Sunday, 27 September 2009

Golden Seal Root - Side Effects and Benefits

Hydrastis canadensis

Botanical Name of Golden Seal: Hydrastis Canadensis

Other Common Names: Goldenseal, eyebalm, ground raspberry, orangeroot, yellowroot, yellow puccoon, Indian dye, eye root, Jaundice root.

Habitat: Golden Seal is a plant found in the Northeastern United States in shady woodland areas at the edges of forests in rich, moist soil. This plant prefers slightly acidic soils and will prosper in partial sun, or even shaded areas.

Golden seal is a small perennial herb. The woody, yellowish rhizome gives rise to a single hairy, stem and top with two 5-9 lobed leaves which terminate in a single greenish-white flower. It grows to a height of about 30 centimeters. The knotty, yellowish-brown rhizome is roughly 5 centimeters long and 1 centimeter thick with an abundance of rootlets. It has a strong odor and bitter taste. The golden seal does produce a fruit, similar to the raspberry in appearance, but it is not edible.

Plant Parts Used:
The root of this plant is used in medicinal and herbal uses.

Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of The Golen Seal Root

  • Golden seal is used as a treatment, especially in combination with echinacea, for some respiratory complaints such as stuffy noses, sinus problems, and symptoms of the common cold.
  • It is also used, in combination with other herbs, to cleanse the body of toxins and help purify the kidneys and urinary tract.
  • It is gaining popularity as an anti-diabetic treatment as well. It has been shown to increase insulin production and, through separate pathways, lower blood sugar levels. This use must be monitored closely due to golden seal’s tendency to raise blood pressure, which is a common complication of diabetes.
  • Golden seal is also effective for treating skin irritations such as acne, rashes, fungus and bacteria. It is also effective for mouth ulcers and other irritations to the mucous membranes of the mouth.
  • Due to its effects on blood vessel tone it has been used to control the bleeding of excessive menstruation and other internal bleeds. This increase in tone also leads to its use to stop persistent external bleeds as well.

Potential Side Effects of Golden Seal

Golden seal use can cause emotional changes and nausea. It may also cause a rise in blood pressure and has been shown in some cases to lower blood sugar levels. Due to its uterine contracting abilities it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Golden seal may irritate the structures of the gastrointestinal tract, especially in those who already have GI disorders. Topical use may cause the skin in the affected areas to become more sensitive to sunlight.

Golden seal may cause an increase in the sedative effect of other herbs or drugs used for sedation. It may also interfere with drugs used to lower blood pressure. Those on blood sugar control medications should monitor their levels closely while taking goldenseal. It may also counter the effects of drugs used to prevent acid reflux or chronic gastric acid issues.

Dosage and Administration

Golden seal can be found in oral forms such as tablets or capsules. These capsules should be taken according to manufacturers suggested dosing. Golden seal may also be found in a powdered form that can be used to make a mouthwash or skin wash as well. Mixing 2 teaspoons of dried golden seal root and 5 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes will yield a good mouthwash or skin wash. This may be used up to 4 times a day.

Author: Alien
Alien writes for Natural herbs . He also writes for herbs and asthma home remedies
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