We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Hydrastis canadensis - L.

Common Name Goldenseal
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards The whole plant is poisonous[4, 19]. Do not use by pregnant or lactating women, babies or patients with cardiovascular disease, epilepsy or coagulation problems. Goldenseal poisoning symptoms include stomach upset, nervousness, depression [301].
Habitats Rich shady woods[4, 43] and moist areas on woodland edges[19, 31]. Mesic, deciduous forests, often on clay soils at elevations of 50 - 1200 metres[270].
Range Eastern N. America - Connecticut to Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Hydrastis canadensis Goldenseal


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-209.jpg
Hydrastis canadensis Goldenseal
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Phyzome

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hydrastis canadensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Hydrastis trifolia. Warnera canadensis. Warnera diphylla. Warnera tinctoria

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antiperiodic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Laxative;  
Sedative;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

Goldenseal is a traditional medicine of the North American Indians and is still widely used in Western herbal medicine[4, 254]. In the Nineteenth century it acquired a reputation as a heal-all and was grossly over-collected from the wild and has become rare in the east of its range[213, 222]. It is now being cultivated on a small scale[4]. It is especially valued in treating disorders of the digestive system and mucous membranes and is also extremely useful in the treatment of habitual constipation[4, 254]. See also the notes above on cultivation needs[K]. The root is the active part of the plant, it is harvested in the autumn after the plant has died down and is dried for later use[4, 213]. It is said to be antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic, laxative, stomachic, tonic[4, 21, 46, 165, 222, 238]. It is used mainly in the treatment of disorders affecting the ears, eyes, throat, nose, stomach, intestines and vagina[254]. The root contains the alkaloids hydrastine, berberine and canadine[213]. Berberine is antibacterial (effective against broad-spectrum bacteria and protozoa[207]), it increases bile secretions, acts as an anticonvulsant, a mild sedative and lowers blood pressure[222]. Use of this plant destroys beneficial intestinal organisms as well as pathogens, so it should only be prescribed for limited periods (a maximum of three months)[238]. The plant should be used with caution, and not at all during pregnancy or by people with high blood pressure[222, 238]. An infusion of the root is used externally as a wash for skin diseases, vaginal infections, gum diseases etc[213, 238].

Other Uses

Dye;  Repellent.

A yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant[4, 46, 61]. It is obtained from the root[95]. The pounded root is smeared on the body to act as an insect repellent[213].

Cultivation details

Goldenseal is somewhat difficult of cultivation, it prefers a good rich moist loamy leafy soil in shade or partial shade[4, 31, 187]. Prefers a sandy, acid to neutral humus-rich soil[200]. Grows best in a pH range from 6 to 7[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[187]. Goldenseal is grown commercially as a medicinal plant[57], but it is not easy to establish the plants[4, 200]. Another report says that all goldenseal root that is used medicinally comes from wild plants[238]. Since the plant is becoming increasingly rare in many parts of its range, it is probably wise to try and find alternatives to this species for medicinal use unless you can be sure that your supply comes from cultivated plants[K].

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow autumn or early spring in a moist sandy loam in a shady part of the cold frame or greenhouse[1]. The seed is slow to germinate[238]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for the first year or two. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant. Division of the roots in autumn[4]. The roots can be divided into quite small pieces and can also be transplanted at almost any time of the year[4]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Dr S.K.Vashisht   Wed Feb 13 2008

Its used by Homoepaths for preparing tincture and is used widely in chronic cases especially cancer its a tonic and improves digestion by reliving constipation.

PAUL NORTON   Sun Feb 22 2009

WHERE CAN U BUY GOLDEN SEAL SEEDS OR PLANTS PLEASE

frann leach   Tue Nov 3 2009

This plant is a protected species, and may not be collected from the wild.

   Jul 21 2011 12:00AM

I've purchased my goldenseal plants from Richters in Goodwood, Ontario, Canada. All 3 plants are doing very well. I grow them in full to partial shade under my evergreen trees. Richters cannot ship goldenseal plants to the U.S.

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Hydrastis canadensis  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.