Have you seen the soft golden brush stalks along the road, in fields, and popping up in the tree lines of your yard?
Most people mistake it for ragweed — the culprit of severe allergies during the fall — but it is actually goldenrod.
Goldenrod is an herb that, according to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “has been used to treat tuberculosis, diabetes, enlargement of the liver, gout, hemorrhoids, internal bleeding, asthma, and arthritis. In folk medicine, it is used as a mouth rinse to treat inflammation of the mouth and throat.”
In fact, the word “solidago” from the scientific name of goldenrod (Solidago canadensis or Solidago virgaurea) means “to make whole.”
As with any treatment, it’s important to check first with your doctor to make sure goldenrod is safe and will not interact with prescriptions or other herbal supplements you are taking. A qualified health provider trained in botanical medicine is a good person to seek guidance from when adding herbal supplements to your diet.
While more studies are needed to determine goldenrod’s effect on inflammation, preliminary studies show promising results.
For instance, when rats were treated with a supplement containing goldenrod, aspen tree, and ash tree extract, researchers found significant reduction in the inflammation of injured cells. Similarly, this same supplement combo in humans was found to reduce back and knee pain.
Important note: Never use herbal supplements on open wounds.
Support Urinary System Health
In Europe, goldenrod is often used as a means of supporting urinary system health.
Goldenrod acts as a diuretic, increasing urine flow, potentially flushing out harmful bacteria in the urinary tract and thus supporting urinary system health. Because of this, it’s advised to drink plenty of water if adding goldenrod as an herbal supplement.
Additionally, some studies have shown an improvement in overactive bladder in folks who took daily goldenrod extract.
Because of its diuretic nature, it’s important to talk to your doctor first before taking it, especially if you are on any diuretic medications already.
Additional Health Benefits
And that’s not all…
According to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “A few animal and test tube studies suggest goldenrod may help … relieve muscle spasms, fight infections, and lower blood pressure. It does seem to act like a diuretic, and is used in Europe to treat urinary tract inflammation and to prevent or treat kidney stones. In fact, goldenrod is often found in teas to help ‘flush out’ kidney stones and stop inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.”
How to Take Goldenrod
Goldenrod is available as an herbal tea, liquid extracts, and pills. Remember… consult your doctor before taking goldenrod, since it can interact with other prescriptions and supplements you may be taking.