Goldenseal [ Hydrastis canadensis ]

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Hydrastis canadensis

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Goldenseal Hydrastis canadensis

Herbaceous Perennial

Medicinal properties and applications: flu, sore throat, canker sores, immune support, wounds, eczema, boils, sore breast, gum lesions, skin cancer, toothache, gum disease, hemorrhoids, prostate ailments, asthma, cancer, jaundice, colitis, diabetes, ulcers, blood builder and purifier, bladder, abdominal complaints, alcoholism, anti-biotic, anti- bacterial, anti-fungal, whooping cough, liver problems, eye sores, anti-inflammatory for gastric system, digestive problems, respiratory infections of the mucous membranes, protective to the gut, stop bleeding during childbirth, reduces menstrual bleeding, stomach ache, common cold, skin inflammations, mouthwash, as a dye.[1,2,3,6]


Phytochemical constituents: berberine ( which has antibiotic, anti-bacterial, immunostimulant, and anti-fungal properties ). "Berberine activates white blood cells called macrophages, which destroy viruses, bacteria, fungi, and tumor cells." (Swerdlow 2000 362); hydrastine, a gastric anti-inflammatory[1], berberastine, hydrastinine, tetrahydroberberastine, canadine, and canalidine, to name a few.[4]


Preferred soil: good drainage, humus-rich, fertile soil. (Swerdlow 2000 362)


Similar botanicals: Echinacea, Pau'Darco, Feverfew, Dandelion, Coltsfoot, Mullein, Chamomile, Ephedra, Ginger.

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                 This particular page is dedicated to one of my favorite medicinal plants of all time, Goldenseal. The leaves look a lot like both Cannabis and Blackberry leaves. It's a perennial plant meaning that it comes back to life every year. How convenient is that? On this page i'll talk about the well known scientific inquiry into the plant (phytochemistry), it's historic use by various cultures, and some pointers and preparation methods for use.

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This herb has a million and one uses. The Native Americans were huge fans of the plant, and discovered just how much medical potential this plant had. "They used the raw and mashed root to make a paste which was used for wounds, eczema, boils, sore breast, gum lesions, skin cancer, toothache, gum disease, and even hemorrhoids(yikes!). The root when dried and steeped was made into a tea for prostate ailments, asthma, cancer, jaundice, colitis, diabetes, ulcers, blood builder and purifier, bladder health, abdominal complaints, and alcoholism."(Rain 1990 131)


As you can see the raw root vs the dried root of Goldenseal were used for different things and in different ways. From my experience, roots are typically made into what's known as a decoction. A decoction is a tea, only it's boiled for an extended period of time. I want to share with you what I consider the best way to prepare a decoction, and to preserve the potency of the mixture in the end. Add a small drop of some oil to the water, like coconut oil. This prevents the mixture from boiling over. After researching many medicinal herbs you'll discover that a lot of them contain volatile constituents which can easily evaporate, rendering your medicine far less potent or potentially useless. For this reason, I suggest covering the mixture while it's boiling. The oil will prevent it from boiling over, and lowering the heat is also advised.

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Everyone tends to find their own use for different medicinal herbs. The more you use something and experiment with it in different ways, the more you'll discover. Just listen to your gut and learn to tune in to your own intuition. There are far more applications for something than you read in a single article or book. Each herb may have some use for you that you've never heard of before. You can be creative and construct your own infusions, which are combinations of herbs designed to work together in harmony. Native Americans were very in touch with intuition and experimentation, leading to the discovery of many medicinal herbs.


"Varro E. Tyler, h.D, and professor of pharmacognosy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, says to gargle with calendula tea or goldenseal tea to help canker sores heal. He suggest making the tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over one to two teaspoons of the dried herb. From there, let it steep for ten minutes, then strain it so that no plant material is left behind in the liquid. Use it three to four times daily as a mouthwash."(Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 231)

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How does Goldenseal work?

How does it work? Towards the top of the page you'll notice a section that list the phytochemical constituents of Goldenseal. Phytochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the pharmacological chemicals that plants create.[5] This is the scientific inquiry into the medicinal use of plants. You still have people out there though who think that there is no scientific inquiry into these herbs, yet they have not taken the time to look into it. They religiously claim that there's no science behind them. They are wrong.

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I want to share an infusion that I like to use for general illness and infections. Typically, it's used for the common cold, the flu, or other things like a hang over, or the feeling you get from smoking too many cigarettes the night before. Mix equal parts of Echinacea, Pau'Darco, Dandelion root, Mullein, Chamomile, and Ginger root, in a boiler. Add a small amount of coconut oil, and 1/4 of a shot of everclear. Make sure all of the ingredients are ground as fine as possible. Cover the mixture and boil for 20 minutes, lowering the heat to simmer immediately after it comes to a boil. Allow it to cool, and leave it covered until there is no more steam. I just keep drinking it until I feel better, and then have one to two cups after I feel better.

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The combined properties of all of these herbs makes what I like to think of as a "super medicine". They are all very powerful on their own, yet now we are dealing with a very large number of pharmacological alkaloids, all working in a synergistic manner to nourish and boost our biological circuitry so that it can perform, defend, and heal at an optimal rate. The Ginger root increases the digestion of the alkaloids from the other herbs, because that's what it's well known for, improving digestion. The Chamomile helps with aches and pains and many other things, according to what research suggest. All together, this mixture is mind boggling, and I'm confident anyone will be impressed.

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INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR BOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE USE OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FIRST)! STATEMENTS AND ITEMS ARE NOT EVALUATED OR APPROVED BY THE FDA.

References:

[1] Swerdlow, J. L. (2000). Nature's medicine: Plants that heal. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.

[2] Rain, M. S. (1990). Earthway. New York: Pocket Books.

[3] Gottlieb, B., & Dollemore, D. (1995). New choices in natural healing: Over 1,800 of the best self-help remedies from the world of alternative medicine. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale Press.

[4] Weber HA, Zart MK, Hodges AE, et al. (December 2003). "Chemical comparison of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) root powder from three commercial suppliers". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51 (25): 7352–8. doi:10.1021/jf034339r. PMID 14640583.

[5] Phytochemistry. (2016, July 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:47, July 26, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phytochemistry&oldid=728083047

[6] Bouncing Bear Botanicals

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