What is Goldenseal Extract?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 March 2020
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Hydrastis canadensis, or goldenseal, is an herb that has been used for various medical ailments for hundreds of years. It has been known throughout the years by various names, such as yellow root, orange root, and ground raspberry. Goldenseal extract is made from the root of the goldenseal plant. Goldenseal capsules, tablets, tinctures, and teas are among the most popular herbal remedies.

Probably the first people to realize the benefits of goldenseal root were Native Americans, more specifically the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes. They used this herb for various skin diseases and other illnesses. The Native Americans most likely introduced this herb to the first European settlers of North America.

Today, goldenseal extract is believed to promote healthy skin, and it is still used to treat some skin disorders, such as canker sores and warts. Applying a tincture of goldenseal to the affected area is said to fight off the papiloma virus which causes these types of infections. Goldenseal extract is also used as a cure for acne, and it is also said to relieve the itching caused by some skin disorders, such as eczema.


Goldenseal extract can also be taken internally in the form of capsules, tablets, or teas. When taken orally, it can help boost an individual's immune system by stimulating the white blood cells and increasing the production of germ-fighting compounds. Many people will take goldenseal in conjunction with echinacea, which can also boost the immune system. This herbal combination can shorten the duration of a cold, flu, or other infection.

Goldenseal extract can help stimulate the digestive system. Because of this, it is often used as a cure for many stomach-related ailments, such as diarrhea and constipation. Herbalists often recommend combining goldenseal extract with cayenne pepper at a one-to-one ratio to combat indigestion and chronic gas.

People with an excess of water weight may also benefit from taking goldenseal. This herb is a natural diuretic, and it can help promote urination and sweating. Although there are some that believe that goldenseal extract can help an individual pass a drug test, this is most likely not true. This myth is probably based on a fictional book, Stringtown on the Pike, written by a popular herbalist at the beginning of the 20th century.

Although side effects of goldenseal extract are rare, some mild ones may occur. These can include nausea and irritation of the mouth and throat. Goldenseal, in any form, should not be taken by pregnant woman. Berberine, one component of this herb, can increase the risk of uterine contractions. Individuals with high blood pressure should also abstain from taking goldenseal extract.


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Post 3

@bear78-- In my experience, they both work. Goldenseal extract has helped me with infections alone and as a combination with echinacea. I suppose those who want something even more potent may want to go for the combination supplement. But goldenseal is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic, so there is no reason why it wouldn't effective by itself.

Those who say that goldenseal extract may have tried it for stomach issues. I think that goldenseal can be a hit or miss for stomach ailments. It works well if the cause of the illness is a stomach bug. Otherwise, it might not be too effective. Moreover, goldenseal extract can cause stomach issues itself as side effects.

Post 2

@turquoise-- Did you use just goldenseal extract or a combination of goldenseal and echinacea? Is it true that the latter works better? I've heard mixed opinions about goldenseal. Some say it's effective and others, not so much.

Post 1

I wish I had known about goldenseal extract earlier. I discovered this herbal supplement recently. I used it to fight a seasonal cold and I think it has made a huge difference. I started feeling better quickly after starting the supplement and I got over the cold in a matter of days. It usually takes me weeks to get over colds and I get sick frequently.

I really think that goldenseal extract helps strengthen the immune system. This is definitely something that those who get ill frequently need to try.

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