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Goldenseal? What is that??


Goldenseal is a low, sprawling plant with palm-shaped leaves. A single white flower appears in the center of each set of leaves, turning into one red berry. It’s native to the hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River.


Early American medical texts refer to the Cherokees and Iroquois using goldenseal to treat cancer, mouth ailments, and stomach issues. Today, it’s marketed as a treatment for a vast array of symptoms. Some claim that it can ease colds and upper respiratory infections. Other conditions it’s said to help include:


Goldenseal is also said to increase the effectiveness of other herbs and medicines. It’s regularly combined with echinacea, an herb associated with strengthening the immune system. Modern research has isolated a chemical in goldenseal called berberine that might be the source of its benefits. ( Berberine is an anti-diabetic agent. )


How much goldenseal is safe to take orally is unclear. Read labels for each brand’s recommended dose, and talk to your doctor about what’s safe for you.

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Leah  Buckbee

CMA, LMT, MMA

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