Herbal Remedies Information - Goldenseal

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Herbal Remedies Information - Goldenseal
By: Mercedes Aspland

This article is part of a series giving information about herbs and their medicinal properties. We are going to look at goldenseal in this article. You will find out what this herb is, how you can use it and the conditions that could be helped by goldenseal.

What is Goldenseal?

Goldenseal is a perennial herb that is native to North America although it is rare in some places. It is actually from the same family of plants as buttercups and is used in Native American Medicine. The plant is known by a large number of different names and they include yellow paint root, orange root, eye root, Indian plant, tumeric root, eye balm, jaundice root, yellow puccoon, and ground raspberry. The plant mainly grows in shady woods or in damp meadows. Goldenseal usually grows to a height of about 18 inches and the stem and leaves are hairy and a deep green colour. The large palmate leaves are serrate, with five to seven lobes, growing near the stem top in nearly alternate pairs. The plant flowers in May and the flower is small and a green-white colour. The fruit is similar in appearance to a raspberry and the root is yellow and knotted.

How to use Goldenseal

It is root of the plant that is the best for medicinal purposes and should be picked in spring or autumn. In the shops you can buy a number of different types of remedies including tablets, tinctures and liquid extracts. However you can also prepare your own remedies and we have put some details below:

Eyewash - you can put an equal amount of powdered root and boric acid with boiling water. You should then cool and strain the mixture and store in a dark place. To use take a teaspoon and combine with half a cup of water to use as an eyewash.

Tea Infusion - add one teaspoon of powered root to a cup of boiling water. You could drink this as a warm tea or allow to cool and use as an infusion throughout the day.

Tincture - mix one part fresh herb with 3 parts alcohol and put in a sealed container in a dark place. You should then shake the mixture daily for a couple of weeks and then strain. Store in a dark bottle and it should be good for a couple of weeks.

Uses of Goldenseal

Many people will refer to Goldenseal and a cure all herb due to the fact that it has very wide reaching medicinal purposes. In particular it is great to help with digestion and to treat inflammation and infection in the respiratory tract as well as the digestive tract. It is also helpful with catarrhal conditions. It can also be used to control bleeding and so can be helpful for people with excessive menstruation and postpartum haemorrhage.

The herb is also thought to have antiseptic and diuretic properties which mean it can be used as a mild laxative. It is also useful as a treatment for peptic ulcers and to stimulate bile. The herb can also be used externally to treat a large number of different conditions and they include gum disease, vaginal infection, eczema, impetigo, conjunctivitis, inflammations of the ear, and possibly ringworm. Goldenseal can also help with treating diphtheria, tonsillitis, chronic catarrh of the intestines, typhoid fever, gonorrhoea, leucorrea, and syphilis.

Side Effects and Precautions

It is important that pregnant and breast feeding women should not take goldenseal as it can stimulate uterine contraction. People with high blood pressure should not take the herb and it should also not be taken for a long time. Taking it for three weeks and then having three weeks off can be a good way to take it.

Goldenseal can be a very valuable herb when used in combination with other herbs. In particular it can be useful when combined with Echinacea, mullein and chamomile.

This article has been supplied by alternative therapies directory. You can also find more information on our Herbal Medicine page.

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