Goldenseal is a long-lived perennial that blooms in early spring. All parts of the plant may be used although the golden-yellow root is most commonly used.
Uses For Goldenseal
Traditionally, goldenseal was used as an appetite stimulant but its many uses go well beyond that. Overall, goldenseal is good for any inflammatory condition. It has antimicrobial, astringent and antiparasitic properties and also stimulates the liver.
Taken internally as an anti-inflammatory, goldenseal can be effective for ulcers and irritations in the mouth, upper respiratory tract, eyes and to a lesser degree, the digestive and urinary tracts. Goldenseal may also be applied externally to infections or ulcers as a poultice made from the powdered root.
Goldenseal can be useful for fighting bacterial infection in the mouth, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. It can disinfect against many common pathogens including streptococcus, staphylococcous and salmonella.
Eye Infections And Conjunctivitis
A goldenseal eyewash is particularly effective for inflammation and redness of the eyes and conjunctivitis secondary to bacterial or fungal infection. To make the eyewash, make a tea from the dry root by simmering it in water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature and apply it directly with a compress, or add 10 to 20 drops to a saline solution and apply a few drops in the eye two or three times per day.
Goldenseal may also be used for digestive issues and liver conditions. It’s useful for treating loss of appetite, diarrhea, influenza and infections.
Kennel Cough and Flu
Goldenseal can be given at the first signs of a cough. Give it together with echinacea for a punch! Goldenseal will soothe the mucous membranes while echinacea will help activate immune fighters.
Tapeworm and Giardia
Combined with garlic, goldenseal can help rid dogs of tapeworm and even giardia.
Goldenseal should not be used in pregnant, newborn or hypoglycemic dogs. Long term use should be avoided as it may alter the 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.
DRIED POWDER: Use 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds.
GOLDENSEAL TEA: Boil a gram 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.
When purchasing goldenseal, make certain it’s from a cultivated organic source, not wildcrafted. Goldenseal is one of the most endangered medicinal herbs and if wildcrafting continues, the earth will be devoid of this incredibly useful herb. It’s a great idea to grow some goldenseal in your yard. It prefers shade and rich, well-drained soil. If you can not find an organic source of cultivated goldenseal, Oregon grape root can also be an effective alternative.