Friday, November 7, 2008


Ok, so when last I blogged I mentioned that I was making Echinacea and Goldenseal tinctures, and then proceeded to only discuss the Echinacea, so today its Goldenseal's turn!

Along with Echinacea, Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) root tincture is another staple in my medicine cabinet. As with synthetic anti-biotics, this is not one to be used frivolously, both for health reasons, but also because it is in many cases being over harvested and in a non sustainable manner, which is leading to potential problems for the future of the species. Also, overuse is waste and waste is unnecessary! Never does it do any good (there's my lecture for the day ;) .

Goldenseal roots have traditionally been used for used by Native Americans to wash the local areas of wound as well to improve appetite and digestive problems including diarrhea, mucous membrane inflammation of the digestive tract and liver disorders. Additionally it has historical use in treatment of skin and eye inflammations (combined with marshmallow root for the latter).

I personally use it externally in salve for wounds and for internal infections. Unlike its synthetic counterparts, it does not kill all of your friendly bacterial flora and tear apart your gut.

In my humble opinion it is certainly a botanical worth researching and deciding if it is something that could be beneficial in your own medicine cabinet! I warn you though, it is very bitter tasting. Capsules are preferred by some.

Goldenseal - Grieve's Modern Herbal

Goldenseal Cultivation

University of Maryland - Goldenseal