Goldenseal: Medicinal plant and its therapeutic properties

Characteristics of the herb Goldenseal

Hydrastis (Hydrastis canadensis), also known as the Goldenseal, is a medicinal plant, native to Canada and the northeastern United States. The active components of the goldenseal are in their rhizomes and are powerful alkaloids. Among the most important are: Berberine, and hydrastine. Berberine is capable of killing various pathogens, such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi and harmful parasites. Therefore, the goldenseal is widely used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory infections and candidiasis. Other beneficial components are hydrastine, which has vasoconstrictor functions (decreases dilated blood vessels) and hemostatic (stop blood flow).

Therapeutic benefits of the Goldenseal


The goldenseal is effective against bacteria, fungi, streptococci. It promotes the elimination of bacteria, by inhibiting their ability to adhere to tissue surfaces.


Studies have shown, that it is effective in treating diarrhea caused by E. coli (traveler’s diarrhea), salmonella (food poisoning), and cholera.

Digestive system

Promotes the digestion of food, by increasing the production of secretions from the pancreas and liver. Also, prevents the appearance of stomach ulcers.

Sore throat

In those cases of throat irritated by angina, it may be useful to gargle with the infusion of goldenseal (dry plant), thanks to its astringent properties.

Urinary tract diseases

Its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties, are useful against urinary infections. Therefore, it may be suitable for bladder inflammation or cystitis.

Excessive bleeding

It has the ability to stop excessive vaginal bleeding (metrorrhagia), and treat premenstrual syndrome (dysmenorrhea).


The use of this plant (hydrastis) favors the recovery of the normal size of the anal veins, while preventing bleeding.

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See also: “Herbs

External use

Vaginal infections

Washings with the infusion of the dried plant, help to cure the infections of the vagina, for example, vaginal candidiasis.

Skin protection

The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of the goldenseal, make it very effective for people suffering from skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne or dry skin.

Side effects

Since the goldenseal contains very powerful alkaloids, it can cause toxicity. Therefore, do not take preparations of this plant for more than 20 days. Then, rest 15 days, to resume treatment.

It is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, as well as in cases of hypertension.

Goldenseal Supplements

Present in pharmacies and specialty stores, such as capsules, tincture, creams, drops or dried plant powder.

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