By Adri Sugrue, certified clinical herbalist
Goldenrod is a common garden plant that also grows wild throughout Europe and North America. You may have seen its yellow flowers popping up as a weed in your backyard or in nearby pastures and meadows. This plant has been used for a warming and drying effect which is a wonderful combination for inflammations of the upper respiratory tract, gastro-intestinal tract, and genitourinary tract.
Because of its reputable anti-inflammatory and drying properties this plant is used in combinations during allergy season. Goldenrod has traditionally been used to dry out wet mucous conditions and the aromatic essential oils are thought to be well suited to help eliminate bogginess in the system stemming from cold and dampness (aka stuck cases of low grade chronic bronchial infection).
Goldenrod has a long history of use with an affinity for the kidneys. Dr. J. G. Rademacher, a German doctor in the nineteenth century commented that "this herb is a very old and good kidney medicine". The herb has historically been used to flush out kidney and bladder stones.
Because of Goldenrod's mild action, it has historically been deemed appropriate for treating gastroenteritis in children. Externally it has been used as a mouthwash for inflammations of the mouth, throat and a as wash for minor skin wounds.
There are no reports of contraindications or side effects when used properly. However, herbs that are stimulating to the kidneys are contraindicated in cases of obstructive urinary stones, edema due to impaired heart or kidney function, and kidney inflammations. Consult a medical practitioner before use if there is any concern. Those with allergies to the Compositae or Asteraceae (Chamomile) family should also avoid use.
Since it is the aerial parts that are used medicinally, make an infusion, boiling water and then steeping 1 tablespoon of herb to 1 cup of water.
1 pt Eyebright
1 pt Plantain
1 pt Goldenrod
1 pt Boneset
1 pt Peppermint
Combine the herbs in equal parts. Use 1 Tablespoon tea blend per cup of water. Heat water and pour over herbs, covering with a lid. Steep for 10-20 minutes. Great remedy for copious, watery mucous.
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, N.D.
Herbal Vade Mecum by Gazmend Skenderi
Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty