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  • Goldenseal

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    Also indexed as:Hydrastis canadensis
    Goldenseal: Main Image© Steven Foster
    Botanical names:
    Hydrastis canadensis

    Parts Used & Where Grown

    Goldenseal is native to eastern North America and is cultivated in Oregon and Washington. It is seriously threatened by over-harvesting in the wild. The dried root and rhizome are used in herbal medicine.

    • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
    • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
    • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

    Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

    For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

    This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

    Used for AmountWhy
    Canker Sores
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal has been used historically as a mouthwash to help heal canker sores.
    Chronic Candidiasis
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal contains berberine, an alkaloid with antibiotic and antifungal activity that also been shown to help relieve the diarrhea seen in some people with chronic candidiasis.
    Cold Sores
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including goldenseal have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.
    Common Cold and Sore Throat
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal root has antimicrobial and mild immune-stimulating effects. It soothes irritated mucous membranes in the throat, making it potentially useful for sore throats.
    Conjunctivitis and Blepharitis
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal contains berberine, an antibacterial constituent that has been clinically studied for eye infections.
    Diarrhea
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Due to of its supposed antimicrobial activity, goldenseal has a long history of use for infectious diarrhea. Its major alkaloid, berberine, has been shown to improve infectious diarrhea.
    Gastritis
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal is considered an herbal antibiotic and has been traditionally used for infections of the mucous membranes. One of its active ingredients appears to slow H. pylori growth.
    Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal is a digestive stimulant widely used in traditional medicine in North America.
    Infection
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
    Influenza
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal used in combination with wild indigo has been reported to have immune-enhancing effects.
    Parasites
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Berberine is derived from several plants, including goldenseal. Studies have shown that berberine kills amoebae and can be used successfully to treat giardia infections.
    Type 2 Diabetes
    1 gram per day of berberine for two months 1 star[1 star]
    Preliminary research with berberine (an active compound in goldenseal) for two months lowered blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
    Urinary Tract Infection
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal contains berberine, an alkaloid that may prevent UTIs by inhibiting bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urinary bladder
    Vaginitis
    Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
    Goldenseal is antibacterial and may be effective against infectious vaginitis.

    Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

    Goldenseal was used by Native Americans as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. It was commonly used topically for skin and eye infections and has been used historically as a mouthwash to help heal canker sores. Because of its anti-microbial activity, goldenseal has a long history of use for infectious diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, and vaginal infections. Goldenseal is often recommended by herbalists in combination with echinacea for the treatment of colds and flu. Its benefits are most likely limited to helping ease the discomfort of a sore throat associated with these conditions. Goldenseal was considered a critical remedy for stomach and intestinal problems of all kinds by early 20th century Eclectic physicians (doctors who recommended herbs).1

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    The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.


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