Goldenseal is a member of the avocado family native to the rich, shady land of deciduous forests in North America. They grow from southern Quebec to northern Georgia and west to Missouri in the United States. It was harvested almost extinct in the mid to late 1800s and is now mostly grown on farms in the United States. Native Americans have revered this plant for its medicinal and cultural uses. Its roots and leaves have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases, especially those related to infection or inflammation. Today goldenseal is ranked among the most popular herbal remedies worldwide with many health benefits. These plant-derived teas, herbs, or capsules are used to treat colds, hay fever, digestive problems, gum pain, and skin problems. Goldenseal is also added to ear drops, feminine hygiene products, eyewash formulas, cold and flu medicines, allergy relief products, laxatives, and digestive aids.
1. The active ingredient in Goldenseal
✅ The ground dried stems (rhizomes) and the roots of Goldenseal are used to make teas, liquid extracts, tablets, and capsules as well as natural skincare products. The strong properties of the plant are mainly due to the berberine, canadine, and hydrastine alkaloid found in the highest concentrations. These phytochemical alkaloids create a strong astringent effect on mucous membranes. Therefore, Goldenseal has the effect of reducing inflammation and antiseptic.
2. Top health benefits of goldenseal
2.1 Health benefits of goldenseal: Improve digestive issues
✅ Goldenseal is an excellent digestive aid. They stimulate appetite, aid digestion, and encourage bile secretion. It contains berberine, which has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to treat dysentery and infectious diarrhea. This is not surprising because berberine has shown antibacterial activity against a number of pathogens that cause bacterial diarrhea such as E. coli and some bacteria that cause digestive diseases like H. pylori and C jejuni.
✅ Several test-tube studies suggest that goldenseal extract can fight H. pylori, a bacterium that can infect your stomach lining and is linked to the appearance of ulcers stomach.
✅ Gastroenteritis is a condition in which the stomach and intestines cause diarrhea and vomiting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), C. jejuni infection is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Goldenseal extract also appears effective against C. jejuni bacteria.
2.2 Health benefits of goldenseal: Improve immune system and Anti-infection
✅ Goldenseal is often found in herbal remedies for allergies, colds, and flu. This is because of its natural antibiotic ability and immune booster. Scientific research shows that this herb can boost immune function. They are often applied to increase antigen-specific antibody production. A product containing this plant is a great natural cure for bronchitis.
2.2.1 Health benefits of goldenseal: Treating colds and other upper respiratory infections
✅ Goldenseal is a common natural treatment for upper respiratory infections, including the common cold. Cell and animal studies show that berberine, one of the main active compounds in goldenseal, can help fight bacterial and viral infections. Goldenseal is often combined with Echinacea in over-the-counter herbal and cold medicines. Echinacea is a plant that is also native to North America and is traditionally used to treat infections, including the common cold.
2.2.2 Health benefits of goldenseal: Treatment of urinary tract infections
✅ Goldenseal is a popular herbal remedy for urinary tract infections. Cellular studies show that berberine, one of the main active compounds in goldenseal, can protect your body against various types of bacteria and fungi. For example, berberine can prevent bacteria from attaching to the wall of your bladder, potentially preventing or helping to treat a UTI. Berberine is also thought to keep Candida albicans from no multiplying too much. Candida is a fungus that naturally exists in the human body. When present in normal amounts, Candida has no health problems, however, when present in excessive quantities, this fungus can cause vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush, skin rashes, and urinary infection.
2.2.3 Health benefits of goldenseal: Against chlamydia or herpes
✅ Chlamydia and herpes are some of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. When left untreated, Chlamydia can cause various complications, including infertility. Furthermore, babies born vaginally with mothers infected with chlamydia are at higher risk for pneumonia and vision problems. Meanwhile, Herpes is a viral infection that causes blisters on the skin or mucous membranes of the lips, mouth, or genitals. It can be transmitted through oral or sexual contact.
✅ A handful of older studies suggest that berberine, one of the main active compounds in goldenseal, can help treat herpes and chlamydia infections. They also proposed that plants containing berberine could help prevent the herpes virus from multiplying. One particular study observed that goldenseal mixed with myrrh and thyme helped treat cold sores.
2.2.4 Health benefits of goldenseal: Treatment of acne and psoriasis
✅ Plants containing Berberine such as goldenseal may benefit your skin. Old test-tube studies suggest that berberine, one of the main active compounds in goldenseal, may help fight P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne. Additionally, animal studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of berberine may help treat skin conditions like psoriasis.
2.2.5 Health benefits of goldenseal: Good for oral health
✅ Goldenseal is also commonly used as a mouthwash or a toothpaste to treat sore throat. They help protect gum health and reduce sores. Goldenseal mouthwash can help reduce inflammation and eliminate any nasty bacteria.
2.3 Health benefits of goldenseal: Other benefits
- Lower cholesterol: Studies in rats and hamsters show that berberine in goldenseal can help lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. This helps reduce the risk of the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and prevent heart diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
- Controlling diabetes: Studies show that berberine, one of the main compounds in goldenseal, can reduce intestinal absorption, reduce insulin resistance, and promote insulin secretion, which can help reduce blood sugar. Further research shows that the hypoglycemic effect of berberine may be as effective as that of metformin, a popular diabetes drug. Moreover, the combination of berberine with hypoglycemic agents seems to be more effective than just taking hypoglycemic agents.
3. Notes when using Goldenseal
When using Goldenseal to improve health conditions such as inflammation, infection … you should keep the following in mind:
- Goldenseal is considered safe when consumed for short periods of time at recommended dosages. However, you may experience some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, or irritation of the skin, mouth, and throat.
- Women during pregnancy, lactation, or children should consult a doctor before use.
- Goldenseal and berberine may increase the risk of bleeding, especially while you are taking anticoagulants including warfarin (Coumadin®), aspirin.
- This herb can cause hypoglycemia. Therefore, you should be cautious when used together with other hypoglycemic drugs.
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