If you walk down the aisles of your favorite health food store, you’re sure to spot many products containing an herb called goldenseal. It’s a wildly popular supplement that many people use for immune support and respiratory health. Homeopathy also makes use of this wonderful little plant in a medicine that helps ease sinus and mucus symptoms.
What is Goldenseal?
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a perennial herb belonging to the buttercup family. This low-growing, woodland plant with hairy stems with large, lobed leaves grows natively in eastern Canada and the US. In April, each plant blooms a solitary white flower that produces a crimson berry resembling a raspberry. But it’s the roots that are most often used in medicinal applications. They contain potent concentrations of berberine, hydrastine, and canadine alkaloids with anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antimicrobial properties.
A favorite of the Cherokee Nation, goldenseal was introduced to settlers by Native Americans in North America. They used the juice of the herb as a wash for sore eyes and mouths, and mixed it in tonics and teas for stomach complaints.
Goldenseal’s soothing effect on mucous membranes is why it’s still around today. It can be found in mouthwashes for canker sores and dietary supplements, often in combination with echinacea, for people experiencing congestion from colds or allergies.
Hydrastis Homeopathic Remedy
Homeopathic Hydrastis canadensis is prepared using fresh-cut roots and rhizomes (underground stems) of the goldenseal plant. Several quality control measures are performed to clean the plants, confirm their identity, and test for purity. They are then steeped in alcohol to create an herbal tincture from which homeopathic dilutions are made.
If you experience irritating postnasal drip from allergies or a cold, Hydrastis canadensis can bring welcome relief. Take 5 pellets of a 6C dilution 3 times a day to reduce thick nasal discharge.* You can also find Hydrastis canadensis as an active ingredient in Chestal Cold & Cough where it relieves a runny nose.
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*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.