Goldenseal: Overview

An extremely popular herbal remedy, Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) has both research and folklore in abundance.  The roots and rhizomes, which are golden yellow in color, are the portion used medicinally.

Diagnose your symptoms now!
  • let The Analyst™ find what's wrong
  • see your health summarized and in detail
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies


Extracts of goldenseal will usually be standardized to hydrastine or to the total berberine alkaloids.

Look for goldenseal by itself, or in combination with other ingredients in products such as antimicrobial, anti-fungal, gastrointestinal aids, and immunostimulatory products.

Function; Why it is Recommended

Goldenseal, like barberry and Oregon grape root contains significant amount of berberine alkaloids like berberine, hydrastine and canadine.  These berberine alkaloids are excellent, non-specific, anti-microbial and anti-fungal agents.  Goldenseal has been shown to have potent anti-protozoal and broad-spectrum anti-bacterial effects.

In addition to its antiseptic properties, goldenseal has general bitter properties which have been shown to increase bile secretion and improve digestive complaints.  Goldenseal is also immunostimulatory and is a general aid to most infectious conditions.

The use of Goldenseal in eye and mouth-washes (antiseptics) is quite a common use.  Goldenseal is a strong digestive stimulant, and tonic to the digestive tract.

The rumors that Goldenseal can mask or block a positive drug urinalysis are completely untrue.  If anything, the opposite may be true, in that goldenseal may even produce a false positive.

Counter-Indicators and Warnings

Goldenseal products should not be consumed by individuals who are pregnant without consulting a healthcare professional.  Do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than a week at a time.  Do not give goldenseal to children under two.  Do not use goldenseal without consulting a physician if you have had heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, a stroke, or high blood pressure.

On This Page


Goldenseal can help with the following:


Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever

Golden Seal has antibiotic properties and is helpful in all types of airborne allergy responses such as prevention of hay fever.  It is anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, and helps reduce and soothe swollen, irritated tissues.


Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers

Goldenseal tea.  See the link between Peptic Ulcers and Water Consumption Increase.


Not recommended for


Pharyngitis ("Strep Throat")

The berberine alkaloid found in goldenseal stops the growth of streptococcus, the organism most often associated with bacterial pharyngitis.  It also promotes easier removal of the bacteria by inhibiting their ability to adhere to tissue surfaces.

Boils, Abscesses, Carbuncles

The application of a paste or poultice containing goldenseal root is sometimes recommended on the grounds that goldenseal helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.



Anorexia / Starvation Tendency

Goldenseal, a strong digestive stimulant and tonic to the digestive tract, is especially useful for anorexia nervosa.

Organ Health


Goldenseal has antibiotic properties and is rich in alkaloids such as berberine, canadine and hydrastine.  These alkaloids are anti-inflammatory and stimulate liver function, thereby reducing liver inflammation.


Problems Associated With Snoring

Snoring caused by nasal congestion may be successfully treated with decongestants.  Some effective herbal remedies that clear the nasal passages include goldenrod and goldenseal.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)


May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with
Should be avoided: is NOT recommended for
Should be avoided:
is NOT recommended for
We use cookies for traffic analysis, advertising, and to provide the best user experience