17 benefits of Goldenseal (Orangeroot)

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17 benefits of Goldenseal (Orangeroot)

Goldenseal Quick Facts
Name: Goldenseal
Scientific Name: Hydrastis canadensis
Origin Canada and the eastern United States
Colors Crimson
Shapes small, fleshy, oblong, berries
Taste Bitter taste (Root)
Health benefits Good for Heart and Lower Cholesterol
Goldenseal botanically known as Hydrastis Canadensis is a member of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Apart from Goldenseal it is also known as Yellow Root, Orange Root, Yellow Puccoon, Ground Raspberry, Wild Curcuma, Turmeric Root, Indian Dye, Eye Root, Eye Balm, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root and Warnera, hydrastis.  It is a perennial herb native to the southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. Over harvesting and loss of habitat have reduced the availability of wild goldenseal, but the plant is now grown commercially in the United States, mainly in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The name of this plant is due to its golden colored roots that are used to treat a range of human ailments. Normally the plant is distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted root stock. The dried root and rhizome are used in herbal medicine. Apart from its medicinal uses they are also dried and used to make teas, extracts, tablets, or capsules.

Plant Description

Goldenseal is a slow-growing small perennial herbaceous plant about 1 ft. (30 cm) tall. It is found growing naturally in rich, densely shaded, deciduous forests and prefers a good rich moist loamy leafy soil in shade or partial shade. It also prefers a sandy, acid to neutral humus-rich soil. The plant is distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted rootstock. Stem is 6 to 12 inches high, erect, cylindrical, hairy, with downward-pointing hairs, purplish above ground and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome.


Leaves are large (up to 30 cm wide), usually with five lobes. Prominently-veined and wrinkled, dark green, hairy leaves, placed high up, the lower one stalked, the upper stalk less, roundish in outline, but palmately cut into 5 to 7 lobes, the margins irregularly and finely toothed. There is one solitary radical leaf on a long foot-stalk, similar in form to the stem leaves, but larger, when full-grown being about 9 inches across. Leaves can span 3 to 12 inches in diameter and 3 to 8 inches in length.

Flower & Fruit

Flower is solitary, terminal, erect, and small with three small greenish-white sepals, falling away immediately after expansion, no petals and numerous stamens. Flowering normally takes place from April to May. Flower later develops into small, fleshy, oblong, crimson berries, tipped with the persistent styles and containing up to 30 hard black, shining seeds.


Goldenseal has a long recognized history for use as a medicinal plant among the native people of the northeastern United States. The Cherokee used it for treatment of cancer, “general debility,” “dyspepsia”, to improve appetite and as a tonic and wash for local inflammations. The Iroquois made a decoction of roots for treatment of whooping cough and diarrhea, liver trouble, fever, sour stomach and gas and as an emetic for biliousness. They also prepared a compound infusion with other roots for use as drops in the treatment of earache and as a wash for sore eyes. Mixed with bear’s grease it was used as an insect repellent. Native people also valued the yellow roots as a stain and dye. Nowadays it is grown throughout the world because of its medicinal value.

Health benefits of Goldenseal

Goldenseal consists of several natural medicinal qualities like antibiotic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these properties, goldenseal is a very good natural and generally safe option when dealing with a wide variety of illnesses. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of Goldenseal

1.Good for Heart

Native Americans traditionally used goldenseal for a variety of heart conditions. Research published in 2006 set out to study the effects of goldenseal on cholesterol levels. Berbetine, an alkaloids contained in goldenseal is already known to have cholesterol reducing effects and researchers were keen to find out whether the herb was as effective. The results were very positive with the researchers concluding that goldenseal root extract was an effective treatment to reduce levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.

2. Giardiasis Treatment

Giardia is a kind of intestinal parasite which can be destroyed by using Goldenseal. Giardiasis is an infection of the intestines with protozoa caused by water and water contaminated by Giardia protozoan. It is marked by nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and flatulence. Goldenseal is not only used to control Giardiasis in humans but also in dogs.

3. Antibacterial qualities

Goldenseal has been traditionally used to treat infections of the skin and a research published in 2012 confirms the effectiveness of this traditional use. Research was intended to examine the ability of goldenseal to combat the dangerous staphylococcus aureus virus better known these days as MRSA.

Research concluded that goldenseal possessed powerful antibacterial properties which were effective against MRSA. Because of these antibacterial qualities, goldenseal may prove effective in treating minor wounds, cuts and certain skin complaints.

4. Herpes Cure

Regular consumption of Goldenseal helps to boost the immune system and aids in curing Herpes infection. Prescription medicine can temporarily reduce and cure Herpes infection. But regular consumption of Goldenseal can cause long-time treatment of diseases caused by infection of Herpes virus. Herpes Infection does not come back once it is totally cured using Goldenseal.

5. For Respiratory conditions and Sinusitis

If you are suffering from the common cold, goldenseal is an effective natural remedy. This herb is known to boost the immune system. It consists of essential nutrients and other medicinal properties that help to shorten the periods of your illness before it becomes worse. The herb helps to soothe the mucous membrane so try using tincture as a gargle or just enjoy a cup of goldenseal tea to relieve sore throat. Apart from that it may also be effective in treating sinusitis because it can help loosen the mucus which is blocking up the sinuses.

6. Good for the Joints

Any kind of accumulation in the joints normally hampers their active and effective functioning. Research suggests that goldenseal has the probable to avoid fluids and other substances from accumulating in the joints. People suffering from joint issues can consume goldenseal, under medical supervision, to obtain relief from such conditions.

7. Impetigo Cure

Impetigo is a highly communicable skin ailment caused by infection of Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. Regular use of Goldenseal powder on Impetigo sores as a paste can be extremely beneficial in clearing up skin blemishes.

8. Lower Cholesterol

Berberine is already considered a unique cholesterol-lowering alkaloid. However, goldenseal, which contains berberine among other alkaloids, may be better at fighting cholesterol than isolated berberine itself. Due to its highly multiple bioactive components, goldenseal has shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and plasma cholesterol more efficiently.

9. Urinary Tract Infections

Goldenseal has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory nature so it can help to combat the discomfort caused by infections of the urinary tract. Consuming tea made from goldenseal help to reduce inflammation and may even help to flush away bacteria from the urinary tract. Some people also recommend a douche made with goldenseal for yeast infections of the vagina and goldenseal suppositories are also available commercially.

10. Liver Disease

No sufficient scientific evidence is found regarding the use of goldenseal to treat liver conditions but some people recommend that it is an effective treatment and its use in this regard is long. It normally works by cleansing and also encouraging healthy gland functions by increasing the flow of bile to the digestive enzymes.

11. Helps Overcome Anorexia

Goldenseal is considered one of the effective tools in treating Anorexia Nervosa. This eating ailment changes a person’s body image, which forces them to restrict their food consumption to lose weight. Goldenseal is a strong and effective digestive stimulant and tonic which is used to treat anorexia. This digestive tonic encourages digestion and supports the patient back to health.

12. Digestive Complaints

Goldenseal has been traditionally used to deal with a multitude of digestive complaints ranging from diarrhea to constipation and bloating. Goldenseal helps to stimulate the appetite making it a very useful supporter following sickness when appetite tends to be suppressed.

13. Fatigue

Goldenseal has the ability to boost the immune system; people have traditionally used goldenseal to deal with symptoms of chronic fatigue where fatigue is associated to illness or a poor functioning immune system.

14. Allergy Prevention

Goldenseal is quite beneficial for preventing allergy. People suffering from intense allergic reactions around can feel better because of the anti-allergenic properties of goldenseal. Goldenseal powder helps to ease inflammation of your mucus membranes and calm the nervous system to prevent severe allergic reactions.

15. Skin Conditions

Goldenseal either taken internally or applied topically might be an excellent treatment against a range of viral skin conditions as well as to treat warts, shingles and cold sores. Its antibacterial properties make goldenseal a great candidate for the treatment of these complaints.

16. Canker Sores

If you have suffered from canker sores you know how painful they can be. There are many natural treatments for this infection and goldenseal is among the best. It can be either taken internally or applied onto the sore directly to ease pain and fight the bacteria.

17. Warts Removal

Warts are actually small, benign bumps arising over the skin surface in regions such as the fingers, hands and feet. However, the presence of these outgrowths on the genitalia increases risk of skin, penile and cervical cancer. Goldenseal tincture, when used on the affected skin area as a moist compress, has been found to be effective in treating the lumps. Native Americans used Goldenseal as a cure for warts.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Goldenseal

  • Candidiasis: Drink Goldenseal root tea 2-3 cups a day OR has Goldenseal capsules.
  • Aphthous Ulcers: Add 2 tsp of dried Golden Seal to a cup of boiling water. Steep. Let it cool. Gargle 3-4 times a day.
  • Athlete’s foot: Add 6-8 tsp to a cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Apply it on the affected area thrice a day.
  • Purifying Blood: Prepare a tea. Drink thrice a day. OR Have Goldenseal Capsules.
  • Infections: Prepare a tea from dried herb. Drink twice a day.
  • Nose bleed: Put a tbsp of Goldenseal in two cups of water. Boil for five minutes. Let it cool. Put 2-3 drops in nostrils. Repeat this 2-3 times a day.
  • Small Pox: Prepare a decoction of the Goldenseal root. Add few drops of Linseed oil in it. Sponge the body with it.
  • Sinusitis: Powder dried Goldenseal. Boil quarter tsp powder in a cup of water. Drink it twice a day.
  • Hematoma: Prepare a decoction of Golden seal roots. Wash the affected area with this when bearably hot.
  • High Cholesterol: Prepare a root decoction of Golden seal. Consume 10 ml of it thrice a day.
  • Earache: Mix Golden seal tincture with olive oil in 1: 2 ratios. Use it as an Ear drops.
  • Prostatitis: Add 2 to 3 tsp of dried goldenseal flower in a cup of hot water. Boil it for 5 minutes on medium flame. Strain well. Drink twice a day.
  • Stye: Take dried Goldenseal and adds to boiling water. Strain. Apply the solution with the help of cotton ball on the infected area.
  • Oral Herpes: Mix 2 to 3 tbsp of goldenseal powder with 100 ml of water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Allow it to dry. Rinse it off with fresh water. It is an effective remedy to reduce oral herpes. OR Put 5 drops of Goldenseal in 1/4th glass of water. Drink it sip by sip to remove herpes from the mouth.
  • Blocked Fallopian Tubes: Put half tsp of Goldenseal powdered roots in one cup of water. Boil it. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drink thrice daily.
  • Bone Infection: Put half tsp of Goldenseal powdered roots in one cup of water. Boil it. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drink thrice a day.
  • Botulism: Extract the juice of Goldenseal herb. Take 1 tsp of this juice twice daily.
  • Chlamydia: Prepare a decoction, made of powdered Goldenseal herb and one cup of hot water. Drink it twice daily.
  • Gluten Allergy: Consume 1 tsp of Goldenseal extract per day.
  • Listeria: Prepare a tea, made of 1 tsp of Goldenseal root powder and one cup of water. Drink it twice a day.
  • Herpes: Mix few drops of water in Golden seal powder to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Leave it to dry. Repeat this treatment once a day for better outcome.
  • Aphthous Ulcers: Boil 1 to 2 tsp of Goldenseal in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. Strain it off. Gargle with this water three times a day to get the best results.
  • Salmonella: Prepare a tea, made by boiling 1 tsp of dried Goldenseal root in one cup of water. Strain and drink it twice daily.
  • Endometriosis: Boil Goldenseal root for 10 minutes. Drink this tea daily. OR Take 1 capsule of Goldenseal every day. OR Take 10 drops of mother tincture 2 times in a day.
  • Sexually transmitted Diseases: Goldenseal capsules can be easily available in the market. Take 1 capsule every day.
  • Uterine Fibroids: Have 10 drops of Goldenseal tincture 2 times in a day. Take it for 15 days.
  • Stomach Polyps: Have 1 capsule of Goldenseal every day.
  • Acne: Take 1 tsp of Chopped dried Oregon grape root, 1 tsp chopped Goldenseal root and 1 tsp of powdered Lavender. Mix them well. Boil in a glass of water for 20 minutes. Cool. Wash your face with it twice a day. OR Add 1 tsp of powered Oregon grape root and Goldenseal root in a few drops of water. Prepare a paste. Add 4-5 drops of Lavender oil. Apply on the affected area and let it dry. Rinse. Apply Aloe Vera gel if skin gets dry.
  • Flu: Grind 1/8th tbsp of Goldenseal, onion, basil, each. Take it with lemon water two times a day. OR Prepare a tea by adding basil, Ginger. Have two times a day.
  • Blurred Vision: Take the leaves and the flower of Chickweed, Barberry, Marigold, Goldenseal, Oregon grape, Eyebright, Cornflowers. Prepare an infusion. Let it cool. Use as an eyewash 2-3 times a day.
  • Menstrual Disorders: Grind equal quality of Goldenseal and wake Robin together. Take one tsp with lukewarm milk at night.
  • Itching: Take equal amount of goldenseal and witch Hazel. Grind them together. Add little water to make a paste. Apply on the affected part for 20 minutes and wash.
  • Sore throat: Put two chopped Parsley leaves, 2-3 clove, one tbsp powdered myrrh, ¼ tsp of powdered Goldenseal in one glass of boiled water. Strain. Drink decoction 2-3 times a day.
  • Cuts: Make a paste by adding equal amount of Myrrh and Goldenseal. And apply.
  • Chicken Pox: Prepare a decoction by taking equal amount of roots of Burdock, Goldenseal and yellow dock. Sponge the whole body with this water.
  • Small Pox: Take Burdock root, yellow dock root and goldenseal in equal amount. Prepare a tea. Have a bath with that tea.
  • Sinusitis: Take Echinacea root and goldenseal root in equal proportion. Powder them together. Boil 4 pinches of powder in a cup of water. Have it twice a day.
  • Chest Congestion: Mix half tbsp of dried yarrow and goldenseal. Boil in a cup of water for 5-7 minutes. Drink warm.
  • Mononucleosis: Take one tsp each of Ginseng Korean root powder, Cayenne, Burdock root and Goldenseal root. Boil it in two cups of water till reduces to half. Strain and let it cool. Drink it twice daily.
  • Myeloma: Have Goldenseal and Echinacea extract, half tsp diluted with water daily.
  • Nickel Allergy: Prepare a decoction made of Yellow Dock root, Burdock root, and Goldenseal root. Wash the affected area with it.

Other Traditional uses and benefits of Goldenseal

  • Goldenseal is a traditional medicine of the North American Indians and is still widely used in Western herbal medicine.
  • It is appreciated in treating disorders of the digestive system and mucous membranes and is also extremely useful in the treatment of habitual constipation.
  • It is said to be antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic, laxative, stomachic and tonic.
  • It is used mainly in the treatment of disorders affecting the ears, eyes, throat, nose, stomach, intestines and vagina.
  • An infusion of the root is used externally as a wash for skin diseases, vaginal infections, gum diseases etc.
  • Catawbas used the boiled root to treat jaundice, an ulcerated stomach, colds, and sore mouth; they also chewed the fresh or dried root to relieve an upset stomach.
  • Kickapoo used goldenseal as an infusion in water to treat eyes irritated by smoke caused by burning the prairie in the autumn.

Other Facts

  • A yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant.
  • The pounded root is smeared on the body to act as an insect repellent.
  • Goldenseal fruit has the appearance of a Raspberry, but is not edible.


  • The whole plant is poisonous.
  • Do not use by babies or patients with cardiovascular disease, epilepsy or coagulation problems.
  • Goldenseal can irritate the skin, mouth, throat, and vagina. It may also cause an increased sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Goldenseal may interfere with some medications. If you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, ask your doctor before taking goldenseal.
  • Side effects of goldenseal may include “digestive complaints, nervousness, depression, constipation, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, stomach cramps and pain, mouth ulcers, nausea, seizures, vomiting, and central nervous system depression.
  • High doses may cause breathing problems, paralysis, and even death.
  • Long-term use may lead to vitamin B deficiency, hallucinations, and delirium.
  • It may cause brain damage to newborn babies if given to them directly or if taken by their breastfeeding or pregnant mothers.
  • It may affect blood pressure randomly because it contains several different compounds that have opposite effects on blood pressure.

Recommended Use of Goldenseal

Goldenseal tea could be brought from the local health store and online. The each brands label must be read to know about the recommended dosage. It is recommended to take

  • 4-6 grams of goldenseal root and rhizome in the form of capsule or tablet form.
  • 2 milliliters on 2 ounces of water or juice is the recommended dosage 3-5 times in a day.

The use of goldenseal should not be used for more than three weeks along with the two weeks break between each use. The instructions provided in Goldenseal should be followed properly.

















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