Goldenrod
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GoldenrodGOLDENROD  
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Botanical:  Solidago virgaurea
Family:  Compositae (daisy) - Asteraceae (aster)
Other common names:  European Goldenrod, Yellow Weed, Woundweed, Blue Mountain Tea,

Aaron's Rod, Sweet Goldenrod, Canada Goldenrod, Liberty Tea, Solidago, Goldruthe, Verge d'Or

Goldenrod is used to flush impurities from the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract, helping to treat urinary tract infection and inflammation (cystitis, urethritis, vaginitis) and clearing kidney stones and gravel.   It also helps to thin and expel mucus and congestion from the upper respiratory tract and help coughs of colds and flu.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Goldenrod is a perennial that encompasses a multitude of species (there are over 130 varieties in North America alone!), with some that are native to Europe (S. vigaurea, et al) and others that are indigenous to North America, (S. canadensis, et al), and are interchangeable.  Many other species are distributed throughout Europe, the Americas, northwest and central Asia and North Africa.  The attractive plant generally bears narrow, deep green leaves that smell like anise when crushed, with tiny yellow flowerheads that grow in clusters on the upper ends of outstretched branches, blooming from June to September.  Goldenrod may be found in open fields, waste places and on forest margins, thriving in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil in sun or partial shade and reaching a height anywhere from two to seven feet, depending upon geographic location and species.  The different species are generally interchangeable with similar medicinal applications.  Several species count among the U.S. state flowers, i.e., Kentucky, Nebraska, the state wildflower of South Carolina and the state herb of Delaware.  The flowers attract many different beneficial insects, such as lacewings and ladybugs, which are effective in controlling pests, especially aphids, and the leaves and flowering tops are harvested before the flowers are fully opened, then dried for use in herbal medicines.  Goldenrod's botanical genus, Solidago, is derived from the Latin word, solidare, which means "to make whole, firm or strong," echoing the plant's historic use as a bitter, astringent and relaxant herb that treated many ailments.  Native American medicine men employed the leaves in teas for internal bleeding, intestinal disorders, colic, urinary disorders and dropsy (edema).  Canadian tribes also applied the leaves topically to heal bruises and wounds, and in Europe, it is still used to flush the urinary tract, kidney and bladder of stones, inflammation and infection.  One story tells us that after the American Colonists rebelled against the British Crown and dumped tea into Boston Harbor, there was a shortage of tea to drink until someone made a brew from Goldenrod leaves and aptly called it "Liberty Tea."  It was considered so tasty that it was later exported to China.  Early physicians prescribed it as a diuretic, diaphoretic and carminative for flatulence; and it was included in the United States Pharmacopœia from 1820 through 1882, as a stimulant and diaphoretic.  Some of the constituents in Goldenrod include triterpene saponins (antifungal), flavonoids (hyperoside, etc.), quercetin, rutin and phenolic glycosides (anti-inflammatory), tannins, essential oil and polysaccharides.

Beneficial Uses:
Goldenrod stimulates the kidneys and supports overall good kidney health.   The herb has been used to flush the kidneys of impurities and clear up kidney stones and gravel in the bladder.  It is useful in helping to dissolve kidney stones by diluting their components and preventing them from reoccurring.

As a diuretic and urinary antiseptic Goldenrod promotes the irrigation of the urinary tract and flow of urine (further flushing the kidneys and bladder) and has been helpful in treating bacterial urinary infections (including cystitis and urethritis), clearing urinary calculi and is also good when experiencing dark, cloudy urine.  Recent research has called Goldenrod an "aquaretic," and better than a straight diuretic, maintaining that the herb clears water from the body with no loss of important electrolytes.

Goldenrod has been used for many years to stimulate good digestion and is used as a reliable carminative that relieves intestinal gas pain and distension (pharmacologists have validated this use), and it is said to be good for flatulent dyspepsia (especially associated with nervous tension).

As an astringent, Goldenrod has been used to thwart internal hemorrhage, ulceration of the intestines, diarrhea, dysentery and simple dropsy (although edema is always associated with another root cause and should be treated by a physician).

Goldenrod is believed to have expectorant properties that help to alleviate chest congestion and upper respiratory catarrh by thinning and expelling chronic, excess mucus.  The herb is said to be helpful in relieving congestion of the upper respiratory area during influenza conditions and be useful in easing coughs from colds and whooping cough.

Once considered a weed that caused hay fever, it was shown that Goldenrod pollen is not airborne at all, but is carried by bees, and because it blossoms at the same time as the inconspicuous ragweed (the real culprit), it was falsely accused.  Goldenrod pollen is actually too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers and is, thus, mainly pollinated by insects.   Goldenrod is, in fact, thought to be of some help in treating hay fever. 

As an antifungal, the saponins in Goldenrod are thought to be helpful in inhibiting yeast infections, including Candida albicans.

Used externally, Goldenrod flowers have been chewed for sore throats, included in gargles for laryngitis and pharyngitis, and applied topically in lotions for the relief of insect bites and stings and to promote the healing of wounds, ulcers, eczema and other skin diseases. The flowerheads are also used as a rinse for blonde hair, a facial treatment and as a brilliant yellow dye.

Contraindications:
Currently, there are no known interactions with the use of Goldenrod Herbal Supplement; however, it is advisable not use Goldenrod in the presence of edema (swelling) due to heart or kidney problems.  Goldenrod is a member of the Compositae (daisy) family and should not be taken by those who are allergic to daisies.

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