Goldenseal, hydrastis canadensis, also known as orangeroot is a herb that is Native to America, It was used extensively among early American settlers and Native Americans. The Cherokee used it for eye problems and skin diseases. The Catawbas used it for jaundice, colds and soreness of the mouth. The Kickapoo used goldenseal for irritated eyes and several tribes used it for a yellow dye.
Goldenseal is known primarily as an herbal antibiotic, and to build up the immune system. But this herb has many other uses. It is used for the common cold and respiratory tract infections, stuffy nose and hay fever.
Some folks have found goldenseal useful for digestive problems and urinary tract infections. Skin problems like rashes and skin infections, itching and eczema have been helped by goldenseal. It has been used as an eyewash for conjunctivitis and for ringing in the ears.
Cautions with this herb include refraining from use during pregnancy or breast feeding as this is unsafe for the infant and can result in brain damage. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you want to use goldenseal. It does not mix well with some medicines.
Goldenseal tea is easy to make. Pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 teaspoons of the dried herb or 5 drops of the liquid extract. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Strain and drink. Goldenseal has a strong and undesirable taste so you may want to include some peppermint or some other corrective herb to disguise the taste.
Goldenseal is on the endangered plants list. It is not recommended for wild crafting. Be sure to get your goldenseal from a reliable and ethical source.