Goldenseal is a powerful antiseptic (germ killer). Like echinacea, it is good for nearly every disease. Taken with any herb, it increases the tonic effects on the specific organs being treated.
Part Used: Rhizome
Properties: Alterative, antibiotic, antiseptic, emmenagogue, stomachic, tonic, and laxative
What it affects: Stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, eyes, and all mucus membranes
Preparation and Amount
Infusion: Steep powder until cold. Take 1-2 teaspoons 3-4 times daily.
Decoction: Simmer 15-30 minutes. Take 1-2 teaspoons 3-4 times daily.
Tincture: Take 20-90 drops (1/3 to 1 1/2 teaspoon) 3 times daily.
Powder: Take 2-5 #0 capsules (10-30 grains) 3 times daily or 2-3 #00 capsules (5 is average dose) per day.
Goldenseal is a powerful antiseptic (germ killer). Like echinacea, it is good for nearly every disease. Taken with any herb, it increases the tonic effects on the specific organs being treated. Add it when giving eyebright for the eyes, squaw vine for the female genito-urinary system, gotu kola for the brain, and cascara sagrada for the lower bowel. Add it to salves for the skin, douches for vaginal infections, and reducing hemorrhoids. It especially acts on mucus membranes and can be used for all catarrhal conditions, including those in the intestines. Used at the first sign of possible symptoms, it can stop a cold, flu, or sore throat.
Internally, goldenseal is good for alcoholism, allergies, asthma, bad breath, bladder diseases, bronchitis, canker sores, chicken pox, diabetes, eczema, hay fever, stomach ailments, heart weakness, herpes, indigestion, infections, inflammations, leucorrhea, liver problems, lymph congestion, measles, mammary and ovarian tumors and ulcers. It is a douche for vaginal infection. Used with cascara sagrada, it is a bowel tonic. As a retention enema, it will reduce swollen hemorrhoids. It is good for disorders affecting the prostate. Small doses will relieve nausea (morning sickness) during pregnancy, but see the warning below. Combine it with myrrh when treating ulcers of the stomach. For hemorrhoids and prostate problems, combine 2 parts of goldenseal and 1 part wild alum. It increases the effectiveness of insulin and strengthens the immune system. It reduces blood pressure, stimulates the central nervous system, regulates the menses, and decreases uterine bleeding.
Externally, goldenseal is used for burns, eye inflammations, herpes sores, mouth sores, ringworm, skin inflammation, tonsillitis and wounds. Use it with a toothbrush or as an antiseptic mouthwash for bleeding gums or gum infections. Use it as a gargle for tonsillitis and other throat problems. Goldenseal can be used on open sores, inflammations, eczema, ringworm, or itchy skin conditions. It is a specific for all kinds of mucus membrane problems. Snuffed up the nose, the powder is good for nasal congestion or catarrh. For ringworm, wash it with the tea, then sprinkle powdered root on it. For a soothing eyewash, mix it with boric acid (1 teaspoon powdered root and 1 teaspoon boric acid to 1 pint boiling-hot water); stir; let cool; and pour off the liquid. Add 1 teaspoon of the liquid to 1/2 cup of water for the eyewash.
Warning: Goldenseal is a powerful alkaloid and should not be overused. Two or three #00 capsules per day are safe and adequate for most conditions. Normally, do not use it more than a week at a time, and then switch to Echinacea or another antibiotic herb (myrrh, chaparral, pau d'arco). Excessive use diminishes vitamin B absorption, by killing certain intestinal bacteria. Over a prolonged period, use no more than 2-3 #00 capsules a day. Do not use large amounts during hypoglycemia. Those with high blood pressure or insomnia should not use it. Eating the fresh plant produces ulcerations and inflammation of mucus tissue.
Because large doses of goldenseal contract the uterus, women who have a tendency to miscarry should avoid the use of it unless, for morning sickness, it is used in this formula: Less than 1/4 teaspoon goldenseal, plus 1/4 teaspoon cloves; the powders taken in gelatin capsules are not to exceed 2 capsules per day and taken with spearmint tea.