Health Benefits of Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Goldenseal is one of the most popular herbs used worldwide today. It has been used for centuries in various different cultures to treat ailments ranging from respiratory issues to urinary tract infections. This helpful herb contains antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties, making it a powerful, all-natural remedy.

Health Benefits of Goldenseal

Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, goldenseal is a powerful herb and an effective natural remedy for many ailments. Below are some of the benefits of and uses for goldenseal.

1. Cold and Flu Aid

Goldenseal is able to soothe inflamed mucous membranes, which is crucial when suffering from runny eyes or a runny nose associated with allergies or a cold. It can also help reduce fevers and relieve congestion. Goldenseal can also act as a respiratory aid and treat related inflammation issues, such as conjunctivitis.

This medicinal herb has also been used by various societies to treat whooping cough, strep throat, pneumonia, flatulence, and upset stomach.

2. GI Support

Goldenseal supports your gastrointestinal system by improving bile flow and increasing the production of digestive enzymes. This helps keep things moving along regularly within the body, and supports healthy liver and spleen function. This “regulating” effect of goldenseal is also what makes it effective in preventing and treating constipation and urinary tract infections.

3. Goldenseal is Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Contributing further to its healthful benefits, goldenseal is also full of vitamins and minerals. Some of these vitamins include A, C, E, and B-complex vitamins. Goldenseal also contains isoquinoline alkaloids, essential oil, fatty oil, and resin.

4. Bacterial Protection

One of the particular alkaloids found in goldenseal makes it especially effective in fighting various bacteria. Called berberine, this alkaloid protects against bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In addition, it actually helps remove bacteria from the body and disturbs the bacteria’s ability to cling to our mucous membranes and tissue surfaces.

This property of goldenseal makes it effective in fighting infections in the throat, sinus, urinary tract, bronchial, and GI tract. Studies have proven goldenseal to be effective in treating diarrhea as a symptom of E. coli, salmonella, and cholera.

5. Skin Support

Goldenseal can also be used to treat skin conditions such as ringworm and eczema. You can use goldenseal as an external wash to treat sores, infections, or inflammation of the skin. A paste can also be applied to boils or other abscesses.


As one can see, there are many uses for goldenseal, and many benefits to keeping it around. Goldenseal is also an effective remedy for hemorrhoids, heavy bleeding during menstruation, allergic rhinitis and hay fever, and oral infections. The berberine alkaloid in goldenseal may also be effective for lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar.

How to Use Goldenseal

Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, goldenseal is a powerful herb and an effective natural remedy for many ailments.

To gain maximum benefits, make goldenseal tea by infusing dried root or goldenseal powder in boiling water. Let it steep for around 6 to 10 minutes. Poor this in your cup using a strainer to strain the roots. Depending on preferences, sweeten the tea with honey to enhance the flavor.

  • Goldenseal tincture can be applied directly to infections and ulcers in the mouth.
  • Use the leaves as an antiseptic skin wash and apply in a poultice. Goldenseal combines well with garlic to be used as an antiparasitic treatment.
  • Goldenseal also makes a good topical antiseptic to be used on minor injuries.
  • A powder made from the route can be made as an infusion, and the chopped route should be simmered.

Depending on the need, you can use pre-made goldenseal  tincture tea, or take the capsule. You may also be able to find goldenseal in ointment form, which is excellent for topical application to treat skin problems.


Goldenseal has been known to stimulate contractions of the uterus and should not be used during pregnancy. Do not use goldenseal prior to consulting a physician or herbalist if you have been diagnosed with a stroke, glaucoma, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. One should also take caution when using in high doses which may occasionally interfere with metabolizing B vitamins.



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