A popular herbal supplement, goldenseal grows wild in some areas of the US, but has recently been listed as endangered because of overharvesting. Now goldenseal is grown commercially to provide for its demand. It gained its name from the golden coloring that shows up in the scars near the stem base. Historically, it was used by Native Americans for a number of health conditions, including ulcers, skin diseases, and gonorrhea. The stems of the plant are often dried for use in teas, and extracts are used in capsules and tablets. This supplement has gained popularity because of the reputation as an immune system booster and an herbal antibiotic.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Canada, Blue Ridge Mountains and the deep wood mountain areas between Arkansas and Vermont
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Hypotensive, hypoglycemic, and antibiotic. It is used to treat colds, whooping cough, respiratory infections, stuffy nose, hay fever. It can also help with digestive problems, including infectious diarrhea, ulcers, stomach pain, intestinal gas, and constipation. It is also beneficial for skin conditions, such as rashes, herpes blisters, dandruff, cold sores, eczema, ringworm, and wounds. Fights cancer cells and treats vaginitis, eye infections, canker sores, gum irritation, gonorrhea, malaria, urinary tract infections, earache, and high cholesterol.
Goldenseal can be used topically as a wash
or as a poultice to cleanse wounds and treat various skin ailments. For oral ailments, it can be mixed with water and used as a mouthwash. The fresh plant may cause mucous membrane inflammation, and so it might be best used as a dried herb, powder, or tincture. It is often combined with echinacea for maximum immune-boosting benefits. Because of the bitter taste, many people prefer to take it in a capsule.