Goldenseal Health Benefits

Goldenseal Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Goldenseal is a popular herb used in herbal Medicine for its many health benefits
Goldenseal Health Benefits include treatment of skin infections, eye sores, respiratory infections, UTI and many others.

Goldenseal constituents. Goldenseal contains isoquinoline alkaloids: berberin and  hydrastine that is considered the active medicinal ingredient.

Goldenseal Side effects and warnings. Goldenseal is considered safe at recommended dosages. May cause side effects allergic reaction, headache and many others. Not safe for pregnant women and children.

What is Goldenseal

Scientific Name: Ggoldenseal rootoldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Other names.—Yellowroot, yellow puccoon, orange-root, yellow Indian paint, turmeric root, Indian turmeric, Ohio curcuma, ground raspberry, eyeroot, eyebalm, yelloweye, jaundice root, Indian dye.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Goldenseal is native to northeastern United States and the southeastern Canada. It is traditionally used by the American Indians as a medicinal herb for its many health benefits that was later adopted by American settlers and has become one of the mostly used herbs in the United States. In 1800’s, the popularity of goldenseal was in its peak where it is widely believed as a panacea for all types of diseases. Since then goldenseal was over harvested that it eventually became rare in the wild.  Nowadays, goldenseal is commercially grown in fields alongside ginseng which required the same growing conditions.

Goldenseal is characterized by a thick, wrinkled bright yellow rootstock hence its name. Goldenseal is a small plant that grows to about 30 to 40 cm in height with a single hairy stem that branches at the top, one branch bears a large leaf while the other has smaller leaf and a flower. Goldenseal bears greenish-white flower that blooms in April to May. It is followed by a large, berrylike fruit that is bright red in color, resembling a large raspberry. The fruit of goldenseal contains from 10 to 20 small, black, hard, seeds.

Nutrients and Chemical Constituents of Goldenseal

Goldenseal contains the active chemical constituents isoquinoline alkaloids: berberin and   hydrastine. Other alkaloids are canadaline, canadine (tetrahydroberberine), 1-α-hydrastine and 5-hydroxytetrahydroberberine.

Goldenseal also contains feruloyl quinic acid glucoside esers, C-methyl flavonoids (methylluteolin methyl ethers), chlorogenic acid, meconin, β-sitosterol glucoside, resin, starch, sugar, and volatile oil.

Traditional Health Benefits of Goldenseal

Goldenseal has been traditionally used for its many claimed health benefits. Goldenseal is thought to possess multi purpose remedy for many illnesses although there is not enough scientific evidence for these claimed health benefits.

Goldenseal is often combined with other herbs such as Echinacea, black cohosh and others and is believed that goldenseal enhances the curative effects of other herbs.

Goldenseal benefits the genitourinary system and is traditionally used as antimicrobial in fighting against urinary tract infections and treating gonorrhea. Goldenseal is used for internal bleeding including bleeding after childbirth, vaginal pain and menstrual period problems. Goldenseal is also used for toxin cleansing of the kidneys and bladder.

Goldenseal benefits the respiratory system as it is used along with Echinacea for treating colds, flu, clogged noses, whopping coughs, bronchitis, sinus problems, pneumonia and hay fever.

Goldenseal benefits the digestive system as treatment for stomach pain, peptic ulcers, colitis, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas, hemorrhoids and anorexia.

Goldenseal is also used to treat malaria, chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer.

Goldenseal benefits the membrane for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity. It is used as antiseptic for cuts, wounds, burns, skin itching, dermatitis, herpes blisters, canker sores, gum inflammation, dandruff, ring worms, cold sores, athlete’s foot and other skin diseases. Goldenseal is also used to wash eyes sores (conjunctivitis).

Goldenseal became very popular as it is used to mask a positive test for illegal drugs during drug tests.

While there are many reported medicinal uses and health benefits of goldenseal, sufficient scientific evidences on its efficacy are still lacking.

Scientific Studies of Goldenseal Health Benefits

Goldenseal extract and berberine benefits Influenza A patients.

A study entitled “Inhibition of H1N1 influenza A virus growth and induction of inflammatory mediators by the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine and extracts of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)” done in the Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, United States, that was published in the International Immunopharmacology 2011 Nov states that isoquinoline alkaloid berberine can inhibit the growth of influenza A. These studies revealed strong effectiveness at high concentrations, although upon dilution extracts were somewhat less effective than purified berberine. Taken together, the results suggest that berberine may indeed be useful for the treatment of infections with influenza A.

Goldenseal extracts synergistically enhance the antibacterial activity of berberine

In a study entitled “Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) extracts synergistically enhance the antibacterial activity of berberine via efflux pump inhibition” as done in the Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry, The University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC USA., published in the Planta Medicinal 2011 May, states that goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) can combat inflammation and infection. Its antibacterial activity in vitRO has been attributed to its alkaloids, the most abundant of which is berberine. Synergistic antibacterial activity was observed between the aerial extract (FIC 0.375) and to a lesser extent the root extract (FIC 0.750) and berberine. These studies indicate that the roots of goldenseal contain higher levels of alkaloids than the aerial portions, but the aerial portions synergize with berberine more significantly than the roots. Furthermore, extracts from the aerial portions of goldenseal contain efflux pump inhibitors, while efflux pump inhibitory activity was not observed for the root extract. The three most abundant goldenseal alkaloids, berberine, hydrastine, and canadine, are not responsible for the efflux pump inhibitory activity of the extracts from H. canadensis aerial portions.

Supplementation with goldenseal inhibits human CYP3

Another study entitled “Supplementation with goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), but not kava kava (Piper methysticum), inhibits human CYP3A activity in vivo” done in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. As published in the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2008 Jan; reported the effects of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and kava kava (Piper methysticum) supplementation on human CYP3A activity. In the study were evaluated using midazolam (MDZ) as a phenotypic probe. Sixteen healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either goldenseal or kava kava for 14 days. Comparisons of pre- and post-supplementation MDZ pharmacokinetic parameters revealed significant inhibition of CYP3A by goldenseal (AUC(0-infinity), 107.9+/-43.3 vs 175.3+/-74.8 ng x h/ml; Cl/F/kg, 1.26+/-0.59 vs 0.81+/-0.45 l/h/kg; T(1/2), 2.01+/-0.42 vs 3.15+/-1.12 h; Cmax, 50.6+/-26.9 vs 71.2+/-50.5 ng/ml). MDZ disposition was not affected by kava kava supplementation. These findings suggest that significant herb-drug interactions may result from the concomitant ingestion of goldenseal and CYP3A substrates.

Goldenseal extract acts as an LDL lowering agent.

In the study “The medicinal plant goldenseal is a natural LDL-lowering agent with multiple bioactive components and new action mechanisms” published in the Journal of Lipid Research, Oct 2006, It is reported that identified berberine (BBR), an alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb huanglian, has a unique cholesterol-lowering drug that upregulates hepatic low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) expression through a mechanism of mRNA stabilization. In this study, it was demonstrated that the root extract of goldenseal, a BBR-containing medicinal plant, is highly effective in upregulation of liver LDLR expression in HepG2 cells and in reducing plasma cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) in hyperlipidemic hamsters, with greater activities than the pure compound BBR. The substantial evidence show that goldenseal contains natural MDR1 antagonist(s) that accentuate the upregulatory effect of BBR on LDLR mRNA expression. These new findings identify goldenseal as a natural LDL-c-lowering agent, and our studies provide a molecular basis for the mechanisms of action.

Antimicrobial activity of goldenseal constituents.

In another study entitled “Antimicrobial constituents from goldenseal (the Rhizomes of Hydrastis canadensis) against selected oral pathogens” that was published in the Planta Medicinal Journal of July 2003, reported that two new C-methyl flavonoids, 6,8-di- C-methylluteolin 7-methyl ether (1) and 6- C-methylluteolin 7-methyl ether (2), were isolated from a commercially available sample of the roots of Hydrastis Canadensis (goldenseal), along with seven known compounds, berberine (3), beta-hydrastine (4), canadine (5), canadaline (6), isocorypalmine (7), canadinic acid (8), and beta-sitosterol 3- O-beta- D-glucoside (9). The structures of the new compounds 1 and 2 were elucidated on the basis of their spectral data including 1D and 2D NMR techniques. Of these isolates, berberine (3) and, to a lesser extent, 1 and 2, showed antimicrobial activity when evaluated against the oral pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Berberine (3) exhibited an additive antimicrobial effect when tested against S. mutans in combination with 1.

Goldenseal Availability and Dosage

Goldenseal are available in most drug stores and health stores and online stores such ebay and amazon.

Bear in mind that Goldenseal is considered as a supplement and not as medicine. Manufacturing procedures are not closely regulated. Be aware that goldenseal products are not always what they claim. The contents of products labeled as containing goldenseal can vary greatly. always buy from a reputable source or brand. Look for the USP mark.

Goldenseal is likewise available in online health stores and at amazon's Goldenseal Herb, 180 Capsules

Goldenseal Side Effects and Warnings

Goldenseal is generally safe for most adults if taken at recommended dosage. However, long term use can cause unfavorable side effects.

Goldenseal can cause side effects such as sleeplessness, dizziness, breast pain, increased heart rate, loss of appetite, itching, rash, mood changes, low blood pressure or high blood pressure, changes in menstrual cycles, diarrhea, headache and many other side effects.

Other less common side effects of Goldenseal include Steven Johnson syndrome, severe allergic reactions and liver damage.

Goldenseal is not recommended during pregnancy and when breast feeding.

Goldenseal has been reported to cause unfavorable side effects when given to infants and very young children. Goldenseal is only recommended for adult use.

Goldenseal can cause allergic reactions although it is rare. Side effects may include shortness of breath, itching, swelling of face, lips or throat. Consult with a competent medical practitioner is you experience these symptoms.

Other mild side effects of Goldenseal include stomach ache and headache, while other side effects not listed may also occur.

Goldenseal can interact with other drugs and medicine. Always inform your doctor about the herbal medicines that you take to determine its safe use.

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