Habitat & Cultivation : Goldenseal is found growing in the natural habitat of moist mountainous woodland areas in North America, thriving in soil covered with dead leaves. Unfortunately, due to overharvesting, instances of wild goldenseal have become exceedingly scarce. In 1997, it was officially classified as an endangered species, highlighting the urgency of using only cultivated sources. The propagation of goldenseal involves root division, with rhizomes from 3-year-old plants being unearthed in the autumn and naturally dried outdoors on fabric.
- Isoquinoline alkaloids (hydrastine, berberine, canadine)
- Volatile oil
- Bitter tonic
- Uterine stimulant
- Stops internal bleeding
- Alkaloids : Despite its esteemed medicinal reputation, goldenseal’s pharmacology has been relatively underexplored. However, it is established that the herb’s medicinal effects are primarily attributed to the presence of isoquinoline alkaloids.
- Hydrastine : Studies conducted in Canada during the late 1960s revealed that hydrastine has vasoconstrictive effects on blood vessels and triggers activity in the autonomic nervous system.
- Antibacterial : While the precise mechanism of action and the extent of effectiveness for this herb remain unclear, it has been observed that the combined constituents of the herb exhibit a more potent antibacterial activity compared to berberine alone.
- Berberine : Berberine possesses a bitter taste and exhibits antibacterial and amoebicidal properties. Recent studies have confirmed its potential to reduce detrimental blood fat levels and maintain stability in blood glucose levels.
- Canadine : Research shows that this alkaloid stimulates the muscles of the uterus.
Traditional & Current Uses
- Mucous membranes : Consensus among experts affirms that goldenseal is a powerful solution for conditions impacting the mucous membranes throughout the body, including those of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, stomach, intestines, and vagina.
- Countering infection : Utilized in a diluted infusion, goldenseal serves as an eyewash and a mouthwash for infected gums. Additionally, it proves highly effective as a wash or douche for addressing vaginal thrush and various vaginal infections. The infusion is also appreciated as a remedy for psoriasis.
- Digestive problems : Internally consumed, goldenseal promotes the secretion of digestive fluids, constricts the mucous membranes along the gastrointestinal tract, and moderates inflammation. However, caution is advised against prolonged use, as it can diminish the gut’s ability to absorb specific nutrients, particularly B vitamins.
- Gynaecological uses : Goldenseal is recognized for its capacity to alleviate excessive menstrual bleeding and is employed by herbalists and midwives to aid in preventing bleeding after childbirth (post-partum hemorrhage). However, it’s crucial to note that goldenseal stimulates the uterus, and as a result, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy.