Goldenrod, Solidago species, is a member of the Asteraceae family (Aster, Daisy, Sunflower, etc.). A perennial growing from 28″ up to around 6′ tall, it has toothed leaves that have a light licorice smell and taste and flowers that are reminiscent of anise in flavor. The leaves are lance-like and about the length of your palm or hand, depending on maturity. It has branched spikes of golden yellow flowers, creating a narrow plant. The flowers will form green clusters of little balls before they bloom in late summer and early fall.
Goldenrod is native to Europe and Asia, and has been naturalized in North America. In my area of Texas, Goldenrod it the most readily available of any plant I have ever seen. Even more so than Pine if you ask me, and I’m in the Piney Woods. It is EVERYWHERE!
Goldenrod is accused of causing allergies during this time of year, but it is actually a very valuable remedy against allergies. It is accused of this because it often grows alongside ragweed in the fall. Ragweed has white flowers, while goldenrod is yellow, with very light pollen that is easily airborne with the slightest of wind. Goldenrod pollen is too dense and sticky to float in the air, and falls to the ground. It can only be transported by bees, who absolutely love this plant. Goldenrod is often the last source of food they can get to before the winter, so never over harvest…which would be pretty hard to do if you live in an area like me, but it still merits a mention.
There is no way that goldenrod can be causing the allergies you may experience during the fall, unless you are allergic to the plant itself, no matter what people may tell you. Ragweed, which is a relative, is the culprit. I find it very poetic that goldenrod usually grows along side ragweed. The remedy grows beside the cause. How awesome is that?
Goldenrod is extolled above all other herbs for the stopping of blood in bleeding wounds.John Gerard (1597)
Goldenrod is an antioxidant, diuretic, and astringent, making it a valuable remedy for urinary tract problems. It can be used for both serious ailments like nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) and more common problems like cystitis (inflammation of the urinary tract/bladder). Has been known to flush out kidney and bladder stones! The saponins in Goldenrod act against the Candida fungus, which causes yeast infections and thrush. Sore throats, chronic nasal congestion, and diarrhea can all be treated with Goldenrod. The actions of Goldenrod are mild, making this plant suitable for giving to children. You can make a mouthwash or a douche for yeast infections with a simple infusion. Cool before using!
There are various species of Goldenrod, most all of which have medicinal properties that have been used for colds, fevers, chest pain, and as a sweat-inducer.
The awesomeness of this plant can be wielded as an infusion, and drank 2-3 times a day, or in 1 tsp. tincture 3 times a day for most ailments. Dilute tincture in an equal part of water to make it easier to take if needed.
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Emma Lee Joy