Goldenseal : This woodland perennial is related to the buttercup and is also known as yellow root, ground raspberry and Indian turmeric. You can see clearly why one of its common names is yellow root. The roots are bright yellow – which is one reason it is also referred to as Indian turmeric.
Turmeric has a bright yellow root with super ant-inflammatory properties, which I covered in a previous column. Goldenseal is a potent anti-inflammatory as well. The roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes, and the berries somewhat resemble raspberries, hence the third nickname I mentioned – ground raspberry. However, you won’t see the little red berry it produces until summertime.
It also has a delicate white and yellow flower and green jagged leaves. The knotted yellow roots, of course, grow underground. Overharvesting and endangerment of this wonderful plant have occurred because of its many amazing healing properties. Make sure to harvest sustainably and only take what you need.
Here are some of the many possible health benefits of adding goldenseal to your home apothecary of natural medicines: treats ulcers, sinus infections, gastric disorders, dysentery, eye infections, colds, acne, canker sores, and UTIs; detoxifying, prevents allergies, reduces risk of cancer & disrupts cell growth in melanoma, improves bladder health, boosts the immune system, improves heart health, assists the lymphatic system, improves liver function & detoxes the liver, helps treat gingivitis, hydrates dry skin, antibacterial, antifungal, balances blood sugar, treats muscle spasms, antiviral, supports wound healing, and improves respiratory tract health.
A mouthwash for sore gums, mouth and throat can be made with the tincture or the powder. Dilute a small amount with water and swish with this mixture several times a week. Goldenseal can be used in tincture, powder or capsule form. The dry, powdered root can be made into teas or poultices for topical applications. I recommend Frontier Co-op Brand goldenseal powder.
It should only be taken for short periods and not used continually. Use it to treat certain conditions for a week or two and then take a break for at least a week at a time.
Be Well and God Bless You.
By Jennifer Wimmer