Goldenrod

Goldenrod Materia Medica 

Solidago spp.
ASTERACEAE (Sunflower) FAMILY

Abundant.  I’d like to start there.  Goldenrod is abundant to say the least.  Botanically, it is a massive genus with over 100 species!  Entire chapters in our field guides are dedicated to Goldenrods.  And visually it is also easy to notice with its gorgeous late summer and early autumn golden flowers. 

For all its abundance, I do not use it as much as I should.  This is a highly effective plant that found its way early on into a couple of my most used formulas– the Allergy Re-Leaf Tea for its astringent effects on the mucosal tissues and our Cran Re-Leaf Capsules for its diuretic properties.  But I’m afraid I let it get pigeon-holed there and haven’t experimented with some of its other properties, such as effects on the muscular tissues. Well, maybe I can begin to play with it there as well!

Goldenrod is also known as Farewell to Summer and lets us know we better enjoy these final golden warm days.  Unfortunately for Goldenrod, it blooms  at the same time as Ragweed, a wind pollinated plant that responsible for lots of our seasonal allergies around that time.  Since Goldenrod is the more noticalbe plant and the flowers of Ragweed are rather inconspicuous, Goldenrod often gets falsely accused.  In fact, as we’ve already noted, Goldenrod HELPS with allergy symptoms. (Ragweed is a surprising anti-histamine as well, but that is another story for another da.)

DESCRIPTION

Native to North America.  A member of the Asteraceae family, it has golden-colored compound flowers.  A perennial, it  spreads via a rhizome system. Due to the large genus, there is quite a lot of variety among species.  Most leaves are simple, compound, but some are serrated.  Most flowers have both disk and ray flowers, but some only have disk flowers.  Some grow flopped out along the ground and some are quite tall and erect, growing up to 1 meter tall. Some are hairless and some have hairs.  

The most commonly cited in our herbal literature is the Solidago odora (Sweet Scented Goldenrod).  Click here to read the botanical description in King’s Dispensatory

PART USED

Flowering Tops, Herb in Flower

GROWING TIPS

Grows wild all around Atlanta and is also easy to establish in your garden.

HARVEST

Harvest at the end of summer when it looks its finest, often starting in late August, through September, and even into early October. 

ENERGETICS + TASTES

astringent, bitter, aromatic (some species)

ACTIONS

anti-inflammatory, astringent, styptic, diuretic, anti-catarrhal, catarrh (mucus in the airways), carminative (S. odora)

SYSTEMS

  • urinary, adrenal, mucosal, digestive

INDICATIONS  

PREPARATION + DOSAGE (INTERNAL)

  • Tea: Use dry herb.  Other than the famous Solidago odora (Sweet Scented Goldenrod), Goldenrod is best in blends with other herbs. 
  • Tincture: tinctures well into all menstruums (alcohol, glycerine, and vinegar)
    • Fresh Herb [1:2, 95%] Alcohol. Take up to 2.5 mL (½ tsp), up to 3 xs per day.
    • Dry Herb [1:5, 50%] Alcohol; Take up to 2.5 mL (½ tsp), up to 3 xs per day.
    • Dry Herb [1:5, 60%] Glycerine; Take up to 2.5 mL (½ tsp), up to 3 xs per day.
    • Most often used in combinations.
  • Capsule: See our blend Cran Re-Leaf Capsules   

PAIRINGS (INTERNAL)

  • Urinary Tract Support: Pair with Cranberry, demulcents like Marshmallow, and antimicrobials like Uva Ursi, Buchu or a berberine-containing Plant like Oregon Grape.
  • Allergy Support: for the sniffly-sneezy and watery eyes that comes along with seasonal or pet allergies, pair with other anti-histiminic herbs such as Nettles or eyebright; See Springtime Tea (aka Allergy Re-Leaf)

PREPARATION + DOSAGE (EXTERNAL)

  • Sprains + Strains Used by many herbalists in a salve or soak for bruising and muscle strains.  I haven’t used it this way yet, but considering the abundance of this herb, it’s a great option.

PAIRINGS (EXTERNAL)

  • Sprains + Strains: Pair with other anti-inflammatory herbs (i.e. Ginger, Rosemary, Yarrow), circulatory stimulants (i.e. Mustard) or magnesium salts (i.e. epsom salt)

SAFETY/ CAUTIONS

  • Caution if you are allergic to other members of the  Asteraceae family such as Chamomile.