Herbal Highlights: Goldenseal
Still useful, after all these years
Folks still use Goldenseal today as an eye wash and as a temporary treatment for a variety of digestive issues.4 In fact, a study from 2012 shows that goldenseal could be useful in the treatment and prevention of MRSA,1 an infection that resists many common antibiotics.5 Goldenseal is an powerful example of what we learn from traditional medicine.
Goldenseal is a native plant of North America. Certain Native American tribes, like the Cherokee, used it as a dye and as medicine.1 Today, it is endangered and/or threatened in several of the states where it grows wild.2 Similarly, Goldenseal’s companion plant, American Ginseng, is listed as endangered or threatened in many of the same states. Also, like American Ginseng, Goldenseal is subject to overuse and there has been a decrease in habitat due to deforestation.3
Proceed with caution – ask your doctor
One of the active alkaloids in goldenseal is berberine, which has a lethal dose in humans.1 Therefore, always discuss dietary supplements with your medical professional. Furthermore, never use goldenseal while pregnant.