Dec 24, 2012


    Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).

     A native of North America, goldenseal is one of the world's best-selling medicinal herbs. Most often used to combat bacterial or viral infections or to improve digestion, goldenseal is a specific for sinus congestion and upper respiratory mucus conditions. One of its many plant constituents is berberine, which has been the subject of several scientific investigations. Berberine has antibiotic, antispasmodic and sedative properties, and it stimulates the immune system.

     Goldenseal is usually added to other herbs, though it can be taken alone. To brew goldenseal tea, make an infusion using 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the dried root per cup of water and take 3 times daily. A little of the tincture goes a long way; the suggested dose is up to 1/4 teaspoon 3 times daily. Always buy goldenseal from a reputable source. In the past, goldenseal has been adulterated with turmeric, the bright yellow ingredient in curry powders, and other plants. High-quality goldenseal is expensive because the plant is rare in the wild (it was nearly harvested to extinction in the early 1900s) and difficult to grow.

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