Goldenrod grows in Europe, Asia and South and North America. It blooms in roadside ditches and fields and is often considered a weed.
The yellow flowers of this plant bloom in late summer and early fall. Goldenrod easily cross-pollinates with other plants, which is why there are over 100 different goldenrod species with similar health benefits. The best studied species is Solidago vigaurea, or European goldenrod.
You can buy goldenrod as a tea or as a dietary supplement. Tea can have a slightly bitter aftertaste, so some people prefer it lightly sweetened, preferably with honey.
What health benefits does goldenrod have?
Its flowers and leaves are used to make teas and food supplements. You can easily buy goldenrod in the form of herbs for brewing, it is also included in herbal mixtures.
It is a rich source of plant compounds, including saponins and flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol.
Saponins are plant compounds that provide many health benefits. They can be particularly effective in inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast, such as Candida albicans. Candida albicans is a fungus that can cause female genital infections as well as attack other parts of the body.
Studies have also shown that saponins have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.
Flavonoids - the antioxidants contained in goldenrod, namely quercetin and kemferol, protect your body cells from free radical damage.
It is worth noting that the antioxidant activity of goldenrod is greater than green tea and vitamin C.
In traditional medicine, goldenrod has been used to fight inflammation that contributes to pain and swelling.
In rodent studies, goldenrod extract combined with common aspen and ash extracts reduced swelling of injured tissues by as much as 60%. It also reduced inflammation associated with arthritis by 12-45%. The higher the doses used, the better the results obtained.
The effects of goldenrod preparations have also been tested in humans. In 11 human studies, treatment with a goldenrod preparation was as effective as aspirin in reducing back pain and knee arthritis.
The bark of common aspen, which was tested along with goldenrod, contains salicin, the active component of aspirin. It also contributed to the anti-inflammatory benefits of the herbal mixture.
The European Medicines Agency, the organization that oversees medicines, considers goldenrod to be potentially useful for treating minor urinary tract problems.
This means that goldenrod may support or enhance the effectiveness of medications such as antibiotics for urinary tract infections. It can now be concluded that this herb should not be used alone as a treatment for such ailments.
Additionally, in vitro studies indicate that goldenrod extract may help with overactive bladder, which is the frequent need to urinate. It may also reduce painful urinary tract cramps. Goldenrod has a diuretic effect, which seems to be beneficial if you are prone to urocystitis, calculus formation in kidneys or prostate issues.
I have come across reports that goldenrod helps reduce unhealthy body weight, which is why it is added to weight loss teas. It is also among the herbs that inhibit cancerous processes, especially for prostate cancer.
As it supports the condition of blood vessels, it can be a good choice for people who want to prevent varicose veins.
Because of its tannin content, goldenrod will be helpful for throat irritation. Its high antioxidant content contributes to its anti-aging effects.
How to use goldenrod?
- Take 1-2 teaspoons (3-5 grams) of dried goldenrod per 1 cup of boiled water.
- Cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes, then strain.
- Drink up to 4 times daily.
- Liquid extract. 0.5-2 ml up to 3 times a day.
- Dry extract. 350-450 mg up to 3 times a day.
These amounts are recommended for adults and teenagers. Goldenrod is not recommended for children under 12 years of age due to lack of data on its safety.
If goldenrod is used for certain ailments, it should not be used beyond 2-4 weeks. If you have any serious illnesses or are on medications, you should consult your doctor about taking goldenrod (like any other herb).