Also known as- Hydrastis Canadensis, orange root, yellow root, Yellow Puccoon. Ground Raspberry. Wild Curcuma. Turmeric Root. Indian Dye. Eye Root. Eye Balm. Indian Paint. Jaundice Root, and Warnera.


Goldenseal is a woody herb native to northeastern North America, though it has been on the endangered plants list since 1991. The plant has a long history of medicinal use among the Native Americans of that region as an antibiotic and treatment for colds and stomach complaints. More recently, it has gained a reputation as an immune system enhancer, though more research is needed to confirm those claims. The active constituents in goldenseal include berberine, which has proven to be an effective broad spectrum antibiotic when extracted from the roots and leaves of the goldenseal plant.


hydrastine, berberine, berberastine, canadine, candaline, and hydrastinine, fatty acids, resin, polyphenolic acids, meconin, chlorogenic acid, phytosterins and a small amount of volatile oil

Parts Used


Typical Preparations

Tea infusion, tincture and sometimes found encapsulated.


Goldenseal leaves can be made into a tea which has a tonic effect on the internal organ and may reduce inflammation in upper respiratory and digestive infections and conditions. A decoction of goldenseal leaf is sometimes used as a douche to treat trichomonas and yeast infections, and is also effective to treat thrush and other gum infections.

Health benefits of Goldenseal include:

Treats Bowel Irregularity

The most common remedies using goldenseal are for issues of the gut and gastrointestinal tract. If you suffer from ulcers or irregular bowel movements, the anti-inflammatory capacity of goldenseal can help you get your system back on track. Ulcers, constipation, bloating and cramping are not only annoying but can also hint at or lead to serious health conditions. Its rootstock can help keep your gut healthy and strong.

Reduces Sinus Conditions

The powdered rootstock of goldenseal was often used as a form of snuff, and it acted to reduce inflammation and infection in the sinus cavities. The strong antimicrobial properties of goldenseal rootstock helped people quickly relieve sinus conditions and prevent ongoing illness with the use of this remedy. Now, the snuff form of goldenseal rootstock isn’t as commonly used, but the powdered form can still be purchased in capsule form.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

If you suffer from topical inflammation or joint pain, then a salve or cream using goldenseal root powder can be a rapid and effective solution. A small amount of this powder is all you need and you can topically apply it on the skin. Capsules and supplements can also help with internal inflammation, including lowering blood pressure and soothing the gut.

Skin Care

The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of goldenseal make it very effective for people suffering from skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne or dry skin. Skin infections come in many shapes and sizes, including bacterial, viral, and fungal, but topical salves and tinctures of goldenseal can quickly eliminate that inflammation and neutralize the infection.

Antiviral Activity

If you suffer from a weak immune system, adding goldenseal to your daily or weekly health regimen can boost your immunity and keep your respiratory and intestinal system clean. Prostate and vaginal infections can be particularly difficult and painful to treat, but it has long been used to treat sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea.

Eliminates Parasitic Issues

Parasitic worms are a major threat in places that don’t have access to clean water; the anthelmintic properties of goldenseal can help to starve the intestinal worms and cause them to die, where they will then be passed from the system via normal routes (it also acts as a laxative, making this elimination even easier).

Boosts Appetite

Increasing your appetite often means an increase in your metabolism, as your body is burning calories faster. Also, following an illness, injury or trauma, one’s appetite can often suffer, causing more physical and psychological repercussions. Goldenseal has been linked to boosting appetite for generations.

Prevents Allergy

Those who suffer from intense allergic reactions or are easily sent into a sneezing fit, as soon as spring comes around, may benefit from the anti-allergenic properties of goldenseal. The powder can reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes and prevent severe allergic reactions by calming the nervous system.

Reduces Fever

While a fever does signal that the body is fighting off an infection, ongoing fevers can exhaust the body, cause dehydration, and even damage the brain in extreme cases. Goldenseal can effectively lower fevers and reduce the strain on the body during prolonged illnesses.

Detoxifies the Body

Not only does goldenseal act as a laxative in many cases, but it is also a hepatic substance, meaning that it helps to clean out the blood and detoxify the body. The liver and kidneys do a whole lot of work for us and anything to make their jobs a bit easier is a good idea. The hepatic nature of goldenseal can help with circulation and reduce your risk of chronic blood-borne disease.

How Much Goldenseal To Take?

There is no definite answer to this question as all the doses depend on your health condition. Also, there is not enough research for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take it. The best way to find out is to consult with your doctor.


Because goldenseal contains berberine which stimulates contractions, it should not be used during pregnancy. It may also raise blood pressure and should not be used by those with hypertension.

This herb is sold by the ounce is Copyright © 2000-2023