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How to Use Goldenrod Plus Medicinal Benefits

goldenrod

Latin Name

Solidago virgaurea

Growing, Cultivation, and Harvest

It is rare to see one goldenrod plant growing alone; it multiplies by sending out root runners, so there are usually dozens of plants growing densely together. Notice all the bees and insects happily crawling about on goldenrod’s numerous small yellow flowers.

There are many types of goldenrod, and you are likely to find several kinds if you look around. The species Solidago canadensis and S. odora are considered the most medicinal (and the tastiest), but all species of goldenrod are safe and beneficial and can be used to help the immune system get ready for winter.

The Science of the Active Ingredients

 * Antibacterial * Astringent * Cicatrisant * Vulnerary

Goldenrod gets a bad rap from allergy sufferers, as it’s often falsely accused of being responsible for annual allergies. In actuality, it’s ragweed that blooms around the same time that is the culprit. As with most herbs, goldenrod is more than just a common garden plant, it also serves as a natural remedy that has been used to treat people across three continents with a variety of medical conditions related to the kidney and bladder for centuries.

How to Take

Typically, goldenrod is ingested in a dried form, but it’s also commonly used in tinctures and fluid extracts.

Goldenrod is a delicious edible. The flowers can be fried as fritters (similar to elder flower fritters) and the more mild tasting leaves can be cooked and eaten as well.

Health Benefits

Bladder, Urinary Tract, & Kidneys

Goldenrod has a history for use with the bladder and urinary system. The astringent and antiseptic qualities tighten and tone the urinary system and bladder making it useful for UTI infections. The German Commission E has officially approved goldenrod for urinary and bladder inflammations. It is a kidney tropho-restorative (tropho is Greek for nourishing), so it both nourishes and restores balance to the kidneys. According to Peter Homes, it is a good choice for long term use with chronic issues to this area of the body.

The Skin

The Latin name solidago means to make whole. The flowers and the leaves can be infused with oil or used as a poultice for wounds and burns. The infused oil combines well with plantain, yarrow, and St. John’s wort for a nice wound healing skin salve. It also makes a nice rub for tired achy muscles and arthritis pain.

Seasonal Allergies & Colds

Goldenrod often takes the rap for the inconspicuous ragweed plant but goldenrod is actually a nice antidote for seasonal ragweed allergies. Its astringent property calms runny eyes, runny nose, and sneezing that comes with late summer and early fall allergies. I have used goldenrod tincture successfully for my ragweed allergies for two years.

Its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties make this a good choice for sore throats.  As an expectorant, goldenrod can expel mucous easily from the lungs. Try it infused with honey or as a tea with honey added. The diaphoretic property of goldenrod helps to open pores of the skin to release sweat during a fever.

Antioxidant

For a period of time in the U.S., goldenrod was known as Blue Mountain Tea. When I first tried making a tea from goldenrod, I was expecting something pungent and challenging in flavor and was delightfully surprised to find it to have an agreeable taste. In any case, it is a good source of the constituent rutin, a powerful flavonoid that benefits the cardiovascular system. Rutin has the ability to support circulation for the cardiovascular system as well as to increase capillary strength. Some say it is higher in anti-oxidants than green tea!

Anti-Fungal

As an antifungal, goldenrod contains saponins and is a useful alternative for Candida type yeast infections.

The flowers are edible and supposedly very good lightly fried. Although I’ve not tried this yet, it’s on my list!

Goldenrod is an abundant plant and there is plenty of it to go around. The meadows and waste spaces are full and good for showing the plant off and there may be some in your backyard ready for harvesting. At least for now it is an underused and under-harvested plant with many wonderful uses and health benefits and just waiting to be your next ally. This is a great time of year to harvest goldenrod (or you can buy it here). I’m heading out for some right now. I hope I’ve talked you into doing the same!

Uses

Most commonly, Goldenrod is used as an aquaretic agent, meaning that it promotes the loss of water from the body (as compared to a diuretic, which promotes the loss of both water and electrolytes such as salt). It is used frequently in Europe to treat urinary tract inflammation and to prevent or treat kidney stones.

In fact, goldenrod has received official recognition in Germany for its effectiveness in getting rid of kidney stones, and it is commonly found in teas and tinctures to help “flush out” kidney stones and stop inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. Goldenrod is said to wash out bacteria and kidney stones by increasing the flow of urine and also soothing inflamed tissues and calming muscle spasms in the urinary tract. It isn’t used as a cure by itself, but rather as an adjunct to other, more definitive treatments such as (in the case of bladder infections) antibiotics. Several studies have found that goldenrod does in fact increase urine flow.

In addition, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, historically, goldenrod (Solidago canadensis or Solidago virgaurea) has been used on the skin to heal wounds. In folk medicine, it is used as a mouth rinse to treat inflammation of the mouth and throat.

Goldenrod is also associated with helping relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, flu, bronchitis, laryngitis and other similar ailments of the respiratory tract. It has been used to help treat digestive issues such as colic, diarrhea and stomach cramps as well.

In fact, the herb has been used for a variety of issues including:

  • dental infections
  • fungal infections
  • asthma
  • type 2 diabetes
  • allergies
  • various skin infections
  • tuberculosis
  • enlargement of the liver
  • gout
  • hemorrhoids
  • internal bleeding
  • arthritis

Spiritual Folklore

Planet: Venus
Element: Air
Gender: Feminine
Keywords: lucky, money, prosperity

The sudden appearance of goldenrod near your front door indicates that a stroke of good fortune is on its way. Goldenrod flowers can be used in wealth spells and money drawing sachets and planted on your property or placed in a vase inside your home to attract wealth and good fortune.

Goldenrod can be used for dowsing. Simply concentrate on what you’re looking for while holding a goldenrod in your hand. It will nod in the direction of the hidden object, or treasure! It will also point you in the direction of your true love.

If you wear or carry goldenrod for a day, the next day you will cross paths with your true love. Give him or her some goldenrod tea to seal the deal. But not just before you hop into bed, because goldenrod is a diuretic.

Dried leaves and flowers can be burned to enhance spells for drawing love and to enhance your intuition when performing any sort of divination.

Goldenrod can be used to aid in the grieving process.

Contraindications

Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with GOLDENROD
Goldenrod seems to work like “water pills” by causing the body to lose water. Taking goldenrod along with other “water pills” might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some “water pills” include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Recipes

To dry flowering goldenrod: Bundle 2-3 stalks together and hang upside down in a cool, shady room until thoroughly dry. When the stalks snap crisply, store the dried herb in brown paper bags. One or two large handfuls of crushed leaves and flowers, steeped in a quart of boiling water for thirty minutes makes a tea that can be used hot, with honey, to counter allergies (especially pollen allergies), fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds and the flu; or taken cold to relieve colic in babies, and gas in adults. Dried mint and/or yarrow are tasty, and useful, additions when making goldenrod flower tea.

To dry goldenrod roots: Rinse dirt off the roots, then cut away all the stalks, leaves and dead flowers. If possible, hang your roots over a woodstove to dry; if not, place them on racks and put them in a warm place to dry until brittle. Store in glass jars. Depending on the difficulty you are addressing, goldenrod root tea may be made with large or small amounts of the roots brewed or decocted in boiling water. Or the roots may be powdered, alone or mixed with flowers, and applied to hard-to-heal wounds and sore joints.

To make a goldenrod vinegar: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then fill the jar to the top with room-temperature, pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. Cap it tightly with a plastic lid. (Metal lids will be eroded by the action of the vinegar. If you must use one, protect it with several layers of plastic between it and the vinegar.) Be sure to label your vinegar with the date and contents. Your goldenrod vinegar will be ready to use in six weeks to improve mineral balance, help prevent kidney stones, eliminate flatulence, and improve immune functioning.

To make a goldenrod tincture: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the very top. Cap tightly and label. Your goldenrod tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, by the dropperful, as an anti-inflammatory, a sweat-inducing cold cure, and an astringent digestive aid. Medical herbalists use large doses (up to 4 dropperfuls at a time) of goldenrod tincture several times daily to treat kidney problems — including nephritis, hemorrhage, kidney stones, and inability to void — and prostate problems, including frequent urination.

Blue Mountain Tea
This has a slightly bitter astringent value as well as a sweetness.  You taste the astringent bitter when it goes down. I prefer goldenrod tea mixed with mint.

Ingredients

2 cups boiling water
1 Tablespoon of fresh goldenrod or 2-3 teaspoons of dried
1 Tablespoon of mint or 2-3 teaspoons of dried

Directions

  • Bring water to a boil and combine with herbs.
  • Infuse for 15 minutes then strain and serve.

 

Further Reading

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/goldenrod

http://www.livestrong.com/article/511750-herbal-benefits-of-goldenrod/

http://herbsmed.net/medicinal-health-benefits-goldenrod/index.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/4-facts-goldenrod-kidney-health/

http://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/goldenrod.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldenrod

http://gardensablaze.com/HerbGoldenrodMed.htm

http://www.ontariowildflower.com/goldenrods.htm

http://blog.emergencyoutdoors.com/edible-wild-plants-sweet-goldenrod-solidago-odora/

http://eatingwild.blogspot.com/2011/03/goldenrod-miracle-wild-food-source.html

 

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