Goldenseal is a low, sprawling perennial herb belonging to the buttercup family. It has hairy stems with five to seven leaves and small white flowers. This plant also has bitter tasting roots that are bright yellow or brown, twisted and wrinkled. Its dried root is considered as an impressive herbal remedy and has a long history of use for infectious diarrhea because of its antimicrobial activity (1).
In a study, experts found that goldenseal extracts may be effective against the C. jejuni bacterium, which is a main cause of gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that causes diarrhea and vomiting (2).
Furthermore, it was revealed that berberine, the herb’s major alkaloid, is the one responsible for its ability to fight off against H. pylori (a type of bacteria which can lead to gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer) and C. jejuni (3).
In a randomized controlled clinical trial involving 165 adults, berberine has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against certain pathogens that cause bacterial diarrhea, including E. coli and V. cholera (4).
Berberine also works by inhibit the growth of dangerous pathogens whilst actually enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria (5).
Classified as a bitter herb, goldenseal is also thought to stimulate digestive function by increasing saliva production and promoting both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production thus may relieving spasms in the intestinal tract (1).
Additionally, the powerful anti-inflammatory action of goldenseal can protect and heal our gut and intestinal tract thus providing relief from bloating, constipation, and cramping (5).
Other Health Benefits Of Goldenseal
- Used as an eyewash for eye inflammation and eye infections called conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.”
- Used for vaginal pain and swelling and menstrual period problems.
- Used as a mouthwash for sore throats, gum complaints, and canker sores
- May help protect against tooth infection
- Used as an herbal remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections.
- May help treat herpes and chlamydia infections
- May be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes
- The herb’s dried underground stems (rhizomes) and roots used to make teas, liquid extracts, tablets, and capsules as well as natural skin care products.
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