Goldenseal is a popular herb and a medicinal plant that has served as a part of different traditional medical systems and as a food supplement.
When European settlers arrived in North America, Native Americans brought with them rhizomes and roots of Goldenseal, which they used to treat various ailments, including skin and digestive problems. Plants were mixed with bear grease as an insect repellent; the plant’s color-rich roots were also used to dye clothing.
What Is Goldenseal?
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis), alternatively referred to as orangeroot or yellow puccoon, is a Buttercup family herb. In the United States, dried root often serves as a food supplement.
Goldenseal is a small, hairy-stemmed plant. It has 2 jagged five-lobed leaves, tiny flowers, and a fruit that resembles a raspberry. The rhizome, or root, has a bitter taste and is yellow, bright, or brown, twisted, and wrinkled. Grown mainly for its medicinal properties, Goldenseal is native to the northern United States.
The Uses Of Goldenseal
Drying the plant’s underground stems and roots (rhizomes) makes them useful for making teas, liquid extracts (like tea), tablets, and capsules, as well as skincare products. The alkaloids berberine, canadine, and hydrastine are responsible for Goldenseal’s potent properties. These phytochemical alkaloids have a strong antiseptic effect on mucous membranes, inhibit disease-causing inflammation, and act as an antiseptic.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Goldenseal?
There haven’t been many scientific studies on Goldenseal. However, several studies have been conducted on berberine, one of Goldenseal’s active ingredients. Berberine is a common remedy for dysentery and infectious diarrhea in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. In addition, berberine may help treat heart failure, malaria, and a variety of infections, including respiratory infections, in humans. It may also help treat the disease by dilating blood vessels.
Goldenseal often aids digestion, soothes upset stomachs, and kills bacteria. In addition, it may also serve as an immune system booster in combination with echinacea as a natural antibiotic.
According to some claims, Goldenseal stimulates bile production. Similarly, some alternative medicine practitioners may also consider it as an expectorant. Goldenseal may help treat mouth, throat, sinuses, intestines, urinary tract, stomach, and vagina infections. Other alleged uses include the following:
- Healing of minor wounds
- Infections in the bladder
- Skin infections caused by fungi
- Colds and flu
- Congestion of the sinus and chest
What Makes Goldenseal An Anticancer Food?
Berberine, a compound found in Goldenseal, has shown its ability to stop the cell cycle and trigger apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death) in tumor cells. A study published in the Phytomedicine journal indicated that berberine reduced breast cancer cell growth more effectively than doxorubicin in vitro (a chemotherapy drug).
In vivo studies have demonstrated that berberine alkaloids have substantial anti-tumor activity. Berberine was employed alone at a level of 150 mcg/ml in vivo studies on a wide range of human invasive brain tumor cells and rat brain tumor cells, with an average cancer cell death rate of 91 %.
Carmustine, on the other hand, only killed 43% of cells. Berberine at a dose of 10 mg/kg killed 81 percent of the cells. Goldenseal appears to have some promising anti-cancer properties. However, more research needs to be conducted.