encyclopedia

Goldenrod

Scientific Names:     
Solidago virgaurea L. [Fam. Asteraceae]     

Forms:     
Dried aboveground parts of European goldenrod used for infusions and extracts.     

Traditional Usage:     

– Anti-bacterial
– Anti-candidiasis
– Anti-inflammatory
– Anti-rheumatic
– Antiseptic
– Antispasmodic
– Arthritic Pain Relief
– Bladder Health Maintenance
– Bone and Joint Conditions
– Cellular Regeneration
– Cleansing
– Coughs
– Detoxification
– Digestive Disorders
– Diuretic
– Gallstones
– Immune System
– Respiratory Health Maintenance
– Ulcers
– Urinary System Gravel
– Urinary System Disorders
– Yeast Infections     

Overview:     

European Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea L. [Fam. Asteraceae], is a perennial plant indigenous to Europe but is now found in North Africa, North America, and Asia. Europeans praise goldenrod as one of the safest and most effective diuretic-antiseptic herbs and there is good scientific evidence of goldenrod's efficacy for this purpose. Studies also confirm that goldenrod is beneficial in treating kidney inflammation (nephritis). The German Commission E has approved European goldenrod as a treatment for bladder and urinary system inflammation caused by gravel, urinary tract infections, and other infections. The tea is also said to help prevent the formation of and facilitate the elimination of urinary system gravel (calculi). European goldenrod is considered an 'aquaretic', a diuretic that works by increasing blood flow to the kidneys and promoting urination. It flushes out harmful bacteria without ridding the body of valuable electrolytes, particularly sodium and chloride, unlike synthetic diuretics. A Polish study (1991) looked at the effect of flavonoid fractions of Solidago virgaurea L. on diuresis and levels of electrolytes and found an increase in overnight diuresis of 57-88% and a decrease of overnight excretion of potassium and sodium. The flavonoids from S. virgaurea L. also caused increased excretion of calcium with urine (reducing calculi). European goldenrod is also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic and is particularly effective for arthritic pain relief and treating rheumatic diseases. Based on clinical studies with a combination product, the effectiveness of goldenrod with other antirheumatic herbs is similar in efficacy to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) applied in average dosages, with only half the rate of adverse effects. European goldenrod was also used in folk medicine to treat abnormal growths, ulcers, digestive problems, infections, muscle spasms, rheumatism, acute breathing disorders, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, wounds and coughs. Saponins from Solidago virgaurea L. have demonstrated immuno-modulating effects and activity against abnormal growths.     

Active Ingredients:     

European goldenrod contains: 1.5% flavonoids (rutin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, hyperoside, and nicotiflorin); 10% catechin tannins; 2-6% triterpene saponins (30% bisdesmosidic polygala acid derivatives); 0.2 – 1.0% phenol glycosides (leiocarposide and virgaureoside A); phenolic acids (caffeic and chlorogenic acids); 0.4-0.5% essential oil; diterpenoid lactones of cis-clerodane type; and polysaccharides.     

Suggested Amount:     

The average daily dose of European goldenrod is 6-12 grams per day. For tea pour boiling water over 3 grams of chopped European goldenrod, steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. May be taken two to four times daily between meals. Recommended dose of extract 1:1 (g/ml) is 3 ml taken two to four times daily between meals.     

Drug Interactions:     

None known.     

Contraindications:     

Not recommended for those with chronic kidney disease or edema because heart and renal function may be impaired.     

Side Effects:     

The seeds and flowers of European goldenrod are reported to be very poisonous and can lead to narcotic hallucination, nausea, convulsions, respiratory failure, and even death.     

References:     

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Copyright American Botanical Council. Publ. by Integrative Medicine Communications, 1029 Chestnut Street, Newton, MA 02464. Pp. 178-181.
 
Chodera A, Dabrowska K, Sloderbach A, Skrzypczak L, Budzianowski J. 1991. [Effect of flavonoid fractions of Solidago virgaurea L on diuresis and levels of electrolytes]. Acta Pol Pharm. 1991; 48(5-6): 35-7. Polish.
 
Duke JA. 1985. Solidago virgaurea L. In Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, Pp. 454 – 455.
 
Klein-Galczinsky C. 1999. [Pharmacological and clinical effectiveness of a fixed phytogenic combination trembling poplar (Populus tremula), true goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in mild to moderate rheumatic complaints]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999; 149(8-10): 248-53. Review. German.
 
Thiem B, Wesolowska M, Skrzypczak L, Budzianowski J. 2001. Phenolic compounds in two Solidago L. species from in vitro culture. Acta Pol Pharm. 2001 Jul-Aug; 58(4): 277-81.