The goldenseal plant is a popular remedy in the United States and Canada, starting to be used in the rest of the American continent and Europe due to its fascinating properties.
Goldenseal Plant Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Hydrastis canadensis L.
- Other Names: Eye balm, eye root, ground raspberry, Indian plant, jaundice root, orangeroot, turmeric root, yellowroot, yellow puccoon.
- French: Hydrastis.
- Spanish: Hidrastis.
- Environment: Mountainous and wet forests of North America. It is not found in Europe.
- Description: Plant of the Ranunculaceae family, growing from 30 to 40 cm high. Its stems grow an underground root (rhizome)—large, palm-shaped, dark-green leaves. A small flower grows at the tip of its stem.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The rhizome.
The plant’s rhizome contains various alkaloids (hydrastine and berberine, among others), essential oil, resins, sugars, vitamins A, B, and C, and mineral salts, especially phosphorous. These substances give the plant antiseptic, astringent, hemostatic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is successfully employed in the following cases:
- Nasal, pharyngeal, and bronchial catarrhs. Goldenseal acts effectively by regenerating the cells of the mucous membranes, thus diminishing the production of mucus and the congestion and inflammation that accompanies catarrhs. It is applied both internally and externally.
- Excessive menstruation and metrorrhagia (uterus hemorrhages) are constricting effects on the uterus. In these cases, its use must always be under medical control.
- Vaginitis and leukorrhea are applied in irrigations and cleansing.
- Pyorrhea and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
- Conjunctivitis (eye irritations) in eye baths.
How to use Goldenseal
- Infusion with a spoonful of rhizome per cup of water. Steep until cold. Drink two spoonfuls every four hours.
- The same infusion is employed in external use in gargles, rinses, irrigations, and washings.
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. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 207. Print. [goldenseal plant]