GOLDENSEAL, Hydrastis Canadensis

Goldenseal Herb

A story is told of how a Native American brave, who was with a war party against another tribe, ended up with a couple of arrows in him, no horse and in enemy territory. He ran and crawled deep into the woods where no one would find him. He was searching for a particular plant that would heal him. The plant was goldenseal. When he finally found the plant, he was very weak. He dug a couple of the roots of the goldenseal, cleaned them and started to chew on one. As he removed the arrow from his side, he put the chewed-on root into the wound to stop the bleeding and disinfect the wound. He did the same for the arrow in his thigh. He packed green moss on the wounds and went to sleep. The juice from the root he had chewed helped to disinfect the body and stop the bleeding from the inside. Within a couple of days, he could move around enough to gather berries and currants and dig roots and plants. Within a very short time, he was able to steal one of the other tribe’s horses and ride home.

Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic, or an infection fighter, and is a native of North America. It was introduced to the Pilgrims by the Indians.

At the time this country was settled, it was found abundantly, especially in the northeastern part of the United States. Today, it is almost extinct. There are farms that grow goldenseal root commercially in different parts of the country. However, in some parts of the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian region, this herb is still hunted and gathered in the wild along with ginseng. The root of the goldenseal plant is the part that is used; however, some companies sell the leaf and stem for teas.

Goldenseal has been used for centuries by the Cherokee Indians to fight infection, heal wounds, treat ulcers, as a tonic, to soothe weary eyes, and to dye their cloth.

Goldenseal is a small perennial herb that grows about twelve inches high. Each year, two or three hairy stems push up from a horizontal root stock called a rhizome. This root or rhizome is bright yellow. The average root size is about two and a half inches long ang about three-quarters of an inches in diameter.

Goldenseal is one of the best natural antibiotics ang infection fighters that is known. It is one of the main herbs in Grandma`s herbal Natures Biotics formula. Goldenseal is used for sore gums or pyorrhea. Just soak your toothbrush in goldenseal tea or put some powder in your toothbrush and it will work against the infection, as well as tighten the gums around the teeth and help stop bleeding. It is good for mucus membranes and catarrhal conditions as a gargle or a douche. For sinus congestion, it can be sniffed or made into a tea and the sinus passages can be irrigated with it. It has been used to help overcome skin diseases such as ringworm, erysipelas and even skin cancer.

It is an astringent that tightens or pulls tissue together and stops bleeding. It is an antiperiodic that will help reduce malarial-type fevers and chills. It has diuretics properties that help increase the secretion and flow of urine. If taken in sufficient amounts, it acts as a laxative. When a tooth has been extracted, some denstist put a combination of goldenseal and cayenne in the hole in the jaw to stop bleeding and infection.

Goldenseal is a very special herb that will help the body in many of its functions. However, one word of caution: This is a very strong herb. Use it sparingly! I guess that mother nature knew just how strong it was, so she didn`t grow it abundantly like she did some other herbs. It is hard to find, use it judiciously and with much prudence. When too much is used, it will rob the B vitamins out of the body. Moderation in all things, especially goldenseal.

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