|| Solidago virgaurea
|| European goldenrod
Historically, goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), also called European
goldenrod, has been used topically for wound healing. In fact, the name Solidago
means "to make whole."
In traditional medical practices, goldenrod has been used to treat
tuberculosis, diabetes, enlargement of the liver, gout, hemorrhoids, internal
bleeding, asthma, and rheumatic illnesses (disorders of the muscles and joints).
Topical preparations of goldenrod are used in folk medicine to treat
inflammation of the mouth and throat as well as slow-healing wounds.
Today, goldenrod is primarily used as an aquaretic agent, meaning that it
promotes the loss of water from the body (as compared to a diuretic, which
promotes the loss of both water and electrolytes such as salt). It is used
frequently in Europe to treat urinary tract inflammation and to prevent or treat
kidney stones. In fact, goldenrod is commonly found in teas (typically with
other herbs including uva ursi) to help "flush out" kidney stones and alleviate
inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.
Laboratory studies have found that active compounds in goldenrod help reduce
inflammation, relieve muscle spasms, and lower blood pressure. Some studies also
suggest that it may have antioxidant effects. This herb has not been extensively
studied in people.
Because goldenrod has an unusual ability to crossbreed with other plants,
there are at least 130 recognizable species of goldenrod in the United States
alone. This herb is native to Europe and has spread to Asia, the Azores, and
both North and South America.
European goldenrod is a perennial often found along roadsides and in open
fields with single woody stems that grow to heights of 3 to 7 feet. Its yellow
flowers, which generally appear in August and September, are only about ¼-inch
wide but come in large clusters. Leaves alternate between toothed and smooth
Contrary to popular belief, goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Its pollen
grains, which are meant to be carried by insects, are much heavier than those of
ragweed and other plants with airborne pollens that may be associated with
allergies or hay fever.
The above ground parts of the goldenrod plant are dried and used for
|Medicinal Uses and Indications|
The ability of goldenrod to flush water from the body, combined with its
anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (ability to fight infection) properties, it
is used by herbalists for a wide range of health problems
- Colds and flu
- Inflammation of the bladder or urinary tract
- Kidney stones
- Sore throats
Topical applications may aid in wound healing and skin conditions such as
Goldenrod may be taken in a variety of forms, including tea, tincture, or
|How to Take It|
The appropriate dose of goldenrod for a child should be determined by
adjusting the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight. Most
herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult.
Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20-25 kg), the appropriate dose of
goldenrod for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.
Recommended adult doses are as follows:
- Tea: Place 2 to 3 tsp of dried herb in one cup of water, bring to a
boil, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes; strain and drink. Take 3 times per
- Gargle: Make the tea described above, and gargle with it 3 times per
- Fluid extract (1:1) in 25% ethanol: Take 0.5 to 2 mL 2 to 3 times per
- Tincture (1:5) in 45% ethanol: Take 2 to 4 mL 2 to 3 times per day.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day when taking this
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and
treating disease. Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger
side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For
these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a
practitioner knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine.
Goldenrod is generally considered safe. Some individuals may develop a mild
allergic reaction to the herb.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as people with impaired heart or
kidney function should not take goldenrod.
There are no known scientific reports of interactions between goldenrod and
Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic
Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, Mass: Integrative Medicine
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded
Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications;
Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed.
Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications; 1998:77-78.
el-Ghazaly M, Khayyal MT, Okpanyi SN, Arens-Corell M. Study of the
anti-inflammatory activity of Populus tremula, Solidago virgaurea
and Fraxinus excelsior. Arzneimittelforschung.
Klein-Galczinsky C. [Pharmacological and clinical effectiveness of a fixed
phytogenic combination of trembling poplar (Populus tremula), true
goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in
mild to moderate rheumatic complaints.] [in German]. Wien Med Wochenschr.
Meyer B, Schneider W, Elstner EF. Antioxidative properties of alcoholic
extracts from Fraxinus excelsior, Populus tremula and Solidago
virgaurea. Arzneimittelforschung. 1995;45(2):174-176.
Miller LG, Murray WJ, eds. Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide. New
York, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press; 1998.
Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of
Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press; 1999:90-92.
Schatzle M, Agathos M, Breit R. Allergic contact dermatitis from goldenrod
(Herba solidaginis) after systemic administration. Contact
Dermatitis. 1998 Nov;39(5):271-272.
von Kruedener S, Schneider W, Elstner EF. A combination of Populus
tremula, Solidago virgaurea and Fraxinus excelsior as
an anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic drug. A short review.
|Review Date: April 2002|
|Reviewed By: Participants in the review process include: Jacqueline A. Hart, MD,
Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Harvard University
and Senior Medical Editor Integrative Medicine, Boston, MA; Gary Kracoff, RPh
(Pediatric Dosing section February 2001), Johnson Drugs, Natick, MA; Steven
Ottariono, RPh (Pediatric Dosing section February 2001), Veteran's
Administrative Hospital, Londonderry, NH; R. Lynn Shumake, PD, Director,
Alternative Medicine Apothecary, Blue Mountain Apothecary & Healing Arts,
University of Maryland Medical Center, Glenwood, MD; Marcellus Walker, MD, Lac
(November 2000), St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center, New York, NY; David
Winston, Herbalist (November 2000), Herbalist and Alchemist, Inc., Washington,
NJ. All interaction sections have also been reviewed by a team of experts
including Joseph Lamb, MD (July 2000), The Integrative Medicine Works,
Alexandria, VA;Enrico Liva, ND, RPh (August 2000), Vital Nutrients, Middletown,
CT; Brian T Sanderoff, PD, BS in Pharmacy (March 2000), Clinical Assistant
Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; President, Your
Prescription for Health, Owings Mills, MD; Ira Zunin, MD, MPH, MBA (July 2000),
President and Chairman, Hawaii State Consortium for Integrative Medicine,
Copyright © 2004 A.D.A.M., Inc
The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of
the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse
of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage
to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or
otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents
of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds
currently marketed or in investigative use. This material is not intended as a
guide to self-medication. The reader is advised to discuss the information
provided here with a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other authorized healthcare
practitioner and to check product information (including package inserts)
regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications
before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed