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Goldenseal (Hydrastis
Goldenseal Herb
canadensis) is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. It may be distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted rootstock as well as its large, rounded leaves.

Goldenseal is often used as a multi-purpose remedy, having many different medicinal properties. In addition to working as a topical antibiotic, it can also be taken internally as a digestion aid. Goldenseal may be purchased in salve or tablet form. It is often marketed as a "cleanser" to prepare for drug tests, but its actual efficacy as such is unknown.

second species from Japan, previously listed as Hydrastis palmatum, is sufficiently distinct that it is now usually treated in a separate genus, as Glaucidium palmatum.

Goldenseal is potentially toxic, and should not
Goldenseal Herb
be used for more than one week at a time.

Because Goldenseal contains potentially toxic alkaloid compounds, it should be used with caution and not used on a long-term basis. In high doses, goldenseal and some of its components can cause fatal respiratory failure. Taking goldenseal over a long period of time can reduce absorption of B vitamins. Berberine has a stimulant effect on the heart, and it can potentially interfere with the anticoagulant activity of heparin.

Other useful herb information: Milk Thistle | Green Tea | Allium | Kelp | Eucalyptus | Gentian | Cascara Sagrada

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