8 Ways To Use Goldenseal For Your Dog

goldenseal for dogs

Goldenseal is one of those plants that’s been an important part of herbal medicine for centuries. Here are 8 ways it can help your dog. You’ll be surprised at #4 and #6 when you see how goldenseal can address these common dog issues.

What Is Goldenseal?

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a perennial that blooms in early spring. And it’s native to North America. Goldenseal is rich in alkaloids that produce antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antimicrobial, astringent and antiparasitic qualities and stimulates the liver.

What Can Goldenseal Do?

Goldenseal is often added to ear drops, eyewashes, allergy relief products, laxatives and digestive aids. It’s used to address many conditions including inflammation and infections. Goldenseal is an appetite stimulant and repels insects.

Is Goldenseal Good For Dogs?

Goldenseal is a multi-purpose plant that’s good for your dog. And there are several ways to give it to him. It’s definitely something to have on hand in dried, powdered or tincture form.

Here are some ways goldenseal can help your dog.

8 Ways To Use Goldenseal For Your Dog

1. As An Antibacterial

Goldenseal contains the alkaloid berberine. It activates white blood cells to fight infection and strengthen the immune system.

That makes goldenseal useful against infection in the mouth, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. It can help control many common pathogens including streptococcus, staphylococcus and salmonella.  

2. For Urinary Tract And Yeast Infections

The berberine in goldenseal stops bacteria from sticking to the walls of your dog’s bladder and urinary tract. This stops infection from taking hold. In animals, goldenseal has successfully treated upper respiratory tract infections.Berberine is believed to limit the growth of Candida albican. This fungus often leads to yeast infections, skin rashes and UTIs.

RELATED: How to fight bladder infections…

3. For Diabetes Support

The berberine in goldenseal reduces blood sugar levels. Along with other positive effects, it reduces sugar absorption from the gut while increasing good bacteria. It helps the body break down sugar and decreases sugar production in the liver.

RELATED: Ways to manage diabetes in dogs…


Team Up Goldenseal With Echinacea. Goldenseal is often teamed up with echinacea to combine their anti-bacterial and immune-supporting properties. Combining them does not create a super herb with extra benefits … but it does provide the infection fighting advantages of both in one application.

RELATED: How to boost your dog’s immune system with echinacea…

4. Resolve Kennel Cough and Flu

Goldenseal has a soothing effect if your dog gets that dry hacking cough. At the first sign of a cough, give some to your dog as a tea. Goldenseal has the best results when it contacts his mucous membranes. Pair it up with echinacea to boost your dog’s immunity as he fights off kennel cough.

RELATED: Here’s why your dog doesn’t need a kennel cough vaccine…

5. As An Anti-inflammatory

Taken internally, goldenseal reduces inflammation for ulcers and irritations in the mouth, upper respiratory tract and eyes.

RELATED: More ways to fight inflammation in your dog…

6. For Tapeworm and Giardia

With its berberine content, goldenseal can kill tapeworms and the bacteria that causes giardia. Combine Goldenseal with garlic for even more antibacterial benefits.

RELATED: Try these natural remedies for giardia…

7. Use For Digestive Issues

Digestive issues and liver conditions benefit from goldenseal. It’s useful for treating loss of appetite and diarrhea. Berberine can protect against C. jejuni, which causes gastroenteritis … stomach inflammation that leads to diarrhea and vomiting.

RELATED: Simple home remedies to stop diarrhea…

8. Soothe Eye Infections And Conjunctivitis

A goldenseal eyewash helps inflammation and redness of the eyes. In addition, it can also soothe conjunctivitis from a bacterial or fungal infection. 

RELATED: Here’s how to manage your dog’s eye problems naturally…

Does Goldenseal Have Side Effects?

Goldenseal is helpful and safe but only use it for short periods of time. Once you see results, it’s time to stop using it. Oral use may alter your dog’s intestinal flora and over-stimulate the liver. High doses may also interfere with vitamin B metabolism. Use goldenseal for a week or so at a time, not for extended periods. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can arise from over-use.

Do not use goldenseal in pregnant, newborn or hypoglycemic dogs.

You should be aware that it you’re using goldenseal topically on your dog’s light colored fur, it can stain it bright yellow. 

Where to Find Goldenseal

When you buy goldenseal, make certain it’s from a cultivated organic source, not wildcrafted. Goldenseal is one of the most endangered medicinal herbs. If wildcrafting continues, goldenseal and its wonderful benefits will disappear from the planet. It’s a great idea to grow some goldenseal in your yard. It prefers shade and rich, well-drained soil. 


If you can’t find an organic source of cultivated goldenseal, Oregon grape root is a good alternative.

How To Use Goldenseal For Your Dog

The roots and leaves of goldenseal make teas, herbal extracts and capsules. The tincture is incredibly bitter so some dogs might not take it willingly.

Dried powder: Use 1 tsp per 20 pounds of your dog’s weight.

As a tea: Boil 1 tsp of goldenseal in a cup of water. Give 1/4 to 1/4 cup per 20 pounds per day.

Tincture: Give 5 to 10 drops per 20 pounds, 2 to 3 times per day.

Poultice: Make a poultice from 1-2 tsp of powdered root and apply goldenseal to dress wounds or ulcers.

As an eyewash: Make a tea from the dry root by simmering it in water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Next, apply it directly with a compress. Or add 10 to 20 drops to a saline solution and apply a few drops in the eye 2 or 3  times per day.

With so many benefits, goldenseal is a herb you should always have on hand for short-term issues and first aid emergencies.


Pang, Bing et al. Application of Berberine on Treating Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int J. Endocrinol. doi: 10.1155/2015/905749

Zhang, Yifei et al. Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2007-2404

Saeed, S. Herbal remedies for urinary tract infection. International Journal of Biology and Biotechnology (Pakistan). ISSN : 1810-2719 

Cenovese, Carlo, et al. Effects of a new combination of plant extracts plus d-mannose for the management of uncomplicated recurrent urinary tract infections. National Library of Medicine. DOI: 10.1080/1120009X.2017.1393587

Cwikla, C., et al. Investigations into the antibacterial activities of phytotherapeutics against Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni. Phytother Res. PMID: 19653313 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2933
Hughes, Christine, et al. Interactions Between Antiretrovirals and Natural Health Products. Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, 2010.

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