Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) other names: Aaron's Rod, Baguette d’Aaron, Canadian Goldenrod, Early Goldenrod, European Goldenrod, Gerbe d’Or, Herbe des Juifs, Solidage, Solidage du Canada, Solidago canadensis, Solidago gigantea, Solidago longifolia, Solidago serotina, Solidago virgaurea, Vara de Oro, Verge d'Or, Woundwort.

The famous herbal plant, the goldenrod is an attractive medicinal plant. Its name is a testament not only to its great medicinal powers but also to its beautiful physical structure. The Latin name of the goldenrod plant, “Solidago” - solido, which means to make whole - is an allusion to the employment of the herb as a wound healing remedy in the ancient world. The botanical Latinized name of the goldenrod is - Virga aurea - derived from the golden yellow colored flowers on the stem of the plant. Goldenrod is a hardy tenacious plant with cylindrical roots. This root structure allows the plant to bury deep into all kinds of soils. Thus the goldenrod grows successfully in the dry earth found in woodlands, goldenrod can grow well among bushes in waste areas, and it grows successfully on dunes and among rocks. The hardy roots of goldenrod allow the plant to extend its range right up to the mountainous regions in many temperate countries. The goldenrod possesses rounded stems that only branch at the top of the plant. When fully grown, goldenrod can reach twenty to fifty cm in height, however, goldenrod plants that are one hundred cm tall can sometimes be found in certain areas.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) flower

The goldenrod bears alternate leaves on large, pointed, and elliptical shaped leaves on the lower part of the stem, these have serrated edges. The leaves on the upper stem are narrow and lance-shaped, with entire margins - the flowers are borne among these leaves. At the very tip of the stem are seen the branched spikes filled with numerous stalked golden-yellow flower heads. Flowers that grow lower on these floral spikes tend to be the first ones to open during a floral bloom, which the reason that the plant bears flowers continuously from July in the summer well into the fall. The goldenrod is frequented by many types of crawling insects and butterfly species. The goldenrod depends on wind to disperse its seeds. The calyx of each flower bears a crown of hairs called “pappus”; these hairs enable the small fruits to be buoyant in the wind, dispersing the seeds following the waning of the floral bloom. Different pharmaceutical preparations and herbal teas are made from the flowering tips on the branches of the goldenrod. The beneficial effects of the goldenrod herb are due to the presence of primary active principles including compounds such as the saponins, and all kinds of floral pigments. Herbal remedies made from the plant are employed in the treatment of all kinds of inflammation problems affecting the kidneys and the intestines. The Canadian goldenrod, a related species is taller than the common goldenrod, growing to sixty or even two hundred cm tall, this species bears one sided spikes that occur in a branched cluster, consisting of numerous yellow flower heads. Each floral head is three to five mm long. The goldenrod is found all over the European continent.

The goldenrod is native to Europe and the Asia mainland. However, populations of naturalized goldenrod can be found on the North American continent. The goldenrod herb tends to grow on open areas and along hillsides and mountain ranges. The harvest is done when goldenrod is in flower during the summer months.

The goldenrod is a very easy plant to grow. Goldenrod can easily grow with great success on any moderately fertile, moisture rich and retentive soils. Goldenrod grows well in sites that have good exposure to sunlight as well as in semi-shaded sites. The optimal growth rate of goldenrod is observed in plants grown in heavy clay soils. The goldenrod is a hardy and persistent herb. It can be said to be a greedy plant and can quickly use up all the soil nutrients at the site it is growing on. The smell of wild carrots comes from the bruised parts of the plant. A sub-species of the goldenrod called S. virgaurea minuta grows to only ten cm tall and has a similar width. Goldenrod plants tend to attract a lot of beneficial insect species including beetles like ladybirds, lacewings as well as hoverflies when grown in the garden. Since these insects feed on other insects they help control insect pests inside the garden as a whole and benefit all plants in the area.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Health Benefits

Goldenrod is an herb. People use the parts that grow above the ground for medicine.

The names “early goldenrod,” “European goldenrod,” and “Canadian goldenrod” are used interchangeably. Don’t confuse this herb with Verbascum densiflorum, which is sometimes called “goldenrod.”

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) plant

Goldenrod is used to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation), as a diuretic to increase urine flow, and to stop muscle spasms. Goldenrod is also used for gout, joint pain (rheumatism), arthritis, as well as eczema and other skin conditions. Goldenrod is also used to treat tuberculosis infections that have become active again after a period of inactivity (latency), diabetes, enlargement of the liver, hemorrhoids, internal bleeding, hay fever, asthma, and an enlarged prostate.

Some people use goldenrod as "irrigation therapy." This is a procedure that involves taking goldenrod with lots of fluids to increase urine flow in an effort to treat inflammatory diseases of the lower urinary tract, as well as stones in the kidney or urinary tract.

The goldenrod possesses diuretic, anti-oxidant, and astringent properties. The goldenrod is considered to be the most effective herbal treatment for urinary tract disorders of all kinds. Goldenrod is employed to treat or alleviate severe ailments like nephritis as well as more common disorders such as cystitis - Goldenrod is used as an herbal remedy in most urinary tract problems. Goldenrod remedies are also reputed to aid the body in eliminating kidney and bladder stones. The compound called saponins found in the goldenrod herb are specifically effective against infection from the Candida fungus, which induces all kinds of yeast infections and oral thrush in the human body. Remedies made from the goldenrod herb are also effective in the treatment of chronic sore throats, in alleviating chronic congestion in the nasal passages as well as in treating problems such as diarrhea and other digestive disorders. The goldenrod has a mild and soothing action in the body, which is the reason that it is considered to be appropriate for the treatment of gastroenteritis affecting young children and infants. The remedy made from the goldenrod can also be used as a mouthwash or as a douche for the treatment of yeast infections in the vaginal cavity.

Goldenrod is used as a mouth rinse for inflammation of the mouth and throat, and goldenrod is also applied directly to the skin to improve wound healing.

The herbal remedy made from the goldenrod is considered to be a soothing, gentle and safe remedy which is appropriate for use in treating or alleviating a number of disorders affecting the body. The goldenrod is particularly considered to be a valuable and astringent herbal medication for the treatment of wounds and bleeding on the skin. The saponins found in the goldenrod plant have an anti-fungal property and are specifically effective against the Candida fungus - the pathogen responsible for thrush in the vaginal and oral cavities. 

The goldenrod herb contains the compound known as rutin that is effective in treating capillary fragility. The compounds called phenolic glycosides present in the herb are anti-inflammatory in nature and help deal with inflammation in various parts of the body. The anti-helmintic action of the compounds present in the leaves and flowering tops of the goldenrod also come in use in treating intestinal infestations. All in all, the goldenrod has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic actions. Goldenrod also has aromatic, astringent, and carminative properties. It is diaphoretic and mildly diuretic, and is used as a febrifuge and stimulant in herbal medicine. The goldenrod is also considered to be a good vulnerary herb, being of proven value in treating urinary tract infections of all kinds. The herb is used in a chronic catarrh, as well as in the treatment of skin diseases. 

Goldenrod is also used in treating influenza and whooping cough, as well as in eliminating kidney stones and many other disorders. An oral rinse made form the goldenrod is an excellent mouthwash that can be used to treat thrush in affected individuals. Harvest of cultivated plants is done in the summer and the harvested plants are dried for use as and when required. Goldenrod seeds have anti-coagulant, as well as astringent and carminative effects. The goldenrod is prepared into a homeopathic remedy used in treating many disorders. The remedy is mainly employed in the treatment of disease of the kidney and the urinary bladder, as well as in treating rheumatism and arthritis and other chronic illnesses.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Side effects

There is not enough information available to know if goldenrod is safe to take for medical conditions.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking goldenrod if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use..

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Goldenrod may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking goldenrod.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea or Solidago canadensis) image

Fluid retention (edema) due to heart or kidney conditions: "Irrigation therapy," during which goldenrod is taken with large amounts of fluids to increase urine flow, should not be attempted in people with fluid retention due to heart or kidney disease.

High blood pressure: There is a concern that goldenrod might make the body accumulate more sodium, and this can make high blood pressure worse.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Herbal "irrigation therapy" may not work against infections and may require the addition of germ-killing medications. "Irrigation therapy" should be monitored closely. Don’t depend on it for clearing up an infection.