting a closer look at the sustainability of goldenseal supplies. Subsequently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added goldenseal to its list of restricted items.

After goldenseal was listed, some in the herb community began to suggest potential herbal substitutes for goldenseal. Substitute suggestions included berberine-rich herbs, such as Oregon grape root (Mahonia aquifolium); Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis, also known by its Chinese name, huang lian); and a small plant found in forests in the Northeastern United States, American goldthread (Coptis trifolia, also known as C. groenlandica).

The use of American goldthread was dismissed by many familiar with the plant. Although the plant is fairly common, the root is too difficult to harvest. It is literally a “gold thread,” and any attempt to harvest it from the wild would not produce a significant supply, and was certain to create a new conservation crisis for goldthread.

All of the plants mentioned above contain significant amounts of the alkaloid berberine, which is responsible for the bitter flavor and bright-yellow color of their respective roots. In the end, Chinese goldthread seemed like the best possible choice. However, as supplies of Chinese goldthread dwindled in China, some suggested that goldenseal might be a suitable substitute for it. Instead, scientists have begun to look to growing supplies of both plants.

Grow Goldenseal, Save the Species

A recent study published in the journal Chinese Medicine looked at the comparative chemistry of goldenseal, Chinese goldthread and its North American counterpart, American goldthread. All three species are members of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). As expected, all three plants were shown to contain the alkaloid berberine.

The chemical analysis also quantified the alkaloids copistine, palmatine and hydrastine, all of which may contribute to expected medicinal effects. The results showed that goldenseal contains the most berberine. All three species contain copistine, with American goldthread containing the most. The alkaloid hydrastine was confirmed to be unique to goldenseal and palmatine unique to Chinese goldthread.

Most medicinal plants contain varying levels of compounds that are responsible for the health benefits consumers expect from herbs. Given the complexity and variability in chemistry from one species to another, it often is difficult to find a substitute that fits the chemical profile of other plants. This is the case with goldenseal, particularly in light of studies that show the alkaloids in goldenseal work synergistically.

Given the wide-ranging chemistry of the three plants included in this study, the authors concluded that neither goldenseal nor American goldthread contain all of the alkaloids found in Chinese goldthread. Therefore, goldenseal is not a suitable substitute for Chinese goldthread, and vice versa.

The solution to developing a sustainable supply is the commercially cultivated sources of the herbs. Significant progress has been made in North America to supply cultivated goldenseal to the market and Chinese goldthread also is being grown commercially in China.

Did You Know?

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is an international treaty that regulates the trade of such items as tiger skins and elephant tusks. In the past 15 years, there has also been more emphasis on monitoring trade in medicinal plants. Items listed in CITES Appendix 1 are illegal in international trade. Appendix II-listed items (like goldenseal) are monitored to “ensure their survival.”

Get bitter if you want to feel better


Fashions in food have forgotten an important element, one that is transformative for our health. Check out what's popular on social media and you'll see a lot of sweet smoothie bowls, raw cakes and thick shakes. You might also see salty snacks, but bitters barely get a look-in despite their bountiful health benefits.

This column is to remind us all of the incredible health benefits of bitters and encourage you to embrace bitter foods back into your diet.


Bitters have been traditionally used for years in both Chinese and western herbal medicine to aid our digestive system and overall health. Its medicinal use can even be traced back to ancient Egypt.

How do they work? Essentially, the bitter taste stimulates the taste buds, which in turn promotes digestive secretions including saliva, acids, enzymes, and bile, as well as the release of the hormone gastrin. These secretions enhance our upper digestion, the breakdown of foods and the assimilation of nutrients.

Bitters also contain complex carbohydrates, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals that have antioxidant, antiviral, and antispasmodic properties. These ingredients work together to reduce inflammation, control pain, relax muscles, stimulate the repair of the gut wall lining (leaky gut repair) and improve digestion and elimination.

Consuming bitters also helps to recalibrate our taste buds so we can enjoy other flavours and reduce our desire for sweets thus helping us to eliminate sugar cravings.


Bitter herbal tonics are very popular among herbalists and naturopaths for digestive health. My favourite herbal bitters for incorporating into herbal tonic blends are:

- Gentian root (Gentiana lutea) is traditionally used for low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach – which can lead to belching or flatulence, bad breath, indigestion, dyspepsia, food allergies and intolerances, nausea and loss of appetite. - Dandelion root (Taraxacum offcinale radix) is traditionally used for constipation, dyspepsia, poor digestion and liver function, detox and loss of appetite. - Angelica root (Angelica archangelica) is traditionally used for digestive weakness, intestinal inflammation, colitis, and stimulates circulation. - Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis) is traditionally used for loss of appetite, gastritis, colitis, dyspepsia, and leaky gut.

Bitter herbal tonics are best consumed 15 minutes before each meal in a little water much like an aperitif.

Note: See your natural health practitioner for a prescription and specific dose in the form of a tonic/tincture or capsule/tablet form. Herbal tonics or tinctures are only available with a prescription from your Naturopath or Herbalist. A qualified practitioner will ensure your medications, supplements or current health status do not interact with the herbs. When a herbalist prescribes herbal medicine they consider your constitution: age, allergies, sensitivity, robustness, size, temperature and current status of health. Always remember to tell you practitioner if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.


It is simple to incorporate bitters into our diet:

Goldenseal: The Cure for Everything?

By Elea Carey (Medically Reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE)

Simply put, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. The medicinal claims about goldenseal range from its powers as a cure for toenail fungus to its effectiveness against pancreatic cancer. But is goldenseal really an all-conquering super plant?

Goldenseal is a low, sprawling plant with palm-shaped leaves. A single white flower appears in the center of each set of leaves, turning into one red berry with about ten seeds. It’s native to the hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River, but its prevalence in the wild has decreased because of mining and over-harvesting.

What Is Goldenseal Said to Treat?

In short, it might be easier to make a list of conditions goldenseal hasn’t been associated with helping. Early American medical texts refer to the Cherokees and Iroquois using goldenseal to treat cancer, mouth ailments like canker sores, and stomach issues.

Today, it’s marketed for a vast array of symptoms. Some claim that it can treat colds and upper respiratory infections. Other conditions it’s said to help include:

• gonorrhea
• malaria
• pneumonia
• just about any stomach or digestive condition
• skin problems such as dandruff, ringworm, and eczema
• eye infections

Goldenseal is also said to increase the effectiveness of other herbs and medicines. It’s regularly combined with echinacea, an herb associated with strengthening the immune system.

What’s Goldenseal’s Secret?

Modern research has isolated a chemical in goldenseal called berberine that might be the source of its acclaimed benefits. According to one study, berberine is an anti-diabetic agent, though it’s not understood why. A 2014 study concluded that berberine might also help lower cholesterol. Berberine also seems promising as a treatment for gastrointestinal problems and digestive issues.

Goldenseal also seems to be effective against the bacterium E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections and digestive problems leading to diarrhea. Goldenseal’s anti-bacterial qualities might be the reason behind its reputation as a treatment for various skin ailments and infections.

Goldenseal root is dried and powdered. It’s sold in capsules for internal use, and also comes in creams and topical preparations to treat skin conditions. Tinctures are also available, and can be used to treat mouth conditions.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Taken in moderate doses, goldenseal is probably harmless. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you’re considering taking, especially if you’re on prescription medicines. They might interact with herbal supplements.

There isn’t enough research around whether goldenseal is safe for children. It isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant or nursing.

There is no recommended dosage for the goldenseal you apply to your skin. If you’re treating a wound, use enough to cover the wound at least once a day, and wash it daily to make sure nothing is trapped in the healing skin.

How much goldenseal is safe to take orally is unclear. Read labels for each brand’s recommended dose and talk to your doctor about what’s safe for you.

There are no miracle cures. In moderate doses, goldenseal is probably harmless, but there’s very little scientific evidence that it will cure what ails you.

Benefits Of Goldenseal

(Benefit Of)

Benefits Of Goldenseal

The botanical name of goldenseal is Hydrastis Canadensis. It is commonly known as Orange-root, and is a perennial herb belonging to the family Ranunculaceae or buttercup family. The plant is native to northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This perennial herb is , hepatic, laxative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and oxytocic in nature. Due to the above properties, the plant is the most popular herb sold in the American market. The American Indians use goldenseal as a medicine for treating digestive, respiratory, genito-urinary tract inflammations caused by allergies and infections.

Aids in detoxification. Goldenseal herb helps to increase fluid elimination that removes toxins and harmful substances out of the body. It thus helps in the detoxification and cleaning of the body, which in turn protects us from various kinds of illnesses and diseases.

Helps in treating cold and flu. Irritated mucus membranes of eyes, nose, ears and throat are the first signs of cold and flu. Goldenseal soothes the membranes and prevents the development of these symptoms. This herb has long been used for the treatment of fevers, excess mucous and congestion.

Rich in nutrients. Goldenseal contains rich amounts of minerals like calcium, manganese, and iron. It also has minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, and other nutrients.

Rich in alkaloids. The rhizomes and roots of this herb contain isoquinoline alkaloids, such as hydrastine, canadine, berberine, l-hydrastine, canadaline, and traces of fatty oil, essential oil, and resin. High content of alkaloids is responsible for the anti-infective, antibiotic, and immune stimulating properties of goldenseal.

Helps in treating heartburn. The goldenseal herb and its extracts help in preventing and treating heartburn, particularly caused by emotional stress. It helps in lowering the levels of acids, thus soothing the digestive system and reducing heartburn.

Aids in curing ear infections. This herb helps in curing ear infections and other related diseases. Due to its ability to boost the immune system, goldenseal keeps away invaders such as bacteria from the tissues. Apart from this, it supports the drainage of lymph from the ear area reducing the possibility of bacterial growth.

Beneficial for the nervous system. Goldenseal extract is helpful in calming the central nervous system. Regular consumption of goldenseal creates a relaxing and sedating effect, thus improving sleep. Ample and deep sleep slows down heartbeat and lowers the blood pressure.

Beneficial for women. The herb is beneficial for slowing down menstrual bleeding and any bleeding after child birth. Due to its astringent effect, it helps in dilating the blood vessels and lowers the rate of bleeding.

The herb promotes the contraction of the uterus. Thus, pregnant women should avoid the use of this herb. People suffering from heart disease, glaucoma, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure should consult their physician before consuming goldenseal.


By Cathy Wong, ND

What You Need to Know About Goldenseal

What is Goldenseal?

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is one of the most popular herbs on the market today. It was traditionally used by Native Americans to treat skin disorders, digestive problems, liver conditions, diarrhea, and eye irritations. Goldenseal became part of early colonial medical care as the European settlers learned of it from the Iroquois and other tribes.

Goldenseal gained widespread popularity in the early 1800s due to its promotion by a herbalist named Samuel Thompson.

Thompson believed goldenseal to be a magical cure for many conditions. Demand for this herb dramatically increased, until Thompson's system of medicine fell out of popularity. Over the years, goldenseal has gone through periods of popularity.

Goldenseal is available in nutritional supplement form. It is also available as a cream or ointment to heal skin wounds. Other names include: Yellow root, Orange root, Puccoon, Ground raspberry, and Wild curcuma

Goldenseal herbal tincture can be used as a mouthwash or gargle for mouth sores and sore throats.

Uses for Goldenseal

According to some alternative medicine practitioners, goldenseal is a bitter that stimulates the secretion and flow of bile, and can also be used as an expectorant. In alternative medicine, goldenseal is used for infections of the mucus membranes, including the mouth, sinuses, throat, the intestines, stomach, urinary tract and vagina.

• minor wound healing
• bladder infections
• fungal infections of the skin
• colds and flu
• sinus and chest congestion

Goldenseal became the center of a myth that it could mask a positive drug screen. This false idea was part of a novel written by pharmacist and author John Uri Lloyd.

So far, scientific support for the claim that goldenseal can treat infections (or any other condition) is lacking.


One of goldenseal's chief constituents, berberine, has been reported to cause uterine contractions and to increase levels of bilirubin. Goldenseal should not be used by people with high blood pressure. Those with heart conditions should only use goldenseal under the supervision of a health professional.

Side effects are rare, but include irritation of the mouth and throat, nausea, increased nervousness, and digestive problems. The liquid forms of goldenseal are yellow-orange and can stain.

Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you're considering the use of goldenseal or any other alternative medicine, talk with your primary care provider first.

Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

How to Grow Goldenseal From a Root?

By Joanne Marie (Demand Media)

Native Americans introduced early settlers to goldenseal, a plant they used as part of their traditional medicine to treat digestive problems, skin disorders and irritated eyes. Today, goldenseal root is commonly available as a supplement. It has a number of uses and possible benefits, due in part to the plant's natural anti-bacterial and immuno-stimulating properties.


Goldenseal belongs to the same botanical family as the common buttercup. A perennial plant that grows wild in many wooded regions of the U.S., it has a bitter-flavored root that is yellowish-brown and quite twisted and wrinkled. Today, the plant has been domesticated and its root is harvested and processed for its medicinal properties. Goldenseal contains a number of natural compounds called alkaloids and two of these, berberine and hydrastine, are most likely responsible for its health benefits, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


One of the alkaloids in goldenseal, berberine, has natural anti-microbial properties, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, which says that the compound kills bacteria that cause diarrhea, fungi that cause yeast infections, and various parasites, including tapeworms. University experts also report that berberine in goldenseal can protect against potentially serious E. coli infections and may generally help strengthen your immune system. Berberine purportedly reduces fevers and acts as a mild sedative, and hydrastine might help reduce blood pressure.


Research from both laboratory and clinical studies supports use of goldenseal root in fighting infections. For example, in a clinical trial published in the "Journal of Infectious Diseases," patients with E. coli-induced diarrhea who took berberine from goldenseal experienced significant improvement of symptoms compared to a placebo group. In a laboratory study published in "Planta Medica," both a goldenseal extract and purified berberine inhibited growth of Streptococcus bacteria that cause oral infections. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also indicates that berberine from goldenseal has anti-cancer properties, at least in the laboratory, significantly inhibiting the growth of cultured breast and brain cancer cells. However, large clinical trials with human subjects are needed to confirm goldenseal's possible anti-cancer actions.

How To Use

Goldenseal root is available from health-food stores as a supplement in tablet capsule or liquid extract forms. Although generally considered safe, you might experience mild stomach upset or other intestinal discomfort after taking goldenseal. In addition, some people may be allergic to the plant and might develop a skin rash or hives after consuming goldenseal root. Do not take goldenseal if you have hypertension or a cardiovascular disorder, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Goldenseal may interact with some medications, including blood thinners, heart medicines or certain antibiotics. Discuss goldenseal root with your doctor before taking it to determine if it is a good choice for you.

Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis L.: A long and colorful Folk history Native Plant

By Maureen McCracken

Goldenseal, is a native North American woodland plant, and it is believed to be the only living species of the genus Hydrastis. The herb has a long and colorful folk history. Over the years, goldenseal has been referred to by a large number of interesting names including: Indian dye, yellow root, ground raspberry, yellow puccoon, wild circuma, eye root, eye-balm, yellow paint, wild turmeric and yelloweye. Many of these names are derived from the plants’ numerous uses.

Goldenseal has been harvested for its medicinal qualities for centuries. These medicinal properties stem from Goldenseal’s chemical components: three active alkaloids, namely Hydrastine, Berberine and Canadine, as well as traces of essential oil, fatty oil and resin. Cherokee Indians used Goldenseal root as a treatment for cancer, as an antiseptic, to treat snakebite and as a health tonic. Iroquois Indians used it to treat whooping cough, diarrhea, liver trouble, fever, pneumonia and several digestive disorders. They also made a concoction mixing the ground roots with bear grease to use as an insect repellent. Native people also boiled the roots to make a yellow dye. Early Americans, who used goldenseal roots to make a solution to wash the eyes of infection, learned about the herb from the Native peoples. Goldenseal was also used to treat sore throats, mouth sores and digestive problems.

Goldenseal is now widely available in health stores across North America in various forms: capsules, tablets, oil, tincture, compound, dried root, dried leaf and powder. Its current uses stem from the herb’s Indian and early settler heritage and include: treatment for nasal congestion, mouth sores, eye and ear infections, and as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal. As with many medicinal plants, its use is supported by tradition, as there is little supporting scientific evidence.

History of a healing herb

Commercial interest in Goldenseal root as a medicinal herb began in the early to mid 1800s. Until recently, most of the supply was harvested from the wild. Due to its popularity as a healing herb, Goldenseal has become seriously threatened by over-harvesting. In addition, deforestation has further threatened the plant, as its natural habitat continues to be cleared. Consequently, in 1991, Goldenseal was placed on the endangered species list. The Department of Agriculture has taken action to promote Goldenseal stewardship and conservation. Many states are encouraging production of Goldenseal as a farm crop; however, it is a slow process as crop development can take up to five years before harvest.

Goldenseal is a perennial herb, hardy in zones 4-8. The much sought after roots are horizontal rhizomes covered with bright yellow fibrous roots. Mature plants are 6-14 inches tall, with large toothed leaves and a hairy flower stem. Small, white, inconspicuous flowers bloom in the spring and produce a single fruit in July. The fruit, which resembles red raspberries, is not edible. This perennial spreads through its rhizome and root system. Goldenseal grows best in shade in rich, loamy soil. It likes moisture, but must have excellent drainage. Mulch provides a good winter cover and helps maintain the moisture. Plantings under oak, poplar, walnut and basswood have been successful. Propagation is usually done by dividing rhizomes every 3-5 years, as seed propagation yields less predictable results and takes approximately two years longer. However, seed production is important for plant adaptability, especially in the wild.

As with anything used for medicinal purposes, large doses should be avoided. Additionally, it should be noted that avoidance is advised during pregnancy as goldenseal stimulates contraction of the uterus. It may also raise blood pressure and should not be used by people with any kind of cardiac problems.

Herbs for Health: Uses for Goldenseal

By Steven Foster

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is one of the most popular herbs on the U.S. market. Although a scientific basis for its use has not been established, it has been one of the herbal stars of American folk medicine for more than 200 years.

This small, herbaceous plant of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) has hairy, lobed leaves and bright yellow rhizomes and roots. Inconspicuous white flowers in April and May are followed by showy, bright red fruits suggestive of raspberries. Goldenseal grows in rich, moist woods, especially under beech trees, from Vermont to Minnesota and south to Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas.

The name goldenseal comes to us from Samuel Thomson (1769–1841), the founder of a system of herbal medicine that attracted millions of followers during the first half of the nineteenth century. Thomson noted the small cuplike scars on the upper side of the rhizome and thought that they looked like wax letter seals.

Goldenseal’s primary historical use has been as a tonic for mucous membranes, particularly those of the digestive tract. White settlers learned this use from Native Americans. The Cherokee also used the roots as a wash for local inflammations and drank a decoction to treat general debility, dyspepsia, and poor appetite. The Iroquois used a decoction to treat diarrhea, liver disease, fever, sour stomach, flatulence, and pneumonia. It was an ingredient of digestive bitter tonics, the nineteenth-century counterpart to antacids. Both Native Americans and whites obtained a bright yellow dye from the rhizomes and roots.

During the past two decades, goldenseal has been one of the top-selling herbs in health-food stores, used as an antiseptic, cold remedy, substitute for antibiotics, homeostatic, diuretic, tonic, and anti-inflammatory. And let’s not omit hemorrhoids, excessive menstrual bleeding, nasal congestion, mouth and gum sores, eye afflictions, and (externally) wounds, sores, acne, and ringworm, among other ailments. Name a condition, and you can probably find a reference somewhere to goldenseal’s use for it.

Despite two centuries of use, goldenseal is still considered a folk medicine. Scientists have paid it little attention. The most recent pharmacological study on goldenseal and its constituents dates to 1950, and its author noted that there had been little research during the previous forty years. Because test conditions of early studies were not rigorous by today’s standards, the results of those studies are open to question.

Goldenseal’s pharmacological action has been attributed primarily to the alkaloids hydrastine (1.5 to 4 percent of the dried root) and berberine (1.7 to 4.5 percent of the dried root). The latter, which gives the root its bright yellow color and bitter taste, is also found in barberries, Oregon grape, and gold­thread, all of which also have bright yellow roots. Other components found in goldenseal root include the alkaloids canadine, canadaline, hydrastidine, isohydrastidine, and berberastine, along with chlorogenic acid, resins, starch, and sugars.

Hydrastine is a vasoconstrictor. Berberine and hydrastine both are slightly sedative and strongly antibacterial; both stimulate the flow of bile and reduce muscle spasms. Most pharmacological studies of berberine, however, have extracted the compound from Asian species of goldthread or barberry rather than goldenseal.

One recent folk application for goldenseal sounds like something out of fiction, which in fact it was. In Stringtown on the Pike, the most popular of eight novels by the pharmacist John Uri Lloyd (1849–1936), goldenseal bitters are erroneously identified as strychnine in a chemical test by an expert in a murder trial. The accused is convicted on this testimony, although the stomach of the deceased actually contained no strychnine at all, only goldenseal, which the victim habitually drank as a digestive aid. Since the novel’s publication in 1900, the story has become a part of folklore associated with chemical-test errors. Goldenseal has been used (without success) on numerous occasions to mask the use of morphine in racehorses, and people have taken it in the hope of disguising the presence of illegal drugs in their urine. Actually, goldenseal may just as likely produce a false positive reading as a false negative; however, because of the practice of ingesting goldenseal to affect the outcome of drug testing, some labs now also test for the presence of goldenseal in a urinalysis.

The future of goldenseal in the marketplace will depend on developing cultivated supplies of the root. This relatively uncommon woodland plant, which has traditionally been wild-harvested, is becoming increasingly scarce. Although ginseng growers in the northern United States, Ontario, and British Columbia are beginning to cultivate goldenseal as well, prices have risen sharply as stands of wild goldenseal are depleted. Wholesale prices now exceed $30 per pound—more than three times those of only a few years ago.

Much more research is needed on goldenseal: on the plant itself, on substantiation of its alleged therapeutic effects, and on developing cultivated sources to meet the demand that will surely continue to climb.

Goldenseal Economics

The goldenseal supply problem—characterized by periodic shortages, price hikes, and concern over future supplies—is not easily defined. Over the years, a number of botanists have observed that because of overharvesting of the root, goldenseal is increasingly rare in areas where it once flourished.

More than 100 years ago, in Drugs and Medicines of North America (1884–1885), pharmacist John Uri Lloyd and his brother, botanist Curtis Gates Lloyd, recorded dramatic declines in wild populations of goldenseal, which they attributed not only to harvest of the root for medicinal markets, but also to habitat loss due to deforestation. The Lloyds painted a complex picture of economic and social reasons for periodic shortages, noting that decreases in areas or populations of golden­seal were not necessarily accompanied by decreased supplies. Historically, farm laborers and poor people collected the roots during times of economic hardship or during years of crop failure; conversely, fewer people collected goldenseal (and other herbs) during periods of economic prosperity or abundant crops. Sometimes, the entire supply of goldenseal would be consumed in one season, resulting in shortages and price increases, but this would stimulate a larger harvest the following season, causing subsequent market gluts and price decreases that discouraged harvesting the root the next year. As collectors turned their attention to other pursuits, the price of goldenseal would stabilize as stocks were exhausted, and so, as the Lloyds put it, “history repeats itself”. Recent supply shortages and high prices appear to follow the same pattern of a century ago.

The actual number of pounds harvested and consumed annually is not known. Possible reasons for the recent shortages include harvesters’ shifting to higher-priced herbs such as ginseng, periods of drought in the Southeast that have made digging the roots difficult, lack of interest in harvesting due to price decreases, and a scarcity of wild plants. Climatological conditions may cause year-to-year changes in goldenseal populations, but because the reproductive biology and population dynamics of the species have received little attention from botanists and plant ecologists, such changes have not been documented. In the meantime, as more growers plant golden­seal, supplies are expected to stabilize in five to ten years, the period required to harvest a crop from new plantings.

Children's herbal cough and cold withdrawn as potentially dangerous

By Rebecca Smith (Medical Editor)

A children's herbal medicine has been withdrawn after regulators found it was unlicensed and potentially dangerous.

Parents have been warned not to give their children Echinacea & Golden Root for Juniors sold by Holland and Barrett.

The pictures on the bottle, used for coughs and colds, do not match the description and the botanical name given was also incorrect.

A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the bottle appeared to show Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis) and not Golden root (Rhodiola rosea). The botanical name on the product Berberis aquifolium is also incorrect.

He added that high doses of berberine are reported to cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, depression, heart damage, low blood pressure, seizures, paralysis, spasms, and death.

Overdoses of hydrastine are reported to cause exaggerated reflexes, convulsions, paralysis, and respiratory failure. Berberine is reported to cause or worsen jaundice in newborns and could lead to a life-threatening form of brain damage called kernicterus.

Rhodiola rosea it is not recommended in children and adolescents under 18 years of age due to the lack of adequate safety data, the MHRA said.

Richard Woodfield MHRA Head of Herbal Policy said: “Parents need to remember that just because a product is labelled as natural does not mean it is safe.

“When buying herbal products you should look for those that have a traditional herbal registration which can be identified by a THR number on their label. This ensures that the product is safe and avoids consumers putting their health in jeopardy.

“Anyone that has this herbal product at home should stop using it immediately and return any unused product to Holland and Barrett.

"If you have taken this product and have any concerns then please speak to your GP or healthcare professional."

7 herbal remedies to help prevent urinary tract infections

By Anthia Koullouros

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. Around one in two women and one in 20 men will get one, and for a lot of women, it's a recurring thing.

Most of us are familiar with the symptoms: burning sensation when passing urine, frequent urination, a cloudy, bloody or very smelly urine and general discomfort in the area. High fever, back pain and vomiting occur when the infection becomes more serious and moves to the kidneys. If this occurs, it is very important to see your GP as left untreated an infection can lead to kidney damage.

A urinary tract infection can range from an infection of the bladder to an infection of the kidney. Cystitis, an infection in the bladder, is the most common UTI.

Note: Always remember to tell your health practitioner if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, as many herbs like medicine may be contra-indicated. The following herbs don't replace antibiotics when they are needed; they may be used in conjunction, to strengthen the urinary tract mucous membranes or to prevent an infection.

Why do infections occur in the first place?

Bacteria do not normally live in the urinary tract, as it's a sterile area, but they can enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing an infection. This can occur during intercourse or wiping back to front after urination (for women). The urethra is fairly short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder.

Changes to the immune system may make a person generally more vulnerable to infections, as well as changes in hormonal levels. Infections are more common just before a period and in pregnancy. As women age, tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age, as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy, leading to a greater chance of infection.

Diagnosis is simple. A urine test ordered by a GP can identify the cause of infection, and treatment is usually a course of antibiotics. However, recurrent infections are common, and studies have shown that women are at a 20-30 per cent higher risk of experiencing a recurrence of infection within three to four months of an initial UTI.

According to Kidney Health Australia, women are also more at risk of repeated urinary tract infections if they:

•use spermicide jelly or a diaphragm for contraception
•have had a new sexual partner
•suffer from constipation
•had their first urinary tract infection at or before 15 years of age
•have a family history of repeated urinary tract infections.

We know that overuse of antibiotics can cause a disruption in gut flora health, leading to a greater susceptibility to more infections. Gut flora makes up two thirds of our immune system.

This is where herbal remedies can be useful - herbalists have used the following seven herbs successfully.

• Bearberry (also known as uva ursi)

In a double blind placebo study of 57 women with recurrent UTIs, bearberry was shown to effectively suppress further infection. Bearberry acts as an antibacterial, urinary antiseptic, astringent and healer to the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. It is also a diuretic.

• Cranberry

Technically not a herb, cranberry is used by herbalists. Flordis, a natural health company, has performed extensive studies on cranberry extract. Cranberry helps prevent potentially harmful bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls and effectively flushes out the bacteria from the urinary tract to help promote urinary tract health. By helping to maintain a clean urinary tract, this will reduce the frequency of recurrent cystitis.

• Cornsilk

This herb has soothing mucilaginous or demulcent properties, which soothes the irritated mucous membranes. It also has a diuretic effect. Rich in silica and other minerals, it helps strengthen the tissues.

• Dandelion leaf

Different to dandelion root, which has a focus on balancing digestive and liver health, this herb is potent diuretic used to flush the bladder and relieve symptoms.​

• Goldenseal

This is a potent antibacterial and mucous membrane healer indicated for inflammation of the urinary tract wall.

• Horsetail

Acts in a similar fashion to corn silk.

• Marshmallow root

Yes, original marshmallow candy was made from this plant. As you can imagine, marshmallow has a softening effect on irritated mucous membranes of the urinary tract.

What is the best way to take these herbs?

All of these herbs, with the exception of goldenseal and cranberry, may be taken in a herbal tea form. I recommend using organic herbs.

Add 1 teaspoon of herb in a litre of boiling water, steep for 7 minutes, then consume daily.

You may also take these herbs in a herbal tincture form, which contains concentrated constituents of herbs and offers maximum therapeutic benefits. They are only available with a prescription from your naturopath or herbalist. A qualified health practitioner will ensure your medication, supplements or disease state does not interact with your herbs. When a herbalist prescribes herbal remedies they consider one's constitution, age, allergies, sensitiveness, robustness, weight, temperature, current status of health and personality. From this understanding they can choose the most successful remedies for you.

The healing power of flowers

By Marge C. Enriquez (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Michael, an American businessman, went to chiropractor-physician, homeopath and botanist Brent Davis, complaining about tensions in the shoulder, neck and jaw and sleepless nights. Instead of adjusting the bones and the spine, Davis, a proponent of floral remedies, realigned his energies.

Michael revealed that in the past two months, he had a falling out with his business partner who had duped him. Although Michael took to breathing therapy and meditation, he was still angry and stressed.

Davis had developed a method of diagnosing the patient’s emotional ailments through bodywork and a special procedure to find the right flowers that could heal the patient’s soul. He customized a blend of floral essences whose vibrations would neutralize Michael’s negative attitudes. A wild flower, Joe Pye (eutrochium), whiffs frequencies that dissolve the tendency to attract exploitation, fear of annihilation and build self-confidence. The Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), a medicinal herb, removes the attitude of blaming and feeling victimized. Claytonia, a rosette-forming plant, was a treatment to promote forgiveness. Michael had to learn to forgive himself for his mistakes.


Davis says special flowers “protect, transform and uplift.” When the right floral essences and their vibrations are dispensed, they “overwrite the internal ‘error messages’ on the patient’s mind. Obstacles are removed, and the next step in their life opens much more readily,” he says.

He developed the FlorAlive healing through a dream. It revealed to him a special apparatus that would enable him to draw the energies from the flowers without harming them as they remained uncut and beating with life. He has since been traveling to the Andes mountains, the Peruvian jungles and the wilds of Canada, and is researching on wild orchids in the Philippines.

“Flowers behave in one way similar to satellite-receiving dishes. Their geometry, colors and spatial relationship to the earth determine the kind of frequencies they can ‘download.’ Frequencies they absorb—huge amounts of coherent information that are influenced by where the flower is growing—are stored in semicrystalline moisture in the surface of the petals,” says Davis. “By not cutting the flowers when they are extracted, their highly coherent and aligning frequencies are maintained. The maximal transformational power is transmitted to our body, delivering the greatest healing possibilities.”


The floral energies are stored in concentrated drops that are added to the drinking water. As the individual consumes the blend over time, the energies of these flowers will erase the emotional trauma that has been buried in one’s memory track.

“This stored upset is directly responsible for the negative self-talk that plays continuously in our subconscious—the stored memories of emotional trauma we all carry. When it is removed by pure frequencies from uncut flowers, we have a new and positive outlook on life. We come into the more harmonious alignment with the internal, and that naturally activates the positive law of attraction,” he says.

FlorAlive consists of three processes that clear out negativities in the subconscious: removing the deep-seated hurts; enabling the ability to receive, which was blocked by the trauma; and unlocking the potential that has been hindered due to one’s inability to receive.

After three months, patients have reported enhanced self-esteem, better job and earning opportunities; unhealthy relationships are replaced by harmonious ones, adds Davis. By taking these drops, people find tranquility in the midst of severe challenges.

What Is Goldenseal Root Extract Used For?

By Anastasia Leon

Native to the eastern woodlands of the United States, goldenseal (Hydratis canadensis) thrives in moist, partly shaded environments within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 8. Although rare under cultivation, goldenseal adds visual interest to shady garden beds with its frilly white flowers and red berries. Root division is one of the simplest means of growing new goldenseal plants since it requires very few tools and only a modest investment of time. However, it must only be performed in autumn since the cool, moist weather will help the plants put down new roots without causing undue stress.

1. Run a garden hose at the base of the goldenseal plant the evening before digging it up. Water until the top 6 inches of soil feel moist. Let the water soak in overnight.

2. Dig up the goldenseal plant the following morning before the weather heats up. Measure out 8 inches around the plant. Dig down to a 10-inch depth along the 8-inch line using a sharp shovel.

3. Push the shovel blade beneath the goldenseal's rootball. Gently pry it from the ground. Lift the plant and place it on a moistened sheet of burlap. Secure the moist burlap around the rootball while preparing a rooting container.

4. Combine three parts loam, two parts peat and one part coarse sand. Halfway fill a 1-gallon nursery container with the mixture. Add water so the mixture feels moderately moist.

5. Unwrap the goldenseal. Remove soil from the rootball until the fine, white filament roots are plainly visible. Run water over the rootball to rinse off even more loosened soil.

6. Cut off a small, 1/2- to 2-inch-long piece of rhizome using a gardening knife. Select a rhizome that has at least one growth bud and an abundance of filament roots.

7. Place the rhizome cutting in the prepared pot with the filament roots spread out over the surface of the soil. Cover the rhizomes with a 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of the loam mixture.

8. Pour water onto the loam to settle it atop the rhizome cutting. Add more loam if it settles too much since the goldenseal rhizome must be under at least 2 inches of soil to successfully grow.

9. Place the potted goldenseal rhizome outdoors under dappled sunlight. Water weekly to a 1-inch depth until the autumn rains start. Withhold water during the autumn and winter unless no rain falls for more than than two weeks.

10. Watch for renewed growth the following spring once daytime temperatures stay reliably above 60 degrees F for several weeks. Transplant the goldenseal plant into a shady garden bed after the last frost.

Things You Will Need
Garden hose
Sharp shovel
Coarse sand
1-gallon nursery pot
Gardening knife

Do not dig up wild goldenseal plants since it is a protected species throughout most of its range.

10 Health Benefits of Goldenseal

(ET Hyper)

Goldenseal, also known as yellow puccoon or orangeroot, is a member of the buttercup family.

The herb is believed to derive from Canada and United States, and then gradually spread to other parts of the worlds such as Europe. Since ancient time, besides culinary purposes, goldenseal has been used as a trusted ingredient in a countless number of medical treatments and home remedies. The herb is found with a rich content of organic compounds as well as chemical composition, especially alkaloids. Goldenseal can be prepared into many forms such as tablets, tinctures, bulk powder and supplements. Since a small amount of concentrated goldenseal rootstock can significantly impact the nervous system of the body, it is necessary to consult a doctor before taking in it as a medicine. Generally, health benefits of goldenseal consist of improving digestive system, sinus conditions, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, infection, allergies as well as treating nausea. Let’s take a closer look at top 10 health benefits of goldenseal.

1. Allergy

There are many types of allergy that people can easily get and one of its most common symptoms is sneezing. Thanks to the anti-allergic properties, goldenseal is able to ease the inflammation in the mucus membranes. Furthermore, the herb can reduce the risk of developing severe allergic symptoms with the capacity of calming the nervous system.

2. Sinus Problems

Thanks to the strong antimicrobial properties, goldenseal has been proved to effectively reduce infection and inflammation in sinus cavities. By using goldenseal, you can quickly get relief from sinus problems and improve the condition.

3. Strong Immunity

Adding goldenseal into your daily basis is a good way to stimulate your immune system. Furthermore, it is also used to clean the intestinal as well as respiratory system, preventing various related diseases. Into the bargain, the herb is a trusted ingredient in treatments for prostate and vaginal infections. Generally, by using goldenseal, you can improve your health as well as keep diseases at bay. Read also Home Remedies to Boost Immunity.

4. Reduce Inflammation

For those who are suffering from joint pain or other types of inflammation, especially topical one, goldenseal is an ideal ingredient used to make great treatments. For topical inflammation, you can simply apply externally the power of goldenseal to the affected areas. Meanwhile, for internal inflammation, taking in goldenseal supplement seems to be a good way to improve the condition.

5. Intestinal Worm

Intestinal worm is a common problem in many parts of the world, especially the place where people difficultly get clean water. Although the condition doesn’t immediately lead to death or other severe diseases, it can cause malnutrition and other problems, eventually leading to death. Fortunately, goldenseal can give you a helping hand in eliminating the worms, eggs as well as the toxin left inside digestive system.

6. Aiding Digestion

Goldenseal makes great home remedies for various problems of digestion, especially in the gastrointestinal tracts and guts. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb that help to get rid of the problems and promptly improve your whole system. By stimulating bowel movement and keeping your gut healthy, you can easily avoid constipation, bloating, ulcers and various other problems.

7. Appetite

For those who have lost smell and taste, goldenseal can be the solution. People have found a strong connection between a regularly using of goldenseal with a considerable increase in appetite. This makes goldenseal a great ingredient to boost body metabolism and accelerate the burning process of calories.

8. Fever Reduction

Fever is a term described an abnormal temperature above the normal range, which is caused by various medical conditions, especially bacterial, viral or parasitic infections. If the fevers last without improvement, there is likely a chance the body will get dehydration, exhaustion or even brain damage. Thankfully, goldenseal can reduce fever and ease the tension of muscles and nervous system.

9. Skin Health Another health benefit you can get from golden seal is the ability to accelerate the healing process of the skin. With the skin problems caused by viral, bacterial and fungal such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, goldenseal can quickly improve the condition by reducing the inflammation and infection, simultaneously eliminating the factors causing the symptoms. Read also Home Remedies for Acne Scars.

10. Detoxify the body Goldenseal is also used to cleanse the body, flushing out the waste, toxin and other harmful products inside the organ systems, especially kidney and liver. Accordingly, your immune system will be strengthened, keeping your body safe from various ailments and diseases.

Goldenseal: Ancient Native American Herb Treats Colds, Flu, Ulcers, Liver Disease, Cancer

By JB Bardot (The JB Bardot Archives)

Goldenseal is one of the most popular herbs currently sold in the US and is used to cure a wide range of health problems. Known by its Latin name, Hydrastis canadensis, goldenseal is available as a tea, tincture, ointment, tablet, powder and homeopathic remedy. It is effective at treating conditions such as colds and flu, fungal infections, urinary tract infections, stomach problems, menstrual cramps and loss of appetite. Native Americans, particularly the Iroquois tribe, reportedly used the herb to cure serious diseases such as cancer and ulcers. Goldenseal contains a compound known as berberine which has been proven to kill off certain strains of bacteria such as E. coli, H. pylori, and those that cause infectious diarrhea. It has also been found to be effective against candida, giardia and tapeworms.

Immunity Booster

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, goldenseal acts as a natural antibiotic when combined with Echinacea and is promoted as a way to strengthen the immune system. It can also be used to treat infections of the mucous membranes such as sinusitis, pink eye, urinary tract infections and sore throat. Used topically, the antibacterial properties found naturally in berberine kill off any bacteria that may be present in minor wounds and skin infections.


A 2001 study performed in Italy at the University of Rome tested the effects of the isolated alkaloids of goldenseal such as berberine, canadine, canadaline and beta-hydrastine against different strains of bacteria. Researchers measured the ‘killing time’ of these alkaloids on two strains of staphylococcus, E. coli and pseudomonas aeruginosa. Researchers concluded that “the results provide a rational basis for the traditional use of Hydrastis Canadensis.

Liver Failure

Acetaminophen toxicity is the number one cause of liver failure in the developed world. Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in the most popular over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Anacin Aspirin Free. According to the FDA, almost 500 deaths per year are as a result of acetaminophen overdose with 25% of those being unintentional. Researchers at Chiba University in Japan found that goldenseal offered protection against acetaminophen induced liver failure in male rats.


Hydrastis canadensis is the homeopathic name for goldenseal. A study performed in 2012 at the Amala Cancer Research Center in India tested the effects of a variety of homeopathic remedies such as Hydrastis, Carcinosinum, Ruta and Thuja for their ability to induce apoptosis in tumor cells. Apoptosis is also known as programmed cell death. The results showed that many of the enzymes required for apoptosis were increased in laboratory rats that were given homeopathic medicine. The researchers concluded that “apoptosis is one of the mechanisms of tumor reduction of homeopathic drugs.”

Another Indian study carried out in 2010 found that goldenseal may be able to prevent cancer of the liver. Researchers found that rats with chemically induced liver cancer showed decreased cancer activity when given a crude extract of Hydrastis Canadensis. The results showed that golden seal had anti-cancer potential and could be suitable as a complementary medicine in the treatment of liver cancer

Possible Side Effects and Drug Interactions

Like traditional medicines, herbs can cause side effects so it is advisable to consult an experienced health practitioner or herbalist before stating treatment with goldenseal. While it is considered safe in small doses, the long-term effects of golden seal have not yet been fully evaluated. What is known is that it is extremely dangerous for pregnant and nursing mothers and has been found to cause kernicterus (brain damage) in unborn children. It is also known to react with certain drugs such as antidepressants, blood-thinners and liver medication. Combining goldenseal with drugs of this type can led to serious illness so always consult your regular health practitioner if you are already on medication.

12 Amazing Benefits Of Goldenseal For Skin, Hair And Health

By Maanasi Radhakrishnan

Many of us grow the flowering plant in our houses, yet are ignorant of its many medicinal and herbal uses. ‘Goldenseal’ is widely grown but most of us are unaware of its very existence! The plant is dried and put to multiple and diverse uses across the world. Various alternative forms of medicine use this herb to treat different ailments. It is also amongst the top 5 herbal products in the United States and its popularity is growing every day, across the globe. The herb is also referred to as ‘Indian Turmeric’. Like turmeric, Goldenseal too is a powerhouse of good health!

Nutrition Facts of Goldenseal:

Goldenseal is a rich source of Vitamin B, E, C and A, along with important minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and manganese. It also contains traces of resin, vital and important fatty acids and essential oils required for the proper functioning of the human body. Health Benefits of Goldenseal:

1. All-In-One Tonic:

Golden seal has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and astringent properties. Simply put, it can be used to treat inflammation where ever the human mucus membrane is involved, like the throat, stomach, tracts, ears and even eyes.

2. Natural Expectorant:

Symptoms of a common cold need no introduction. Though relatively harmless, a common cold can leave you feeling queasy and unpleasant. Goldenseal, when consumed in moderate doses, can effectively cure cold and flu. It is also used to relieve congestion and expel excess mucus collection from the body. So, the next time you find yourself sniffling because of a cold, turn to Goldenseal! 3. For A Better Digestive And Urinary System:

Latest studies show that Goldenseal can be used to treat digestive disorders. This root cleanses the glandular functions in the body, promoting better flow of bile and digestive enzymes. This root has the power to ease digestion-related issues, including indigestion and constipation. The better your digestive system, the healthier your liver and spine will be. 4. Helps Overcome Anorexia:

Goldenseal is an effective tool in treating Anorexia Nervosa. This eating disorder distorts a person’s body image, which compels them to restrict their food intake to lose weight. Goldenseal is a rather strong and potent digestive stimulant and tonic that is used to treat anorexia. This digestive tonic stimulates digestion and nurtures the patient back to health.

5. Good for Women:

This herb is particularly useful to women. It works to treat many urinary and reproductive ailments in women. It can also be used to treat vaginal pain, menstrual problems, and vaginal inflammation.

6. Aids in Weight Loss:

This herb has innate diuretic properties. Therefore, it can be used by those who wish to lose weight as it helps in the elimination of accumulated toxins by promoting sweating and urination.

7. Good for the Joints:

Any kind of accumulation in the joints can hamper their active and effective functioning. Studies suggest that goldenseal has the potential to prevent fluids and other substances from accumulating in the joints. People suffering from joint issues can consume goldenseal, under medical supervision, to obtain relief from such conditions.

Skin Benefits of Goldenseal:

8. Natural Acne Remedy:

A trusted folk remedy for acne, the golden seal is also used to treat skin ulcers, rashes, abrasions, swelling or inflammation. It is gentle on the skin, and effectively treats acne with no side effects.

9. Treats Skin Disorders:

According to latest studies, goldenseal has medicinal value and can be used to treat myriad skin disorders effectively. The herb is now widely used as an active ingredient in various medicines that are used to treat eczema, itching, herpes, blisters and sores.

10. All Natural Antiseptic:

The next time you snip your finger while cutting veggies, try goldenseal. The herb has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat most open wounds without apprehension. You may experience a slight tingling sensation, but be rest assured your, finger is healing already! Hair Benefits of Goldenseal:

11. Hair Tonic:

I always believed that since hair is not living, nothing smeared up there can make a difference. But the more I read, the more I began to believe that caring for hair can indeed make it soft, voluminous and full of life. Goldenseal can be consumed as a supplement orally to improve hair health.

12. Anti Dandruff Concoction:

Goldenseal is used to treat dandruff and is an active ingredient in many herbal products designed for hair care. Use this herb in its natural form, by just soaking it in water before a shower to rid those pesky white flakes!

Goldenseal is so popular and has such diverse applications that it is always in short supply! With more and more people turning their attention to herbal treatments and lifestyle, many herbs have caught people’s fancy. But Goldenseal is no passing fad. It is a tried and tested product that provides amazing results. The internet has a great list of simple, yet powerful, recipes – so you have no excuses and can use the plant as a medicine to treat numerous diseases!

Goldenseal Proves to be Natural Antibiotic and Antiviral

By Case Adams (Naturopath)

Despite the research proving that antibiotics are producing more deadly superbugs, antibiotic medications are still prescribed for even the most easily conquered bacterial infection.

And unbelievably, antibiotics are still being prescribed for a number of viral infections.

Of course antibiotics will not cure a viral infection. And they often will not cure a bacterial infection of a bacteria that has grown resistant to the antibiotic being used.

The World Health Organization has found that many antibiotics are thus losing their effectiveness. Read this article here.

And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are finding that some infections are resulting in greater deaths because they are now untreatable with antibiotics. Here is the article.

Luckily, nature provides a means to fight off bacterial and viral infections without producing resistant bacteria.

One of those agents is Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Goldenseal has been shown in the research to be both antibiotic and antiviral.

The fact that Goldenseal can be used as a lethal antibiotic was illustrated in a study from the University of North Carolina, where researchers tested Goldenseal against several strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria.

The researchers tested both raw Goldenseal and Berberine – an antibiotic component extracted from Goldenseal against various USA300 strains of MRSA.

The researchers found that while the Berberine inhibited MRSA significantly – with average minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 150 micrograms per milliliter – the Goldenseal inhibited the MRSA strains at a rate two times the rate of Berberine – with an MICs of 75 micrograms per milliliter.

Furthermore, the researchers found that the Goldenseal inhibited the MRSA bacteria through a variety of mechanisms – rather than just one. It also squashed the MRSA’s ability to quorum sense – which is their means of communication.

The researchers stated: “Collectively, our results show that H. canadensis leaf extracts possess a mixture of constituents that act against MRSA via several different mechanisms. These findings lend support for the traditional application of crude H. canadensis extracts in the prevention of infection.”

This last point confirms that whole powdered Goldenseal is preferable to berberine extract. Other studies confirm Goldenseal’s antibiotic potency

Other studies have also showed Goldenseal’s ability to outperform pharmaceutical antibiotics in combating bacterial infections. For example, researchers from the Egyptian Agricultural Research Center compared giving antibiotic pharmaceuticals to infected fish in an infected aquaculture farm with giving Goldenseal to infected fish.

The fish had been infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, A. sobria, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Citobacter freundii – which combined to kill most of the fish that went untreated.

They were able to naturally divide the fish into cages that allowed them to be separated. The cages where the fish were given the antibiotics, 84% of the fish survived due to their being given the antibiotics.

But among the fish given the Goldenseal, a full 87% of the fish survived – surpassing the 84% survival rate of the antibiotic medicines given to the other fish. Goldenseal is also Antiviral

Additional research proves that Goldenseal is also a potent antiviral medication.

Researchers from North Carolina State University’s Microbiology department have found that goldenseal herb (Hydrastis canadensis) inhibits the growth of the H1N1 influenza virus in human cells.

The research tested the growth of H1N1 influenza A virus among a variety of cell types, including human lung cells. They found that the application of an alcohol extract of goldenseal to the human cells infected with H1N1 virus stopped the growth of the virus. Goldenseal accomplished this by blocking the virus’ ability to alter and transfer DNA and other protein information – stopping its ability to replicate.

The active constituent believed by the researchers to be central in these effects is berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid within Goldenseal. Goldenseal and berberine have shown in other research to be significantly antibacterial.

The researchers also found that berberine blocked inflammatory factors related to the influenza A H1N1 virus. These included TNF-α and PGE2, which stimulate inflammation related to the viral infection – causing fever and aching pain among other symptoms. The researchers concluded that the mechanisms involved in blocking these inflammatory factors were separate from Goldenseal’s ability to block the growth of the virus.

The researchers concluded that, “Taken together, our results suggest that berberine may indeed be useful for the treatment of infections with influenza A.” Goldenseal contains many benefits and constutuents

This multiple effect ability of the Goldenseal herb – used for thousands of years among traditional doctors for a variety of infections and inflammatory conditions – is common among medicinal herbs. Most herbalists refer to this as the synergistic effect of the herb due to the fact that most herbs contain many – and some even hundreds – of active constituents.

This is illustrated by Goldenseal. In addition to berberine, Goldenseal also contains tetrahydroberberastine, hydrastine, canadine, canalidine, berberastine and hydrastinine among other medicinal constituents. All of these and others have their own medicinal effects, along with the ability to buffer and balance the effects of other constituents. This buffering feature of multiple constituents is believed by herbalists to be why natural herbs have so few adverse side effects.

Goldenseal is a natural supplement typically available as a raw powder or extract taken from any part of the plant, including the seeds, stems, leaves and root. The root is considered the most medicinal part of the plant, however. Its name is derived from the fact that it often has a golden yellow color.

A 2014 study from the Peking Union Medical College has confirmed that Berberine from Goldenseal reduces inflammation and oxidation associated with diabetes.

And a 2013 study from India’s University of Kalyani found Goldenseal inhibited cancer growth among liver cells.

Caution: Goldenseal should be used with caution, as it can stress the liver if too much is taken for too long. See your health professional.

Learn about other natural immune system strategies. ·

5 Incredible Goldenseal Benefits You Don’t Want to Live Without

By Aylin Erman

Goldenseal is a Native American medicinal plant that was introduced to early settlers by Cherokee Indians. It is grown in Canada and Eastern US. To this day, goldenseal is utilized for its ability to protect the body in more ways than one. Here are 5 critical goldenseal benefits that can make the difference in your life, especially during the winter.

Goldenseal grows in moist forest soils or damp meadows. It is also commonly referred to as the ox-eye daisy, golden daisy, maudlinwort, moon daisy, eye balm, yellow root, orange root, yellow puccoon, eye root and ground raspberry.

The major active components of goldenseal are berberine and beta-hydrastine, which bear antimicrobial and astringent properties, respectively. Other active alkaloids include tetrahydroberberastine, canadaline, berberine, hydrastine, and canadine, all of which contribute to its medicinal effects.

The winter season often invites illness and makes our bodies more susceptible to bacteria, viruses and other predators. To prevent sickness and fight off what you may already have, goldenseal is a necessary component of your at-home apothecary. Here are 5 goldenseal benefits that can save the day (and the season):

1. Boost Immunity

Goldenseal is popularly used to boost the body’s immunity. Often, it is paired with echinacea in certain cold and flu-fighting formulas. Goldenseal has shown the ability to enhance immune function by increasing antigen-specific immunoglobulin production.

2. Fight bacteria

In a synergistic effort among goldenseal’s flavonoids, the medicinal plant exhibits a powerful antimicrobial ability. Goldenseal fights bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminthes and chlamydia. It is also referred to as a natural antibiotic. Clinically, berberine itself is used as a treatment for bacterial diarrhea, wounds and sores, intestinal parasite infections and ocular trachoma infections.

3. Prevent Cancer

According to researchers, goldenseal may inhibit the growth and multiplication of cancer cells.

4. Protect the Liver

Goldenseal has shown to bear hepatoprotective effects, meaning that it has the ability to protect the liver and prevent it from failing. This comes in handy the day after a night of debauchery or, in some cases, an accidental overdose.

5. Lower Cholesterol

Berberine is already considered a unique cholesterol-lowering alkaloid. However, goldenseal, which contains berberine among other alkaloids, may be better at fighting cholesterol than isolated berberine itself. Due to its highly multiple bioactive components, goldenseal has shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and plasma cholesterol more effectively.

The Many Medicinal Goldenseal Benefits


Herbal Medicine has long been aware of the many Goldenseal benefits, one of which includes having an astringent effect on mucous membranes.

Lately, more and more people have begun to understand just how limited — in both variety and nutritional value — our “modern” diets have become. This realization has sparked a new and wide-spread interest in the culinary and therapeutic uses of herbs…those plants which — although not well-known today — were, just one short generation ago, honored “guests” on the dinner tables and in the medicine chests of our grandparents’ homes. In this regular feature, MOTHER EARTH NEWS will examine the availability, cultivation, and benefits of our “forgotten” vegetable foods and remedies… and — we hope — help prevent the loss of still another bit of ancestral lore.


A handsome perennial, goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis ) is native to cool, shaded woodlands in the eastern United States, particularly the rich, well-drained highlands of Appalachia. It grows from 6 to 12 inches tall, with a single main leaf and two secondary leaves of five to seven lobes each. As the leaf stems die back, they mark the fleshy, yellow rhizome (rootstock) with scars that resemble seals and give the plant its name.

Each stem is graced by a solitary greenish white flower in May or June, followed by a raspberry-like aggregate fruit that's about half an inch in diameter. Each one of a berry's small "globes" contains two or three hard, black, shiny seeds about the size of buckwheat grains. The plant's rhizome — usually about three-quarters of an inch thick and two inches long, with a profusion of long yellow rootlets — is, when dried, the part most often used in medicinal preparations. Goldenseal Benefits

Goldenseal has an acrid, bitter taste and a disagreeable odor, but there are so many goldenseal benefits that it has been called "the universal herb" for over 300 years. The powdered rootstock — considered a general tonic for the mucous membranes — can be applied as a snuff or an antiseptic dust, in washes and infusions, or in capsule form. In combination with other herbs, goldenseal has been used — at various times and, we must assume, with varying degrees of effectiveness — to treat ulcers, sinus conditions, dyspepsia, worms, bowel irregularity, gonorrhea, prostate and vaginal infections, and morning sickness among other problems.

However, goldenseal should be taken only in small and infrequent doses... no more than one half to one gram, and not more than three times daily. The ingestion of large quantities can overstimulate the nervous system and produce convulsions, miscarriage, and the excessive buildup of white corpuscles in the blood. Cultivating Goldenseal

Once foraged almost to extinction, goldenseal can still be found (in late spring and summer) growing wild in some areas. But the herb is also relatively easy to cultivate. Select a spot that comes as close to duplicating the plant's natural environment as possible . . . that is, a site under trees (or lath) that will be shielded from direct sun but still get enough light to promote leaf and root growth.

Next, condition the soil — which will ideally be a clay-based medium — with sand, leaf mold, bone meal, and cottonseed meal until it's naturally moist (but well-drained) and fairly light. Do not add fertilizer.

You'll want to cultivate the conditioned soil to a depth of ten inches before planting either seeds, rootlets, or (the preferred method) budded pieces of rhizome. Mulch the bed in winter with leaves, hay, cowpeas, or bean vines and in summer with hardwood sawdust. Given regular care, the plants should mature in three or four years.

Autumn is the best season for planting or harvesting this herb. After the tops have died down, uproot the rhizomes very carefully. Clean off the dirt and replant any small or undeveloped roots. Then dry the rhizomes on racks in a warm, shaded area or in mild sunlight.

Using the Best Herbal Teas to Prevent Colds

By Melanie Maynard (Colorado Springs Herbal Kitchen Examiner)

Winter is here, the weather has changed and you just can’t afford to get sick. You take the conventional flu shot, pull out your wardrobe of neck scarves and wash your hands so often your friends label you obsessive compulsive. When in actuality, you’ve got a deadline at work or the most anticipated date of the year is approaching and you cannot, under any circumstances, let yourself get sick.

Take into consideration Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” then use the best herbal teas to prevent colds and keep your stride in the winter months. Step into the realm of alternative medicine and explore the medicinal benefits of herbal teas. Keep yourself healthy and stimulate your immune system while enjoying a relaxing cup of hot tea.

Boosting your immune system is one of the first steps in staying healthy, and according to the “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine” some of the more popular herbs listed in preventing the cold virus are echinacea, goldenseal, ginger, honeysuckle, slippery elm, stinging nettle and eucalyptus. Because the benefits and uses are basically similar in promoting and strengthening the immune system, you can make your choice on preferred flavor and taste. You may even want to make your own herbal tea blend.

Medicinal herbs are not limited to a singular benefit and offer multiple uses as well. One of the more popular and well known is Echinacea. When combined with goldenseal, it creates the benefit of stimulating the immune system while promoting respiratory health (where most cold viruses begin to form). Customize tea remedies to preference with lemon, honey or other variables such as ginger or cinnamon sticks.

Other herbs fare better once you become sick or aid to help shorten an illness; however, when it comes to cold or flu prevention, stock your cupboards with a combination of various teas to alternate or combine – create your own winter herbal tea recipe.

Would you like to add another element to a tea break that is good for your health? De-stress. Utilize your favorite relaxation technique while taking time to enjoy the tea sipping moment. Good health is a balance of body, mind and spirit. Stress interferes with your immune system and tea time should be an immune builder, not a destroyer.

Enhance your health by using the best herbal teas to prevent a cold. Add it to your regime of flu shot, neck scarves and hand washing. Give yourself extra protection when meeting that pending deadline and look and feel your best when Friday night “date night” comes around.

Pictures of Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis)