Goldenseal Health Benefits
Goldenseal health benefits are related to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it helpful in managing urinary tract infections and possibly prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). As one of the most popular herbal remedies on the market, goldenseal was once used by the Native Americans to treat diarrhea, digestive problems, and skin disorders.
At the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, researchers conducted a study of goldenseal health benefits related to its anti-inflammatory abilities. They found that goldenseal has the ability to reduce pro-inflammatory responses in the body. (Clement-Kruzel 2008) This ability may be credited to one of goldenseal’s key components, berberine. This natural plant chemical has an ability to fight bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. These properties may help fight urinary tract infections. So far, most of the research on berberine has been conducted on herbs other than goldenseal, so for the moment it’s uncertain whether enough berberine is absorbed from goldenseal to make it effective.
One more recent study, however, looked at how goldenseal might help fight skin infection associated with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is well known that MRSA infections can be difficult to manage. In a study from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, researchers found that a goldenseal extract had more potent antimicrobial activity than berberine alone. The authors concluded that their findings supported the use of crude goldenseal extracts in the prevention of infection. (Cech 2012)
How To Use Goldenseal
Goldenseal health benefits can be derived from liquid extract, tea, capsule, and caplet. All forms should be taken according to package directions. Side effects are not common, but can include throat and mouth irritation, nervousness, nausea, and digestive problems. You may know goldenseal by another name, including eye root, jaundice root, orange root, yellow paint, and ground raspberry.
Cech NB et al. Quorum quenching and antimicrobial activity of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Planta Med 2012 Sep; 78(14): 1556-61
Clement-Kruzel S et al. Immune modulation of macrophage pro-inflammatory response by goldenseal and Astragalus extracts. Journal of Medicinal Food 2008 Sep; 11(3): 493-98