The goldenseal , whose scientific name is Hydrastis canadensis, is a plant used to treat different ailments of the body. Its compound in a substance known as berberine , gives it antibacterial, antifungal and antibiotic properties, as well as providing vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body. Today, berberine has been found to be very effective in treating diabetes, so we’ll talk about this as well. In this FastlyHealarticle we inform you about the uses of goldenseal for health .
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The name of this plant is due to its yellow color with a bright appearance, in addition to presenting marks similar to those of the old stamps. The Hydrastis canadensis belongs to the buttercup family and grows in the United States and parts of Canada, in moist shady forests, but also is grown in Russia and England.
Goldenseal is a perennial herb that can grow up to 30 cm in height. The flower is small and white, and the leaf is rough with an intense greenish hue. It is considered one of the main plants used even by the natives for therapeutic purposes. Currently, it is a plant in danger of extinction due to the fact that being a wild plant, the people of the area have collected it for its known medicinal uses. However, there are plantations through which the potential of the plant is exploited by the pharmaceutical industry.
Internal uses of goldenseal
The properties of goldenseal are due to its alkaloid content, especially the so-called berberine. These components give goldenseal medicinal uses due to its antifungal, antibacterial and antibiotic effects . Other components that contribute to provide this plant with its benefits are hydrastine, berberastine and hydrastinine, which have vasoconstriction and hemostatic functions. Among the most used internal uses of goldenseal are:
- Varices . Goldenseal is one of the home remedies for varicose veins , which reduces the dilation that takes place in the blood vessels causing discomfort. This condition occurs due to an incorrect functioning of the vein valves that allow proper circulation.
- Almorranas . Another of the conditions that can be suffered frequently generating great annoyance. This plant helps reduce inflammation of the anal veins and reduces bleeding. Its consumption can be through capsules or by making an infusion of powdered rhizome of the plant, that is, of the root. It can be purchased in herbalists or specialized establishments.
- Prevent excess vaginal bleeding . Some women may have bleeding outside of the menstrual period. Known as metrorrhagia , goldenseal can be used to stop excessive bleeding. In the same way, it can also be used for dysmorrhoea , in which women have irregular periods . In addition, the properties of goldenseal can also reduce the inflammations that take place in the vagina during such periods. For this, it can be consumed in the form of capsules or make a decoction of its root.
External uses of goldenseal
In addition to the alkaloids responsible for the properties conferred by the different uses of goldenseal for health, this plant is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E , as well as well-known minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium and manganese. These give goldenseal the ability to be used externally.
- Sores . It can be helpful to heal mouth ulcers, disinfecting wounds with its antibiotic properties, and facilitating their disappearance.
- Varices . In the same way that in the previous point we explained the internal uses of goldenseal, among which we found its benefit for varicose veins, it can also be used externally to reduce inflammation or heal the wounds that varicose veins can cause. To do this, it should be used in the form of ointments in pharmacies or herbalists, and applied on the affected area.
- Sore throat . The astringent properties of goldenseal allow to alleviate the symptoms of angina. The best option is to gargle by mixing a tablespoon of the dried plant in a glass of water.
- External injuries . Thanks to its hemostatic properties, this plant is effective in stopping bleeding from wounds, cuts, skin ulcers, etc.
- Vaginal infections . In the same way, it can be effective when treating vaginal infections, by washing with the infusion of this plant.
Other uses of goldenseal for health
Other benefits of goldenseal are related to stomach health . Specifically, this plant can help promote digestion , since it stimulates the secretion of juices in the pancreas and liver, as well as helping to prevent the appearance of ulcers. This is due to the alkaloids contained in the plant, which protect the intestinal mucosa along with vitamin C, preventing the appearance of damage. Therefore, a good way to consume goldenseal for these purposes is through capsules or by infusing goldenseal powdered rhizome.
On the other hand, it has also been awarded anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties with positive effects to treat urinary tract infections , such as the bladder or urethra. The alkaloids and their properties exert anti-inflammatory effects that fight these types of conditions. Its consumption can be the same as in the case of stomach ailments.
Goldenseal for diabetes
This aspect has generated controversy lately, since it has been shown that the berberine present in some plants such as goldenseal has a positive effect on treating diabetes. Some studies have shown that goldenseal is able to reduce glucose production in the liver, lower blood sugar levels, improve blood glucose absorption, and improve insulin sensitivity. This means that goldenseal could be one of the best allies as a treatment for diabetes. The controversy is given by accusations to the pharmaceutical industry for not popularizing its benefit, since in the event that the use of berberine as a treatment for diabetes became known, the pharmaceutical industry would lose the great benefits that the substitution could imply of the current treatment.
However, this issue is still not clear enough to be able to draw definitive conclusions. In fact, goldenseal is contraindicated in some cases of diabetes.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding . It is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.
- Hypertension . It can alter blood pressure, so it is not recommended.
- Diabetes . It is believed that it can damage the capillaries of sight in cases of diabetes or glaucoma.
- Cardiovascular diseases . Its consumption is not recommended for people who have suffered a stroke or have a cardiovascular disease.
- Goldenseal alkaloids are not recommended for children under 15 years of age .
- Drugs . This plant can interact with some medications, so it should be consulted with a specialist before consumption.
- Contact with goldenseal can cause dermatitis .
- Goldenseal used externally can cause skin irritation . In addition, the use of gold used as eye drops can lead to eye irritation.
- Some of the components of goldenseal can cause stomach pain , diarrhea, and other stomach problems.
- Treatments over a long period of time can lead to anxiety problems and muscle spasms .
Goldenseal is not recommended for long treatments. In fact, some specialists recommend that the use of goldenseal for health should not exceed three weeks of treatment, and some have even reduced this period to one week. The recommended dose is usually:
- Capsules: 500 mg a maximum of 3 times per day.
- Abstract. About 4 and 6 ml.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.