Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.


General Information

Goldenseal is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by overharvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Common Name(s)
goldenseal, yellow root
Scientific Name(s)

Hydrastis canadensis

How is this product usually used?

The underground stems or roots of goldenseal are dried and used to make teas, liquid extracts, and solid extracts that may be made into tablets and capsules.

For adults, the recommended dosage for goldenseal is 0.6 g to 3 g of dried root per day.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Historically, goldenseal was used in herbal medicine for treating various health conditions such as an inflamed digestive tract (gastritis), improving digestion and appetite, relieving upset stomach, and relieving constipation.

Today, goldenseal may also be used for treating other conditions, such as colds and other respiratory tract infections, infectious diarrhea, eye infections, and vaginitis (inflammation or infection of the vagina). It is occasionally used to treat cancer.

Goldenseal may also be used as a mouthwash or gargle to relieve inflammation and sores in the mouth.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Goldenseal is considered safe for short-term use by adults at recommended dosages. Berberine, a chemical found in goldenseal, may cause abdominal swelling or pain, bitter taste, constipation, diarrhea, gas, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Goldenseal may cause changes in the way the body processes drugs, and could potentially alter the effects of many drugs. It is also known to interact with the following:

  • anticoagulants (e.g., apixaban, warfarin)
  • antiplatelets (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), clopidogrel)
  • blood pressure medications (e.g., amlodipine, ramipril)
  • dextromethorphan
  • diabetes medications (e.g., metformin, sitagliptin)
  • digoxin
  • losartan
  • medications that may cause sedation (e.g., alcohol, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, narcotics)
  • pentobarbital
  • tacrolimus

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using goldenseal. Berberine, a chemical in goldenseal, can cause or worsen jaundice in newborns and could lead to a life-threatening problem called kernicterus.

As goldenseal can increase your risk of bleeding, it should be used cautiously by people with bleeding disorders. Stop taking goldenseal at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Goldenseal should not be given to infants or young children.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada. Drugs and Health Products. Goldenseal – oral.
  2. Health Canada. Drugs and Health Products. Goldenseal – buccal.
  3. National Medicines Comprehensive Database. Goldenseal.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.