The Native American Herb
Goldenseal, Latin name Hydrastis canadensis, is one
of the most popular herbs used in herbal remedies today.
Goldenseal has traditionally operated as a traditional healing
herb of Native Americans but it has entered the European herbal
cabinet with zeal.
Traditionally, the Cherokee used goldenseal as an herbal
treatment for indigestion, local inflammations, and to improve
appetite. The Iroquois, meanwhile, used Goldenseal to treat
heart problems, liver disorders, and whooping cough and to
Goldenseal reached European shores by 1760. During the
nineteenth century, Goldenseal had become a popular favorite
with practitioners of the Eclectic and Thomsonian schools of
medicine. In 1926, Goldenseal was included in the list of
United States medicinal ingredients in the
The character of Goldenseal has alternately been described
as bitter, dry, astringent, and cold. The plants constituents
are described as resins, volatile oils, and alkaloids.
Herbalists traditionally describe the actions of Goldenseal
as astringent, a digestive and bile stimulant, a tonic, and a
laxative. Goldenseal has also been used to reduce phlegm, to
heal gastric mucous membranes, and to raise blood pressure.
The part of the Goldenseal plant that is most commonly used
is the rhizome. The rhizome is traditionally harvested in the
fall, and it is the main ingredient in many herbal
Many traditional herbalists recommend the rhizome of the
Goldenseal plant as an excellent drying and mucus-reducing
remedy that works well for the gastric, upper respiratory
tract. It is also used for the vaginal mucous membranes.
The rhizome of the Goldenseal plant is also used to treat
conditions involving the spastic colon (mucous colitis), nasal
inflammations, and ear infections.
An Interesting Herb Fact
The Healing Beauty of Borage
The borage flower (Borago officinalis) is well known for its lovely blue color. The flowers have been used since Elizabethan times for both decoration and for its healing beauty. Recent modern research has shown that the plant may actually stimulate the adrenal glands, encouraging the production of adrenaline, that famous 'fight or flight' hormone that is responsible for getting our bodies geared up during the most stressful times in our lives. Herbalists describe the character of the borage...
In essence, Goldenseal is very much an herbal remedy for ear,
nose and throat problems. But it has many other applications as
well. The Goldenseal plant is often used as an herbal remedy to
treat gynecological problems. It can help reduce the severity
of menopausal symptoms, and it has been known to ease the pain
associated with premenstrual symptoms, especially symptoms
linked to stagnation. The rhizome of the Goldenseal plant can
often be found in commercial herbal remedies as a tonic.
Even though Goldenseal has proven itself to be
a very effective healing herb, there are some cautions you use
take when ingesting herbal remedies that feature Goldenseal as
one of its main ingredients. For instance, Goldenseal is well
known as a powerful uterine stimulant, so its use should be
avoided women who are pregnant. Goldenseal is also well known
as a hypertensive, so it should be avoided in known cases of
high blood pressure.
There are several practical applications for
the Aloe Vera plant. The Aloe Vera gel can be
applied directly to burns, wounds, fungal
infections, insect bites, and areas of dry
You can simply split the Aloe Vera leaf and
apply the gel directly. You can also collect
the gel from several split leaves of the Aloe
Vera plant to make an ointment.
The gel of Aloe Vera can also be inhaled as
a steam inhalation to treat bronchial
congestion. A tincture can also be made from
its leaves and taken as an appetite
Also, you should not use herbal remedies
containing Goldenseal for an ear infection if you know that
there is a risk that an eardrum is perforated. Another caveat:
avoid ingesting fresh Goldenseal plant. Eating fresh Golden
seal plant has been known to cause ulceration of the mucous
membranes. It is a very potent plant. Also, if you suffer from
digestive complaints, many herbalists recommend that you take
barberry for these types of complaints because Goldenseal has
recently become very endangered in the wild.