The goldenrod plant can be found in abundance during the late summer months. While it’s bright yellow flowers make for a pretty landscape, but the plant also provides some real health benefits as well. Goldenrod can be utilized like many other herbs: as a tea, tincture, infused oil, poultice or powder. Below you will find out some of the benefits that this plant can offer your body, from cardiovascular support to skin healing.
1. Urinary Tract Health
The astringent and antiseptic properties of goldenrod have made it a useful remedy for treating urinary tract infections for hundreds of years. In addition, goldenrod helps to nourish the kidneys, which can prevent kidney stones and ensure overall normal functioning.
2. Healthy Skin
The flowers and leaves of goldenrod can be used to treat wounds and burns (usually in the form of a poultice). You can make a natural rub out of these parts of the plant, dilute it with a carrier oil, and then apply it to sore, aching muscles and joints in addition to minor lacerations.
3. Help for Allergies and Colds
A tincture of goldenrod can be used to alleviate a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing that accompany seasonal allergies. Because goldenrod has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, it can also help to soothe and treats sore throats. Make a goldenrod tea with some honey to expel mucus and calm a sore throat. Inhaling the scent of goldenrod can also help to reduce congestion, allowing you to breathe easier.
4. Oral Hygiene
For centuries, the root and leaves of goldenrod were chewed on to provide comfort and relief from toothaches. Not only can this plant act as a mild analgesic for the mouth, but the essential oil can also improve the health of your gums and teeth. You can make a mouthwash or gargle by adding two to three drops of the essential oil to a glass of water and gargle a few times each day, just be careful not to swallow any of it (goldenrod essential oil should not be ingested).
5. Goldenrod Treats Fungal Infections
Goldenrod contains antifungal properties, and it has often been used to treat inconveniences such as yeast infections and athlete’s foot. Using the goldenrod essential oil can help relieve the itch and discomfort associated with these infections, as well as fight the underlying cause of these infections.
6. Soothes the Mind and Body
Goldenrod essential oil is a great oil to use if you’re feeling stressed or excited. You can also directly apply a small amount of the essential oil to the bottoms of your feet or to your neck and shoulders to alleviate feelings of anxiety and tension in your body. Diffusing goldenrod will not only lift your spirits but will also improve the smell of your room and your entire house.
Clearly, goldenrod represents much more than just a pretty face. In addition to looking and smelling nice, it also offers some pretty cool health benefits, some of which have been discussed. If you want to have resources to support your natural, healthy way of living, goldenrod is one herb that should be added to your stash.
How to Use Goldenrod
Goldenrod can be used in many different ways. When harvesting, either cut off the top section of the plant (on a sunny fall day or in full flower) or pull the entire plant (best done in late autumn or early winter).
Drying the Plant. Collect together the stalks (around 2 or 3) and tie in a secure bundle. Find a cool, shady room and hang, preferably in an upside down position, then leave until completely crispy and dry. As soon as you’re able to snap sections off, store the dried herb in a paper bag. You can make a delicious tea using your dried herb by simply pouring boiling water over one or two large spoonfuls, and leaving to brew for 30 minutes. Sweeten with honey or a natural sweetener of choice.
Drying the Root. Clean the roots off and be sure to get rid of all the flowers and dead leaves. Place in an upside down position over a wood stove to dry, or on a box or flat surface in a warm room and dry until brittle. You can make tea with the roots too, which can help to relieve aches and pains in the joints, and can be topically placed on a wound which is not healing so well.
Making Vinegar. Make a delicious and strong-tasting vinegar with goldenrod. Cut your goldenrod, filling a glass container or jar with the leaves, flowers, and stalks; then cover completely with room temperature apple cider vinegar. Put the lid on and close tightly. Make sure it is plastic only—metal lids will likely get eroded by the vinegar.
Making a Tincture. Take the entire plant, including the roots if possible, and cut into small pieces. Place the bits into a large container or jar and cover with add 100 proof vodka. Close the lid tightly and label. Allow the mixture to rest for around six weeks, to gain its full benefits. The tincture can then be used by the dropper as a cold remedy, helpful anti-inflammatory, or for stomach/digestive issues.
As with most herbs, some people can develop allergies or sensitivities. If you are allergic to this herb or any in its family, avoid or seek help from your physician/holistic practitioner before using. Other herbs and flowers in this family group include: daisies, marigolds, ragweed, and chrysanthemums, to name a few.
Those who suffer from hypertension should seek professional advice before using, as goldenrod has been shown to aggravate the condition. Another possible side effect is edema, so if you have a history or family history of issues with the heart or kidney, seek professional assistance before using goldenrod.