Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
Goldenrod grows to a height of two or three feet tall. It has clusters of tiny golden flowers at the top and medium sized leaves. Native to Europe, the herb has spread to most countries in the world. It has the ability to crossbreed with other plants, and this has resulted in over 130 recognized varieties of the plant in the US alone. While many think that this herb causes hay fever, in fact the pollen grains are transported by insects instead of the wind. They are heavier than the pollen grains of ragweed and other plants that depend on the air to spread pollen.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Goldenrod is used to treat bladder and kidney stones, infections and other urinary problems. It is sometimes added to cough medicine and has been used for rheumatism. It is a mild diuretic. This herb has also been used for arthritis, allergies, colds and flu, along with sore throats and laryngitis. Historically, it has been used for gout, diabetes, hemorrhoids, prostate problems, asthma, tuberculosis and enlarged liver.
Externally Goldenrod is used topically to help slow-to-heal wounds, ulcers, sore throats, insect bites and oral yeast infections. This herb has also been used for eczema. It is beneficial to mucous membranes and can be used as a gargle for the mouth when inflammation is present. An infusion can be used to wash oily skin or added to a bath to tone skin.
Above ground parts The parts that grow above ground are harvested during flowering and used medicinally.
Do not use goldenrod if you have an acute case of kidney stones, a damaged heart or if you are pregnant. Contact dermatitis can happen if you are sensitive to the herb and it comes into contact with your skin. There are no known drug interactions, and it is generally considered to be a safe herbal remedy.
Preparation and Dosage
Goldenrod is traditionally taken as an herbal tea, but is also available in capsules or as an extract.
For an herbal tea, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried goldenrod in 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain and drink the tea. Take this three times per day. This tea can also be used as a gargle three times per day. For a liquid extract, take 0.5 to 2 ml two or three times per day. For tincture, take 2 to 4 ml two or three times per day.