Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is one of the most popular herbs sold on the American market. But why is it so popular? What is it used for? And where is the science to back it up? Answers to those questions are as ambiguous as the scientific literature on the plant. One of the big questions facing the future of goldenseal is whether there is enough supply, especially of wild-harvested root, to meet the demand. Western knowledge of goldenseal begins about 200 years ago. Benjamin Smith Barton's Essays Towards a Materia Medica of the United States (published in three parts from 1798 to 1804) is one of the first sources of information on goldenseal.
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Goldenseal root is a common remedy for cleansing the body. This herb helps you get rid of harmful toxins by increasing the elimination of fluids from the body. Goldenseal root is great for colds and flu also. Goldenseal root soothes the digestive system and helps lower the levels of acid, so that acid reflux and heartburn occur less often. Taking it after the heartburn begins will give fast relief. Goldenseal extract calms the central nervous system. It has sedating and relaxing effects, which could help with falling asleep faster and not waking up throughout the night. Goldenseal root combined with Echinacea cleanses vital organs and tissues, and improves your digestion. Goldenseal root boosts your immune system so your body can easily defend itself against invaders like bacteria before they have a chance to infect your body.
Goldenseal root does come with some side effects. These may include diarrhea, nausea, emotional changes, as well as throat, mouth, and skin irritation. Topical use will sometime cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight in the affected areas. It has also been reported to lower blood sugar levels. Since it has uterine contracting abilities, it should not be taken during pregnancy. Goldenseal extract should not be used with blood pressure medications. Goldenseal should not be taken without consulting your doctor first.
In tea as an infusion or, in capsules, ground up into a powder and mixed in a health drink, or as a tincture in liquid extract form.
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