The first to describe the many medicinal properties of the goldenrod plant was Arnau DE Vilanova (Valencia, Spain, 1240- Genova, Italy, 1311), a great Middle Age physician among whose patients were kings and popes and one of the most credited professors of the ancient Medicine College of the University of Montpellier. He said that the plant was “admirable in producing urine and breaking up kidney stones.”
Seven centuries after him, at present, goldenrod is still used with the same aims, and its properties have been scientifically proven.
Goldenrod Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: European goldenrod.
- Scientific name: Solidago virga-aurea L.
- French: Solidago.
- Spanish: Vara de Oro.
- Environment: It grows in forests and woods on non-calcareous soils all over Europe and has been naturalized to America.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Compositae family, with upright stems growing up to one meter high. It has yellow flowers which gather in terminal chapters.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flowering tops.
Healing Properties and Uses
- Renal afflictions. Goldenrod is a good diuretic plant that, in addition to increasing urine production, promotes the excellent functioning of kidneys. It is recommended for edema (retention of fluid in tissues), nephritis (inflammation of kidneys), nephrosis (albuminuria, loss of albumin through urine), and kidney stones (it promotes their termination).
- Cystitis and prostate conditions. This plant provides an anti-inflammatory action on the urinary organs and combating urinary discomforts.
- Depurative treatments. It promotes the elimination of metabolic waste substances such as uric acid. It is recommended for arthritis, gout, eczema, and as a rule, whenever the blood should be cleansed of toxic substances.
- Obesity. Due to its diuretic and depurative properties, goldenrod is a good complement in treating obesity.
- Diarrhea and colitis. Because of its astringent properties, in many places in Spain, this plant is used to stop children’s diarrhea, especially in Summer and those that seem to be caused by teething.
- Astringent and vulnerary. It is employed to heal wounds and torpid ulcers (sores) in external applications, whether as compresses, lotions, or poultices.
How to use Goldenrod
- Decoction with 30-40 grams of flower clusters per liter of water, boiling for 5-10 minutes. Drink up to five cups daily.
- Syrup. To treat children’s diarrhea, we recommend increasing decoction time until the liquid reduces by half, then add brown sugar or honey to prepare a syrup, which will be taken by the spoonful.
- Compresses soaked in a more concentrated decoction (50-100 grams per liter) than that used internally.
- Lotions with the concentrated decoction.
- Poultices with the plant, mashed directly applied on the skin for 15 minutes, two or three times a day.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 594, 595. Print.[Goldenrod plant]