Golden Seal

golden seal, goldenseal, Yellow Root, Herb, Herbal Remedy

HydrastIs Canadensis Ranunculaceae Also calledáIndian turmeric , Yellow puccon.

Originating in North America, golden seal was used as healing herb byáthe cherolee Indian s. The plantábelongs to the buttercupáfamily , though it looks more likelyáa miniature raspberry. Its dark yellowárhizomeáspreads horizontally . Thisáis short and thickáand has many slender roots.

Parts used

  • Rhizome
  • The rhizome is harvested in autumn aher three years or more.
  • It is dried and cut up.
  • The dried rhizome is ground for capsules or made into liquid extracts.
  • Golden seal is usually used as a tincture and may be combined with other plants such as witch hazel.


The main active components in the rhizome are alkaloids, including hydrastine and berberine. Hydrastine is known to constrict blood vessels and raise blood pressure; berberine attacks bacteria and stimulates the Immune system.

Medicinal uses

Golden seal has long been used in traditional medicine for stopping bleeding, and is prescribed for blood loss between menstrual periods. The rhizome is good for blood circulation making it useful for treating piles, varicose veins and oedema in the lower legs - when it may be combined with other veinstrengthening plants such as witch hazel.

Golden seal is prescribed for catarrh, tinnitus, eczema, and eye and ear infections.In 1999 American scientists found that golden seal increased immunoglobulin production, indicating that it strengthens the immune system.

Studies published in ptanta Medica in 2001 reported on the antibacterial activity of berberine, while Chinese scientists found that berberine restored a regular heartbeat, suggesting that golden seal might be useful for arrhythmia.


  • The alkaloids in golden seal are toxic at high doses.
  • Never take more than 2g a day. . Do not use for more than three weeks at a time and take a break of two weeks between courses.
  • Golden seal is not recommended for people with high blood pressure. . Do not take in pregnancy.
  • Do not give to children.


Very hard to cultivate, golden seal needs a humus-rich, well-drained moist soil, preferably in woodland.


For internal use

TO TREAT period problems, chest infections, poor circulation CAPSULES (540mg) Take 1 capsule three times a day.(See Cautions, left.)

TINCTURE Take 20 drops in water three times a day.



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