Herbal Supplements
Golden Seal – A Healer from Cherokee

Goldenseal is a small (from 6 to 12 inches high) perennial herb, with a horizontal bright yellow root (¼ - ¾ inch thick), erect flowering stem and dark green hairy leaves. A solitary, small, white flower, produced in April, falling away immediately after expansion. The fruit is a fleshy crimson berry, which is ripe in July, has much the appearance of a Raspberry, but is not edible. Botanists refer it to the Buttercup family.

The name Goldenseal this plant gained because of yellow scars left on the rhizome by the stem that burst forth every spring. These scars look like the imprint of an old-fashioned letter seal. The genetic name of the herb is Hydrastis from two Greek words signifying 'water' and 'to accomplish'. Goldenseal is also known as Yellow Root, Orange Root, Yellow Puccoon, Ground Raspberry, Wild Curcuma, Hydrastis Canadensis, Turmeric Root, Indian Dye, Eye Root, Eye Balm, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root or Warnera.

Optimal conditions for its growth are shade and rich moist soil, so shady woods and edge of wooden lands are common places for Goldenseal. This native North American plant is the most abundant in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and New York states and in Ontario, Canada.

Golden Seal was used by Cherokee Indians as a dye (for clothing and weapons), stain (for faces) and as a medicine (for skin diseases, arrow wounds and sore, inflamed eyes). In 1760 it was first introduced into England by Miller under the name of Warnera (after Richard Warner of Woodford), and later was grown at Kew, Edinburgh and Dublin. Hydrastis Canadensis was listed from 1860 to 1926 in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. Goldenseal’s use among North Americans flourished after the Civil War as it was an ingredient in many medicines. It has been collected to the point of near extinction. Goldenseal supplies are diminishing and most is now wild crafted, making herbal supplements costly.

The part used is root, other parts of the plant are poisonous. The root contains alkaloids (berberine – 3-4%, hydrastine – 2-4%, canadine), calcium, iron, manganese, albumin, fatty matter, resin, lignin, starch, sugar, volatile oil, vitamins A, C, E and B-complex.

Among known Goldenseal’s actions are: hepatic, alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, laxative, expectorant, emmenagogue, oxytocic. It may prevent further symptoms from developing and enhance the influence of other herbs which used with.

Yellow Root is a broad spectrum herb so is widely used today in pharmaceutical industry, for production of cosmetics and as food supplement. It’s available as a powder, tincture, capsules, tea, body lotion, eardrops or eyewash.

Long-term use (more than 2 weeks) and high doses of Golden Seal are not recommended. The safe amount for use internally is 250 – 500 mg daily. Pregnant women, children under two and people with high blood pressure should not use the herb at all.

More About Golden Seal...

The Health Benefits of Goldenseal

For the most part exactly such active compounds of Goldenseal as alkaloids determine its influence on organism. The herb is considered to be a strong ...

Sharon B
2014-08-30 21:46:37
I mix one capsule G.seal with a tablespoon of red vinegar, saturate a bandage and then apply to bite site. It really makes the redness disappear quickly. I use it for bites that look like spider bites. Also use it for my toes if they get itchy.   In general red vinegar is great for itchy bites.
2012-12-28 01:31:50
Make a thick paste by adding just a drop of water. I used this once on a ring worm on my ankle, in three days it was gone. Also use this for herpes simplex breakouts on my lips, reduces the healing time. goldenseal lowers blood sugar so be careful here. An older friend used this as a gargle for sore throat,very bitter. Add a little salt to goldenseal tea this take away some of the bitterness, then gargle. Natural anti-biotic, very good all around herb
2012-08-04 06:43:45
Hi! I like the historical info and the medical too--informative. I've also read some other really good sites on various health conditions to work with and sort of how to use it. Right now I'm using it as a tincture internally--about 1/4 teaspoon 4 times a day and also as a poultice mixed with Slippery Elm powder for a gooey but excellent healer of an infected bug bite and sinus flareup on my left cheek. Within two days of doing 2 poultices a day and the internal Goldenseal the infection is better but I still have fluid around the 1" infection site and a flare up of Fibromyalgia/inflammation throughout my body BUT the fluey headaches are better and I'm not as tired today (third day of treatment). I hope to hike today which I miss immensely the last couple of days due to being ill with this infection. Hope this helps someone! would love to hear of any good herbs that helped you with inflammation. But NOT Boswellia--it gave me severe Irritable bowel syndrome flareup and MORE stomach acid than I already had excess of!!! Thanks! Take care!
2010-03-02 12:20:59
Golden Seal has kept me cold and or flu less for the last fourteen years. I have not had a cold or flu since 1996. But do your research!
Like to know
2009-01-07 15:40:08
What would happen if you use Golden Seal and have high blood pressure?
2008-01-23 03:27:29
2007-01-30 20:03:43
It's funny this site doesn't mention detox...... because I found it using the 'tag' detox
2006-08-13 03:08:09
The list of goldenseal's actions, my dictionary does even list some of the words you use. Yes, I do need a new dictionary, but more common terms would be nice. thanks
2006-08-01 10:01:14
I found your artical to be very informative. Thank you
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More About Golden Seal...

The Health Benefits of Goldenseal

For the most part exactly such active compounds of Goldenseal as alkaloids determine its influence ...

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