Solidago virga urea Asteraceae/Compositae.
A common garden perennial, goldenrod bears feathery yellow plumes that brighten up the autumn border. The plant grows widely in Europe. Its use in traditional medicine to promote wound-healing gave rise to the plant's nickname 'woundwort'.
The plant contains an essential oil, tannins that have astringent qualities, flavonoids such as quercitin and rutin, triterpenoid saponins and phenolic acids - antiseptic substances that reduce inflammation.
Goldenrod is a diuretic and an expectorant. It also heals wounds ulcers and other skin ailments.The astringent tannins in goldenrod contribute to its healing qualities and combat diarrhoea. Its flavonoids reduce the permeability of blood vessels and increase their strength, thus improving circulation.
Goldenrod is a remedy for inflammation and infection of the urinary tract - cystitis and urethritis, for example. The plant's analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties have been attributed to a phenolic acid called leiocarposide.
The herb has long been used to prevent and eliminate bladder stones and to stimulate urination. Its efficacy was proved by Polish studies in 1986 and 1988 that showed the diuretic effects of leiocarposide, and its value in treating bladder stones.
Gargling with an infusion ofgoldenrod can soothe a sore throat and coughs, while drinking tile infusion will help chronic nasal catarrh and hayfever. The herb may be prescribed for vaginal and oral thrush: German research in 1987 backed this application by showing one of the plant's saponins - virgaureasaponin to be an effective antifungal.
To date, no side effects or toxicity have been recorded.
People with chronic kidney disease should consult a doctor before using goldenrod.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT cystitis, urethritis, bladder stones, insufficient urination, chronic nasal catarrh INFUSION Put 1.5-3g of herb into 1 cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10-15 minutes, then strain. Drink 3-5 cups a day. DECOCTION Put 1.5-3g of herb into 1 cup of cold water. Bring to the boil and strain. Drink 3-5 cups a day.
TINCTURE (1:4 in 25% alcohol) Take 20 drops with water three times a day after meals.
For external use
TO TREAT wounds, ulcers COMPRESS Put 50g of the herb into 1 litre of boiling water. Leave to boil for 2 minutes. Soak a cloth with this decoction and apply twice a day.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Grow from seed - it will spread by self-sowing once established. It likes well-drained soil in a sunny border.
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