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Health Research

3 Health Benefits of Goldenseal Leaf [Infographic]

Goldenseal Leaf
Goldenseal leaf is one of the most popular herbs in the world, and is often combined with echinacea and sold to treat or prevent colds. Researchers believe that the herb also helps relieve indigestion, lowers cholesterol levels, increases antibody production, and boosts white blood cells. In addition to its health benefits, goldenseal adds a sweet and grassy flavor to tea blends.
Goldenseal Leaf Infographic
What is goldenseal leaf?
Goldenseal is a prized herb in North America that gets its name from the golden-yellow scars that form on the base of the stem when it is broken. The herb has a long history of medicinal use among the Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee and the Iroquois. Traditionally, it was used to treat eye, skin and digestive problems. Today, goldenseal is used for the common cold, respiratory tract infections, digestive problems, chronic fatigue syndrome and urinary tract infections.
Botanical name: Hydrastis canadensis
Other names: Yellow puccoon, yellow root, orange root, ground raspberry
Description: A perennial plant with a thick, yellow knotted root, hairy leaves, and small flowers
Habitat: Native to the mountainous regions of North America
Properties*: Antibacterial, antioxidant, hypoglycemic
The health benefits of goldenseal leaf according to research
1. Digestive Health
Goldenseal has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat indigestion and diarrhea. According to modern science, goldenseal contains a constituent known as berberine which increases digestive secretions in the body and may be helpful for those with stomach and liver problems.
One particular study found that among several herbs tested, goldenseal extract was the most active in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori, a type of bacteria which can cause stomach inflammation, ulcers and stomach cancer.
2. Circulatory Health
According to various studies, the berberine constituent found in goldenseal may help lower blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and harmful levels of fat in blood. A study from 2006 demonstrated that goldenseal extract is effective in regulating the liver’s LDL receptors and in reducing plasma cholesterol. For these reasons, researchers believe goldenseal may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
3. Immunity and Overall Health
Goldenseal contains berberine, a naturally-occurring compound that has antimicrobial properties and has shown activity against infections such as Staph infection and E-coli. Because of its antibacterial properties, goldenseal has been used to treat disorders affecting the body’s mucous membranes, such as the eye, ear, nose, throat, stomach, and intestines.
Goldenseal also contains other phytochemical alkaloids such as canadine and hydrastine which have potential astringent effects on mucous membranes and may help prevent disease-causing inflammation.
One particular study found that goldenseal boosts white blood cells and suggests it may enhance immune function by increasing antigen-specific antibody production. Research conducted at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School has shown the herb’s medicinal effectiveness as an immune stimulant may be due to its ability to reduce the body’s inflammatory reactions.
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, berberine may have anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties. One in vitro study found that berberine inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells to a greater extent than doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug. In another study, it produced an average of 91% tumor inhibition in both in vivo in mice and in vitro against human brain tumors. There are ongoing studies to further understand the anti-cancer effects of berberine.


* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.


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Katsunori Yamaura, Maki Shimada, Noriyuki Nakayama, Koichi Ueno. “Protective effects of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity through inhibition of CYP2E1 in rats.” Pharmacognosy Res. October 2011;3(4):2505.
Keivan A. Ettefagh, Johnna T. Burns, Hiyas A. Junio, Glenn W. Kaatz, Nadja B. Cech. “Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) Extracts Synergistically Enhance the Antibacterial Activity of Berberine via Efflux Pump Inhibition.” Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry, The University of North Carolina. Planta Med. 2011;77(8):835-840
Nadja B Cech, Hiyas A Junio, Laynez W Ackermann, Jeffrey S Kavanaugh, Alexander R Horswill. “Quorum quenching and antimicrobial activity of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” Planta Med. September 2012;78(14):155661. Epub July 18, 2012.
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Parveen Abidi, Wei Chen, Fredric B Kraemer, Hai Li, Jingwen Liu. “The medicinal plant goldenseal is a natural LDL-lowering agent with multiple bioactive components and new action mechanisms.” J Lipid Res. October 2006;47(10):213447. Epub August 2, 2006.
Rabbani GH, Butler T, Knight J, Sanyal SC, Alam K. “Randomized controlled trial of berberine sulfate therapy for diarrhea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae.” J Infect Dis. May 1987;155(5):979-84.
Teresa L Serafim, Paulo J Oliveira, Vilma A Sardao, Ed Perkins, Donna Parke, Jon Holy. “Different concentrations of berberine result in distinct cellular localization patterns and cell cycle effects in a melanoma cell line.” Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. May 2008;61(6):100718. Epub July 28, 2007.
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