Also called yellowroot or eyeroot, Goldenseal medicinal uses are possible because this plant is a natural antibiotic and tonic which is thought to support the immune system. It is frequently used in conjunction with Echinacea and has been a common folk medicine for many years, originally used by American Indians to treat eye, skin, inflammatory and infectious ailments.
Goldenseal can also be applied to canker sores and other skin conditions, as well as being used as a mouth wash in order to eliminate bad breath. Herbalists have called goldenseal a mucous membrane “alterative”, i.e. it reduces or increases mucous secretion depending on whether the body requires more or less secretion.
Benefits of Goldenseal
In general, goldenseal does not produce antagonistic side effects when taken in traditional dosage amounts. At one time, goldenseal was mistakenly thought to prevent detection of illegal substances in urine analyses necessary for employment or other reasons. However, this urban legend was formulated out of an old chemical reaction that was explained in a book published in 1900 by the herbalist John Lloyd and has since then been refuted by clinically produced evidence. Goldenseal medicinal uses are just one of the many benefits of offered by this broad-spectrum plant. It also contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B-Complex
However, as a berberine-containing plant, goldenseal should not be taken while pregnant since it has been correlated with kernicterus in newborns, a rare neurological condition which causes some newborns to experience severe jaundice. Normal doses of goldenseal consist of 250 to 500 milligrams of solid goldenseal, while dried root goldenseal doses are from 500 to 1000 milligrams.
Evaluation of Goldenseal
While there is no clinical evidence that support the effectiveness of goldenseal is effective, most herbal extracts contain an antimicrobial element which may enhance their effects as treatments for skin or mucous membrane disorders. Because the variety of goldenseal uses experienced an upsurge of popularity in the 1990’s there were worries that extreme overharvesting may cause it to become a botanical endangered species. However, this was averted by the intervention of the U.S. government and now goldenseal is not considered endangered.