Goldenseal is a woodland herb natural to southern Canada and the United States that is used for its antibacterial properties. It is also used to treat inflammation and has been found to be an effective digestive aid as well. Goldenseal is known by various names, among them orangeroot and yellow puccoon. It is known in the scientific community as Hydrastis canadensis.
Native American tribes have long used Goldenseal as a treatment for cancer. It has also been used for eye problems and was, for a time, popular among Eclectics as part of the overall treatment for cancer. They used it as part of the treatment for breast cancer along with red clover. It can be used as an antiseptic wash for the skin surface, and can be even used as a gargle to cure sore throat and canker sores.
Goldenseal is prepared in various ways for different kinds of ailments. As a powder, it can be dissolved in water and used as an antiseptic for the skin and open wounds. It also serves as a cleaning agent for internal skin surfaces such as the vagina and other membranous cavities. The herb can also be ingested as a bitter tonic. Most people use it as a gargle to cure canker sores and sore throat.
Currently, there are few studies published on the efficacy of Goldenseal and there is little evidence for its ability to treat specific health problems. It has been studied for the efficacy of berberine, which is a compound in Goldenseal, for eye infections. However, due to its low berberine content, studies have not shown any noticeable favorable effects on the treatment for eye infections.
The herb has been known to increase mucosal fluid production. It also has a cooling effect so it should not be used in the early stages of an infection. Experts recommend using the herb for the management of illness that have been shown to respond to berberine and hydrastine. When taken in the appropriate dosage for a short period, no side effects have been reported on people who consumed the Goldenseal herb in whatever form.