Goldenseal is an herb that's been used by humans for millennia. There is information on it being used as medicine going back to the Native Americans. Healers from that time mixed it with bear fat and used it as an insect repellent.
It was also used to treat wounds, ulcers, earaches, inflammations, sore eyes, stomach and liver problems. Plus there is data on remedies and concoctions being made from goldenseal roots.
They are used to treat cold and flu, as well as more serious conditions, including fever, pneumonia, high temperature and heart problems. Some even believed that the herb had the ability to fight tuberculosis.
The herb goldenseal came to Europe in the 18th century. Just a century later, its use became a lot more widespread, while in the 20th century, goldenseal was used in a medicine called the Golden Medical Discovery. Its creator was Dr. Roy Pierce.
Goldenseal is an incredibly useful plant, mostly due to its antiseptic and astringent properties. But because it is massively sought after, there has been a tendency of it disappearing from nature in recent years.
That is why when buying it from stores, it is good for it to be of cultivated and organic origin.
The usable parts of goldenseal are the roots and rhizomes. The 2 main alkaloids hydrastine and berberine are found in them, as well as notable levels of canadine.
The alkaloid hydrastine in goldenseal allows for use of the herb as an immune system booster. It is used to treat all kinds of infections of the upper respiratory tract, eyes and throat, that lead to colds and flu. Further, this component helps cure intestinal infections, helps ease digestion.
The herb alleviates pains caused by sciatica, muscle and joint pain, as well as some gynecological problems. Goldenseal has the ability to constrict blood vessels and stimulate autonomic nerves. It helps for easier recovery from infections of the urinary tract, as well as from skin problems.
Berberine, the other alkaloid, has an antibacterial and amoebicidal action. It is characterized by a slight laxative effect and anti-inflammatory action. It is used to treat diarrhea and cholera. Plus, it has a soothing effect on the central nervous system.
Despite its many benefits, one should not use goldenseal in excess. The alkaloids contained therein are exceptionally potent and the excess use of them can lead to constriction of small blood vessels.
This in turn leads to increased blood pressure. Plus, gut flora can be disrupted as well.